Short Cuts Programme 3 is a glimpse into a collection of interpersonal relationships, including those with oneself, in several memory driven pieces. We journey through nostalgic imagery of a coastal town, to a remote Nepalese village, to a women’s prison, to an artist’s room filled with models of past lovers. We pause long enough in each world to observe, then are whisked away again before we necessarily conclude. This program includes some fine technical achievements, even if the trade off is story content sometimes. Highlights include Whispering Breeze, Sandy Beach, Next, Second to None, and Late Night Drama.
Whispering Breeze – 10 minutes
Juxtaposed against the sounds of water and youth, we hear a woman describe her memories of growing up in a coastal town. Flowery words give insight into her relationships with the past and ambivalence in these memories of her childhood surroundings. Whether audiences fully comprehend or not, director Jonathan Tremblay weaves a dreamy atmosphere swirled in mists of salt water.
Sandy Beach – 12 minutes
Sandy Beach is the setting in which a dutiful daughter brings her elderly father, with familial obligation written all over her face instead of enjoyment. The woman is portrayed by Theano Vassiliou, who carries the film with little dialogue, relying on facial expression alone, right down to a nuanced twitch in the final moments of the film.
Next – 6 minutes
A beautiful single sweeping shot takes us through a young woman’s world of lovers made into art as we move through her room, filled with sketches and models of Tinder lovers, and indeed the latest still sleeps nude in her bed. Next features artfully crafted camera composition and fluid movement that weaves in and around the main character in a wholly unobtrusive way. Its cinematography is a fine achievement.
Second to None – 7 minutes
The highlight of Short Cuts Programme 3 is Second to None, a skillfully made stop motion black comedy about the world’s second oldest man who still vies to be first. This is century-old sibling rivalry at its best, though the story’s been told many times over, this reiteration is laugh out loud funny and an absolute delight.
Late Night Drama – 8 minutes
Unanswered phone calls, a confrontation in a nightclub, heated tempers and an eventual blow up. Late Night Drama is aptly named as we catch a glimpse of a heated moment between a young French Canadian couple. While it certainly explodes on the screen, Late Night Drama‘s greatest achievement is its accomplished lighting design and photography of a nightclub environment.
Also featured in Short Cuts Programme 3 is Semiliberi, about an introverted inmate at a women’s prison who discovers a cellmate’s plans that may also be the ticket to escape from her own loneliness; Dadyaa, which focuses on an elderly couple in a remote and deserted Nepalese village; and A Funeral for Lightning, in which a young pregnant mother starts to see through her husbands promises as she’s stuck living off-the-grid in a remote part of Tennessee.