NHFF Saturday Short Block 6 Showcases Artistic Excellence
The sixth collection of short films that played Saturday afternoon at 3S Artspace invited the audience to ponder the nature of relationships, while showcasing exquisite and imaginative camera work.
And the Moon Stands Still, directed by Yulia Ruditskaya, explored the power of minimal colors and mythical storytelling. Based on a short story by Alexei Tolstoy, this animated short reimagines the cycle of the Moon as a battle of good and evil forces.
Find And the Moon Stands Still on Facebook.
Lance Edmands’s Strays traces a woman’s (Sarah Tihany) emotional journey in the wake of discovering she is pregnant. The news prompts her to travel upstate to take care of her grandmother’s house. There, she finds that the house, abandoned for more than three years, is now home to someone else. Strays examines the question of how far we are willing to go to take care of someone.
Following these two shorts was an explosion of poetry and colors in Möbius. Written and directed by Sam Kuhn and starring multi-talented Caley Jones, the film tells the story of passionate love and a mesmerizing rite of passage. Möbius is a must-see on big screen. It drowns the viewers in shades of blue and purple so intense they appear characters of their own.
You and Me and Her and Them is a tale of romantic love in the age of online dating. Following an invitation from a girl he just met on Tinder, Jake (Tim O’Connor) shows up at a Halloween party where he receives a lukewarm welcome. Determined to make the night conform to their expectations, Jake and his date Hannah (Lucy Kaminsky) become entangled in a series of awkward exchanges. Meanwhile, Jake’s true love may be closer than he thinks.
Black comedy Don’t Think About It wrapped up this collection of shorts. A story of inept couple who must come to terms with expecting a child, the film probes a failing relationship for sources of depression, explosive fights, and fatal decisions that can’t be reversed. Don’t Think About It was written and directed by Niv Klainer, and stars Matt Langer and Alaska McFadden.
After the screening, Jon Branden (You and Me and Her and Them), Lance Edmands, and Sarah Tihany (Strays) held a Q&A session. The viewers showed interest in the practicalities of shooting a short film.
One of the questions was about obtaining buildings that lent a unique atmosphere to these two shorts. Online classified ads turned out to be the key. Edmands revealed that he found an old, falling apart property on Craigslist; Branden added that he came upon one of his locations – a spacious NYC loft – on Airbnb.
Audiences were also curious about the amount of improvisation in the films. Edmands and Tihany, who co-wrote the screenplay for Strays, said they had the script but let the story play out. One day they saw a colorful character on the side of the street and ended up writing a small role for him. Branden, who likes to rehearse with the actors a lot beforehand, said his film is 85% original script, but he encourages actors to improvise “if it’s funny or works for the character.”
By Evgeniya Dame