These were five short films about stories that require very delicate care in the more hefty of life’s situations.
Irish filmmaker, Philip Kelly, premiered his second short film about a robbery at a convenience store goes awry because of a particular lady… The protagonist, Eion (Connor Drumm) is a clerk at a convenience, selling scratch tickets to his friend and preoccupied by the girlfriend who isn’t calling him back, when the store who is suddenly robbed. Strangely enough, though, this town in Ireland is small enough where nobody can stay hidden, and the situation becomes quickly awkward and pretty hilarious. With a 14 minute film and four characters, ‘Scratch’ is able to take a normal convenience store robbery and turns it into something genuinely funny with dry wit and a couple of twists throughout that catch you off guard while you’re in the midst of laughing.
From director Alexander Berman, App is a 21 minute short about an app developer named Paul (Braden Lynch) who needs to get an investment in the prototype of his dating app to sign a deal overnight or everything he’s worked for will be deleted forever. The deal: rich bigshot appropriately named Mike Diamond (J.R. Cacia) will invest if the app accomplishes Paul hooking up with the girl in the bar who is the absolute least compatible with him (Sara Sanderson). App is an imaginatively crafted romantic comedy that depicts how the rapidly changing technology of modern society limits the mystery of discovering another person, and, ultimately, the concept of love. The short may sound similar to Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ by premise alone, but it’s tone and message are truly it’s own, though it could make for a fun companion piece.
Mexican director Gareth Dunett-Alcocer presents a short film about a proud catholic man who is the best at what he does in all of Mexico: being a barber. He is suddenly abducted by a drug cartel and the short commences into an inner struggle of faith and moral, and some of the most outstanding facial hair cinematography I’ve ever seen. I feel like saying more would be futile in describing the intensity of the character conflict with little to no dialogue, and the artistry of the short’s cinematic style.
For Spacious Sky
First time director Coy Middlebrook and a script by Kevin Allen Jackson bring a story based on the day of three brothers on Election Day in 2008. One brother is a distanced writer dealing with the struggle for homosexual equality in the country, another is a recovering drug addict, and both come together to bring their youngest brother to rehab. It’s a road trip movie in a sense of style, but the cinematography and the actors portraying how these brothers can overcome their issues for each other, the only people whose support truly matters in their lives. While some viewers may find it a bit heavy handed politically, For Spacious Sky is filled with inspiring proof, in a small example, of why the United States is a country for progress and a country for all people, even if if doesn’t seem the case in our day-to-day.
The Phone Call
The winner of the Best Short Film Award at Tribeca for 2014, The Phone Call wrapped up the ‘Handle With Care’ collection. It is written marvelously by Mat Kirby and James Lucas. It’s a simple presentation of a phone conversation, really, but that from the perspective of Sally Hawkins as a woman who works at a helpline call center. The elements in the dialogue and the visual cues are clever and simple. You know as you’re watching just how much this job takes out of her, but also that her mind is on the nice young man sitting a few desks behind her. The other end of the phone is played by Oscar Winner Jim Broadbent, who is never seen, but what you hear is heart breaking. Despite that it leaves you with a feeling of melancholy, it’s so well made that it’s hard not to walk away from feeling slightly uplifted.