Skip to main content

Worldwide Short Film Festival - Preview #5

Worldwide Short Film Festival Preview #5
Comedy Without Borders

The Fest runs June 1 - 6 and you can check out full details here.

A funny crop of shorts with everything from social commentary to romantic comedy.

Customer Support (Brukerstøtte)
André Øvredal Norway (2009)
5 minutes DigiBeta Fiction - North American Premiere

It's a bit deadpan in the effect, but a cute idea in a blow by blow help desk kind of support for a woman attempting to open a door.

Dinner Date

Tom Antos Canada (2009)
4 minutes DigiBeta Fiction - World Premiere

It doesn't cover any new ground conceptually, but it's a clever look at two dates - and four points of view.

Instead of Abracadabra (Istället för Abrakadabra)
Patrik Eklund Sweden (2008)
22 minutes 35mm Fiction - Toronto Premiere

An inept magician practices for his parents and languishes in their house until he meets the beautiful blonde next door and wows them all with his magical prowess at his father's birthday - or does he? It's a nicely observed comedy, with some great moments with the long suffering parents.

Drunk History: Douglass & Lincoln (Laughter Without Borders)
Jeremy Konner USA (2009)
6 minutes Beta Documentary - Canadian Premiere

Is is politically incorrect to laugh at drunk people these days? If so, you'll have trouble with your chortling at this very funny "documentary" where one Jen Kirkman, having drunk two bottles of wine, relates the story of Frederick Douglass, a black man, and Lincoln. Her exact words are acted out by Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle, with Cheadle saying lines like ", if there's prisoners of war, don't fucking kill them..." The actors sometimes react to her odd choice of words - it's hilarious.

Homeland Security
Isaac Cravit Canada (2009)
8 minutes Beta Fiction

A border guard takes out his growing marital frustration and jealousy on a group of women looking to go on a bachlorette dirty weekend to NYC - only to find his worst fears realized. A clever plot and nicely twisted sense of humour.

Dock Ellis & the LSD No-No
James Blagden USA (2009)
5 minutes DigiBeta Animation

This drawn animated short tells the (apparently) true story, as narrated by Dock Ellis himself, of a historic no hitter he pitched as a Pittsburgh Pirate on June 12,1970 - while high as a kite on LSD.

SEX! With Hot Robots (Laughter Without Borders)
Jay Dahl Canada 2010
11 minutes DigiBeta Fiction - World Premiere

The one note joke really does go on too long in this story about the robotic revolution that starts with sexy housekeeping robots. It would've been much funnier at half as long.
False Start (Faux départ)
Sébastien Trahan Canada (2010)
7 minutes DigiBeta Fiction - Toronto Premiere

Thanks to a small portable time machine, a man gets to rehearse his break up with  his girlfriend over and over until he gets it just right - only to find that he really doesn't have all the cards in his hands after all. Clever scriptwriting.

Drunk History: Tesla & Edison
Jeremy Konner USA (2009)
6 minutes Beta Documentary - Canadian Premiere

Another episode in this very funny concept series, with Duncan Trussell after six beers and half a bottle of absinthe relating the story of the rivalry between Thomas Edison (played by Crispin Glover), proponent of the DC or direct current, and Nicholas Tesla (played by John C. Reilly) who was a proponent of the AC or alternating current - often called the War of the Currents. The unfortunate Duncan almost doesn't make it through this one, which includes a scene narrated near the white porcelain bowl.

Seeds of The Fall (Slitage)
Patrik Eklund Sweden (2009)
18 minutes 35mm Fiction - Toronto Premiere

Only Scandinavians, I think, could make a comedy about destructive accidents, death and paraplegics and make it work in a dry and laidback kind of way. It begins and ends with an older couple in bed, including a steamroller crash through the house, marital tensions, guest insemination and a great middle-aged marital sex scene along the way.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Review: Night of the Kings / La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte

Night of the Kings
La Nuit des Rois
by Philippe LacôteA France, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada and Senegal co-productionNow Playing In The New York Film FestivalImageAfter Venice and the Toronto Film Festival, Philippe Lacôte's Night of the Kings has moved on to conquer New York City. A young pickpocket (Koné Bakary), is incarcerated in the giant La MACA prison, the largest in Côte d’Ivoire. The prison offers a hostile atmosphere, where the guards have long given up keeping order and the prisoners run the show, albeit confined within the prison walls. They dance, sing, and mingle at will in a common area called The Jungle. There is a violent power struggle between Lord Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu), who runs things, and the younger leaders of other factions. Blackbeard is old and infirm, and he knows he can't hold on forever. But, he does want to hold on long enough to leave on his own terms. Blackbeard designates the newcomer as the new storyteller - the griot - called Roma…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…