Tucked in a silent corner of Millers Road, the Alliance Francaise played the perfect host in its plush, green arena to a short film festival, organised by Shamiana. 8 short films from all over the world were chosen for this screening.
"Every city has a distinct pulse. Shamiana tries to identify this city specific verve and thematises its offerings accordingly", says Mr. Ronald Paul, host Bangalore Chapter. This session was themed around Comedy. He
adds, "short films is a vastly unexplored area. Because they are short and crisp, communication and entertainment through them is that much easier. We wish to make short films mainstream, in a social way."
The show began with some typically 9gag photographs that cleverly conversed with the audience, setting the bar high for the evening. What ensued was an hour long visual treat that kept the niche crowd entertained till the end, with only momentary transgressions.
The first offering was an Australian film, 'My greatest day ever', of 8 minutes duration. Raphael Harvey in an endearing performance as Scotty, has lost his lucky sock on the morning of his football grand finale. Does he conquer his nerves and superstitions for the advantage of his team? Scotty's on-field 'good-luck rituals' got the loudest guffaws of the evening.
'Parigot' was an animated film from France and by far the best pick, receiving plaudits from the audience. When last checked, the film had 1,38,228 views on YouTube. Parigot, meaning Parisian- of or relating to
Paris, is a movie on mortal struggle between a homeless tramp and a haute societe servant. Helped by a flock of pigeon, the hobo tries to lay his hands on an apetising gourmet dish. The Devil is in the details, they
say, as much of Paris udnfolds on screen with the servant battling a conflict that is not his.
Speaking about the Indian dominance in hair care products, Sanjeev Bhaskar retorts "What do you know? You think all we had in India was partition? Not true. We also had side-partition." Part of the same series that gave TV viewers such classic comedy is 'Da Vinci', a 6 minute short film by Goodness Gracious Me filmed for the BBC which also went viral on the internet. With Sanjeev Bhaskar's (of Kumars at No. 42 fame) witticism, this 'everything Indian' piece is one for the grins.
'Road Rage' and 'Guest appearance' were two films that fizzled amongst the effervescence of the others. The former was a hackneyed satire on traffic brawls. Its time to put the phrase 'think out of the box' back into the box and likewise, one can laugh over an overused joke only for so long. The latter displayed lever ingenuity in some parts. The wordplay with names like 'Atma Ram' was spot-on. But it lost the connect with the audience, somewhere 'in the act'.
Counting to infinity and back, twice, is easier than facing a job interview- 'The Interview' reinstated this opinion, as a rather engaging film. 'Hot and Fast' was a futuristic comedy. How Rajneesh S. Puri's desire to eat a pizza lands him an anger management program is a hysterical dig at the proposed 'multipurpose identity number' for all.
The last offering was a travesty on success books. Should everything that one reads in the umpteen 'How to be rich, famous and young' books available in the market be followed? What is the definitive formula of success? What was a very 'true-that' film, could have fared better with fewer pet peeves in the form of cliched screenplay. Like how the red duppatta after the plane crash spoiled it for Zubeida, the pages flying from a high rise was a bromidic trick. Though Dylan cautions against 'counterfeit philosophy', 'Ek Tha Mein' presents a very believable and honest lesson for life. "Christina continued searching...certain only of what she dint want"- thus ends Woody Allen's classic. The short film ends on a similar note.
True to the tag-line of the festival, best things do come in small packages.
Keywords: short films