Shortcake #5 – “Sprung” and “Watch your mouth”

Yes, that’s right. More Tropfest goodies straight from sunny (wait, what?) New Zealand. After discovering “Sounds Perfect” completely by accident, I figured it would be unwise of me if I did not get a peek at other entrants in the Hobbiton edition of Tropfest. And so I have…

Quite frankly, I was a bit baffled by the jury’s decision to award the Grand Prix to “Cappucino Tango”, which I think was a good piece, but not good enough for me. I’m sorry but it looked like a homework assignment in ‘Film making 101’ class. Nevertheless, most of the shorts that got shortlisted for the finals were shot very professionally and stood their ground in terms of production value. In my view, however, there were one or two front runners that stood out above the crowd.

Because, you see, short form has its obvious limitations, so the idea, story and the resultant art needs to circumvent them and escape the confinement. So, trying to pack as much dialogue and content into a 7-minute-long form is not necessarily the way to go. Of course, Tarantino would probably prove me wrong here, but still I believe that a good short needs to have a spark of sorts. Otherwise, it might just come across as a pretentious attempt to make a mini-movie with everything in it. Whenever you order appetizers at a restaurant do you expect to get a mini steak with a miniature portion of chips and a salad on the side? Well, I sure don’t.

Therefore, I have to say that “Sprung” by Grant Lahood ended up being one of my personal favorites  It’s well-paced, shot and cut beautifully and is simply funny – in a good way. What is it about? Let’s say that “Sprung” is about how physics ruins our hopes and dreams. I can’t really say much more than that – you just need to watch it for yourselves. It’s a bite-size mini doughnut filled with deliciousness.

The other short that caught my attention was “Watch your mouth” by Cristobal Araus Lobos. It is directed and edited very decisively, so that the dialogues don’t scream ‘amateur’. The story holds its ground and it doesn’t attempt to have a moral at all cost. “Watch your mouth” is a witty play at the concept of whether tooth fairies, Santa and other childhood make-believe demigods have a place among us and strikes the fine balance between the content, dialogue and the message, all packaged very neatly.

All in all, both “Sprung” and “Watch your mouth” are very good and deserve some recognition. Still, if I had been responsible for who gets the awards, hands down “Sounds Perfect” would have been my first choice.

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