Final Cut's latest offering on DVD is another fine garnering of some of the best shorts going, filmed, animated or even snapped with a stills camera and given a frantic screen life, as with Jo Barnes' Midst of Paradise. Don't be put off by the grotesque image from Cleanse that adorns the front cover. Just wait until you see the full story!
Ouch! A deep facial will never feel the same again...
All these films have pleased the patrons of Final Cut's monthly meetings, but it's fine that those of us who didn't make them can catch up on DVD like this. They are all good offerings, two dozen in all, but just to highlight a few personal favourites...
SWAT is an entertaining action short on the hazards of drug dealing from Mosato Resser, which might be in set Brooklyn, but Bermondsey doubles well for a well-mean city. It's atmospheric and tension-packed with a sweet double pun on the title at the wrap.
Samantha Moore's Animate takes a duplicitous but very human look at the diverse world of twin births. I really liked this animation, where the sound plays as big a role as the pictures do. It's like Samantha re-invented radio and gave us movies to go with it. Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Extra Holes is a pressured romp against the clock searching-after a heavy night - for a missing belt. Apart from the limited vocabulary of one character who seems to fuck a lot - nothing cheapens dialogue more than a surfeit of fucks, Rob Hackett's short does its job well. Watch out for the shattering consequences when the belt is found revealing one of the best facial admissions of guilt I have seen, without a word being uttered. Not even the "F" word, which remains as it should be in this scene, unspoken.
You'll need to see the film to find out why...
Disconnected from Jane MacGee, is the ultimate fridge magnet nightmare, but that is only the beginning of the surprises in this film where gravitas has been lost completely. It is very cleverly done, with a nicely judged screen performance from Carolyn Tomkinson. Eight out of ten on the chuckle-o-meter. It will come to mind every time the power company threatens to disconnect me.
For a bit of eerie tension try Orlando's Forest from Scott Walker, set in a high-def dreamscape with plenty to worry about in the shadows. The power of suggestion on screen comes up fleetingly, very early on in this film. But it works. Best viewed with the aid of a torch, from under the bedclothes.
Lou Trigg's Memories in Spaces packages a collection of stop-go animated experiences that make up the memories of a girls life, from the arrival of a happy prancing puppy dog to a dark and malevolently cloaked flasher and the nightmare wrestling with diet in the more angsty years. Beautifully observed and delivered,
It may be set in a doll's house, but it is a nicely matured piece of work. Memories are made of this.
David Andrew Ward's at times quite brutal exposé of Life In The Ring gives a revealing insight into the determination and total dedication of those who aspire to what is a most noble art, in order to account well for themselves in this the most challenging of arenas. Very slickly done.
Pat Garrett's Just One More Night delivers a well crafted performance from Nigel Osner as an aging entertainer, reflecting on a life less than glamorous, but one convincing enough to appear that way to his public. Osner also subtly scripted this performer's life, so it's doubly hard to separate art from life. Which imitates the other? Hard to tell, in this very enigmatic film performance. But that's the point isn't it?
Picked presents an intriguing moral lesson on crime when a super-cool dip is duped and finds himself trapped by his own misdeeds, the evidence hot in his hand. A good few lessons on pickpocketing to be had here. Try them out at home rather than in public or risk getting arrested for dipping yourself.
Manifesto from Ben Rollason is a pop video that takes us on a super-fast roller coaster election ride with Ruth Owen lead singer, with attitude, of Drink Me .
It's a spunky little short that stomps its way through every scene in well crafted sequences. The editor earned the money for this one, but Ruth Owen certainly gains my vote.
This is a rich 120 minute mix of screen entertainment with the power to tense you up, muse you along, threaten your insecurities and make you laugh. Two dozen choice cuts nicely authored to DVD by Rob Cannon. Love that menu - it's one I can manage to navigate around and see exactly where I've been and where I'm going. Can't wait for Final Cut Three coming to my door.
To obtain your copy, visit Final Cut website