submissions are just as competitive for short films as they are for features,
but shorts always get the short end of the stick from the press (if that).
Nonetheless, it is great thrill to be selected by a prestigious short film
festival. Although it cannot remotely compare to the suffering of the victims
killed and injured by rampaging Islamist terrorists in Paris, selected filmmakers
must be disappointed screenings at the 2015 Festival du Film Court de Villeurbanne were understandably suspended this weekend, in accordance with the
decree of national mourning.
one of the films that would have screened today somehow manages to make the
North Korean capital of Pyongyang look even more surreal. The Kim Dynasty
personality cult produces the strangest form of denial in Romanian-born Mihai
Grecu’s The Reflection of Power (trailer here), which will hopefully
still screen this Wednesday (11/18) in Villeurbanne.
streets of Pyongyang are empty, because nearly everyone is attending the
mandated propaganda pageant. That much is not unusual, but on this day, the
city of imposing architecture and kitschy monuments is flooding. Water is
rising to Biblical levels, but the assembly carries on. Those performing
support functions ignore the water at their ankles. If the Feared Leader has
not acknowledged the flood, neither will they.
Reflection is an eye-popper. This is
one of the few shorts films that is worthy of IMAX treatment. Grecu and his
effects team do incredible work first recreating the notoriously isolated city
and then convincingly deluging it.
how we should take the steady flooding is open to interpretation, but it is
hard to imagine Reflection getting a
command invitation from the Kim regime anytime soon. The images of a city ignoring
its peril may not be perfectly suited for French audiences right now, but its
artistry is impressive and its implied criticism of ideological extremism still
might find receptive audiences. Of course, the fact it is not screening today
is a fractional part of an enormous human tragedy.
Everything scheduled at the Villeurbanne
festival deserves the chance to be seen and the Eagles of Death Metal deserve
the chance to be heard. Some say this is a wake-up call, but those who slept
through September 11th, Mumbai 2008, and the Charlie Hebdoo attacks are
not likely to wake up the reality of terrorism now. Regardless, we offer our sympathy
to the people of Paris and hope our respective leaders learn from these
Labels: Festival du Film Court de Villearbanne, North Korea, Short Films