This week’s Shorts On Tap was filled with happiness and sunshine, children laughing and woodland creatures singing.
Ok not quite. There was a squirrel though. A close up of a very dead squirrel being mauled by a cat. Delightful. Suffice to say this week’s array of films was not filled with all the joys of spring, but all the dread and fear of the looming winter. The kind of films so dark you have to go home and watch 3 episodes of Will & Grace to recover.
Filippo and Michele, Emperors of the short film kingdom, were unable to attend their much loved event and so entrusted us, two scatty ladies, to run the show. “Are they mad?!” people cried. You’ve no idea, we thought. But their naive leap of faith gave birth to the wonderful Girls On Tap. All went off without a hitch. Films were watched, drinks were drunk, connections were made, good times were had and, contrary to what the name ‘Girls On Tap’ indicates, there was no soliciting. All in all another corker of a night (if we do say so ourselves…)
The first half was certainly darker than the second, opening with CRACK, a story based on a real addict that director Alessandro Carmeci had met, SQUIRREL which focused on sex trafficking, and the deeply disturbing SLEEP DEPRAVED where a new father considers murdering his young baby in order to get a good night’s kip. All cheery stuff, really.
The second half, while still dark, had more depth of emotions. INCOGNITO was a simple “tense conversation” short based on the coffee-meeting habit of two of the most famous Nazi war criminals, Adolf Eichmann and Joseph Mengele, in history, who would regularly meet for a cosy chit-chat in a bar in Argentina. It was this contrast of something so domestic and normal set against the reality that these were two of the most wanted men in the world, responsible for the death of millions of people, that made it a quietly chilling, excellent film to behold. The night ended with ONE BEHIND: a sad tale about a mother who loses her daughter in London Aquarium. Or does she? The real star of this film was the aesthetic and sound, played off against each other to dislocate reality pretty impressively. Each scene was timed to two minutes and matched with a piece of contrasting yet totally symbiotic music or sound. This intense juxtapositioning was incredibly effective and made for unnerving story telling.
Another fab evening for Shorts @ cafe 1001. If you missed this week’s NEVER FEAR, Shorts On Tap will be back on the 8th October with SEIZE THE NIGHT.
All photos by Daniele Roversi.