Shorts Night: Growing Pains
- English subtitles
For fifteen years it’s been a staple in Pluk’s programme: the Shorts Night. These are often the most playful and adventurous nights of the festival, and this year will be no different with this selection of short films all about the misery of being young.
When it comes to short films, we quickly resort to youthful metaphors. Some shorts can be seen as the embryonic stage of a feature film. Many directors call making a short film a playground, versus the “grown-up” features with their rules and guidelines.
Pluk honours those metaphors this year with a feature-length programme of short films about childhood. En that isn’t always a cakewalk, as we all know too well. There are harsh lessons to be learnt on the road to adulthood.
Take for instance the boy born with deer’s antlers in Katarzyna Gondeks enigmatic Deer Boy. It’s “a film – in which – we will say – nothing”, as the Polish director states in an equally enigmatic introduction to the film. Another elusive quote: “It will be a little bit creepy. But also a little bit pretty.”
That combination appears in several more places. It also applies to the fate of the two boys in the Canadian Fauve. It starts off pleasantly rambunctious: they horse around and call each other names, in that wonderful Quebecois twang that has pleased ears so many times before at Pluk. But then a puddle of quicksand creates a dark turn – as it has done so many times before in movie history.
LA-born Christopher Winterbauer clearly knows his way around the annals of cinema as well, as seen in his brightly-coloured Wyrm. The prepubescent title character has two days left to score his first kiss, or he’ll have to repeat his grade in this alternate reality where your sexual progress is monitored as closely as your academic achievements. As Winterbauer states in his introduction: “It’s a story about falling behind, about kissing and fingering, about feeling sexual but not being sexual, about falling in love and awkwardness.” A story, then, about being young.
Would You Look at Her
High-schooler Aneta tries to survive in, and even conquer over the macho culture of her native Macedonia.
Tangles and Knots
When you see them together, blonde mother Michelle and daughter Laura look more like best friends: they play with each other’s hair and lounge around the pool. But when Laura’s teenage friends join them for a party, and mother catches the boys’ eye, the idyll starts showing tears.
Manivald is in his thirties, and a fox. Despite his many academic achievements, he still lives at home with his mother. Their situation comes under stress when mother and son both fall for handyman Toomas, a wolf with a pronounced sixpack.
The prepubescent title character has two days left to fulfill his “level 1 sexuality requirement” – kissing. Otherwise he’ll be held back in the alternate reality of Wyrm, where your sexual progress is monitored as closely as your academic achievements.
Teeny is at the right age to be one of those eternally coffee-sipping yoga mommies. But she still hasn’t gotten beyond babysitting in this breezy look at modern motherhood.
Teeny heeft eigenlijk best al de leeftijd om zelf zo’n liters hippe koffie lurkende yogamama te zijn. Maar in plaats daarvan heeft ze het nog steeds niet verder geschopt dan babysitten in deze luchtige blik op modern moederschap.
Trigger warning: anyone with an aversion to crying babies might want to skip this short animation. On the other hand: it’s only a minute long, and to make for it you’ll see – as so often around babies as well as in animator Sawako Kabuki’s work – a beautiful naked woman.
What goes on behind the unappealingly lit windows of an Asian nail and massage parlour? This light, vibrant and melancholy animated short will tell you.
A boy being born with deer’s antlers is the basis of this enigmatic short. Like the Polish director puts it herself in an equally elusive online introduction to the film: “It will be a little bit creepy. But also a little bit pretty.”
It starts off merrily rambunctious with the two boys in this short. They horse around near an abandoned sand pit and call each other names, in that wonderful Quebecois twang that has pleased ears so many times before at Pluk. But then a puddle of quicksand creates a dark turn.