I've just got back from York. Was there from Friday for ASFF (Aesthetica Short Film Festival) and returned to Leeds on Monday morning.
List of films I watched:
1/ Gnome by Sacha Goedegebure
2/ No Place Like Home by Cat Bruce
3/ To Build a Fire by Fx Goby
4/ Bound by Dann Parry
5/ Riflesso by Alice Guzzo& Mateusz Borkowski
6/ Puzzle by Stav Levi
7/ Hobart by Hajnalka Harsanyi
8/ Seven Seven by Georgina Ferguson& Eduarda Lima
9/ Apocalypse Rhyme by Oliver Harrison
10/ Dave by Garry J. Marshall& Chris Watson
11/ Trial& Error by Antje Heyn
12/ About Death by Eunjae Lee
13/ Oh, Morris by Lewis Kyle
14/ Truck by Rob Curry
15/ The Sticks by Jamie Delaney& Russell Davidson
16/ Panic by James Cookson
17/ Insomnolence by Keifer Findlow
18/ Lock In by Neville Pierce
19/ Cork Man by Dawn Han
20/ Severed Garden by Goncalo Almeida
21/ Listen to Me by Rob Ayling
22/ Eat by Carl Shanahan
23/ Smile by Carolina Giammetta
24/ The Understudy by Morgane Polanski
25/ Prey by Sunny King
26/ The Kindness of Strangers by Alkin Emirali
27/ Cerberus by Remy Bazerque
28/ O- the Movie by Frank Aron Gårdsø
29/ Black Woods at Sundown by Tom Oliver
30/ Béatrice by Christophe Previte
31/ Fumes by Tom Werber
32/ The Ditch by Sheena Holliday
34/ Mark Gets Coffee by Richard Starkey
35/ Aquabike by Jean-Baptiste Saurel
36/ The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret by Rachel Genn
37/ City Lights by Ed Wiles
38/ Shabes Morgen by Or Dotan
39/ Headless- The Ed Shades Story by Youself Thami
40/ More Than God by Kev Cahill
41/ One-Minute Time Machine by Devon Avery
42/ Check Please by Daniel Sorochkin
43/ Cropped by Chris Thomas
44/ Lovequake by Stephen Glass
45/ Madam Black by Ivan Barge
46/ Big Boy by Bryan Campbell
47/ Paco by Catalina Jordan Alvarez
48/ The Final Scene by Mark Pressdee
49/ Rhonna& Donna by Daina O. Pusic
50/ Fangirl by Kate Herron
51/ Little Big House by Cat Jones
Seen on vimeo, not at the festival:
52/ Drawcard by Antonio Orena
53/ The Great Moon Hoax by Alex Simon Klug& Daniel Pitts
54/ Fragments of May by Maria Pia Fanigliulo
55/ Aymara by Michele Benigna
56/ Moth Vitals by Nancy Wyllie
57/ Emma, Change the Locks by Julia Hart
58/ Haldernblou- Triptich by Laurent Scheid
59/ Kaltes Tal by Florian Fischer& Johannes Krell
60/ Two Signs' Den: Epilogue by Bruno Decc
61/ Made of Sugar by Kevin Rios
62/ Ravages by Alan Lake
63/ The Museum of Departures by Gautamn Valluri
64/ The Tide by Richard Rudy
65/ Midnight of My Life by Phil Davis
66/ Senses by Zanyar Adami
67/ The Mausoleum by Lauri Randla
68/ Run by Elad Tzadok
69/ Jacked by Rene Pannevis
SPECIAL SCREENING: FILMS THAT WON LAST YEAR:
70/ Pinch Me- For Ted Baker by Crowns& Owls
71/ A Confession by Petros Silvestros
72/ Billy the Kid by Sam Johnson
73/ Across Still Water by Ruth Grimberg
74/ Drifters by Anu Valia
75/ How I Didn't Become a Piano Player by Tommaso Pitta
And other films that won last year and were shown again at ASFF now but I saw before the film festival:
76/ Stutterer by Benjamin Cleary
77/ We Were Evergreen: Daughters by Dominique Rocher
In short, in York I watched 74 short films in total, not counting the one seen on vimeo, and, excluding the films that won last year, I watched 69 out of the 400 films at the film festival. Also went to 2 masterclasses.
Some of the films are in the wrong category, like Oh, Morris is more like comedy than thriller- perhaps it was meant to be a thriller but distorted during filming and turned into comedy by the main actor, the same way Johnny Depp alone made The Tourist a comedy.
Some to me feel incomplete, like To Build a Fire or Lovequake. Some don't seem to go anywhere, such as Eat, The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, Seven Seven, Big Boy; or can frankly be pointless, like Paco; whilst the experimental films don't speak to me at all.
Some of the films are well done, and might touch some people, but in my opinion are quite unoriginal or simply unremarkable and forgettable: Panic, Lock In, Prey, Listen to Me, Béatrice; whereas Senses has trace of Ingmar Bergman, especially Autumn Sonata, all over it. But it's hard to say. City Lights isn't original; the idea and plot might be said to be banal, the outcome is predictable and even the twist is a bit conventional, but somehow it's OK because it's 1 of those films that are just cute, like Stutterer. Madam Black and Rhonna& Donna are also cute.
The Sticks has a good turn of events- though, if you think carefully and dig more into your memory, the twist is not really original, it's so effective that that is forgiven. O- The Movie starts from a very simple idea and works around it- it works well because of suspense and intrigue. The same goes for Check Please, though it's a different kind of suspense.
The Mausoleum is amusing and sharp in its absurdity, and mockery of the USSR.
Mark Gets Coffee and More Than God are funny- I have no more to say, that word alone would suffice.
Above all, I like short films that stand out. Puzzle is clever. Trial& Error is an intelligent film that is fascinating in its spontaneity and randomness, starting from a very simple idea- a man loses a button on his jacket and thinks outside the box by using other stuff around his house to keep the 2 parts together, replacing the button. Cerberus is a circle. One-Minute Time Machine plays around with the concept of a time machine that allows you to go back 1 minute, and the idea that each time pushing the button is killing a copy of yourself in a parallel universe, in a flirting scene. But the film I voted for is Aquabike, because of its humour, its illogicality, its absurdity, its originality, and its irreverence for reality or logic or boundaries or anything whatsoever.
It's a pity that none of the films I like got any award in the end.
(From last year's winners, my favourites are Billy the Kid and How I Didn't Become a Piano Player- those 2 shorts are worth hunting down).