Shorts Night: Push and Pull
- English subtitles
The Pluk film line-up is compiled with care, love, expertise, consensus, sincerity and a little bit of knowing our audience. That doesn’t only apply to the feature films, but definitely also to the short films, which are shown before the movie or on the Shorts Night in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
No, don’t worry, this year’s Shorts Night is not about the push-pull strategies of the marketing world. Pluk prefers to look beyond the market-based approach. Because let’s be honest: attracting and repelling, isn’t that what most of life is about?
This is made instantly clear when you turn them into adjectives – ‘attractive’ and ‘repulsive’. Attractiveness is the basis of all life on earth: there’s no reproduction without attraction. But precisely those people you find most attractive, can offer the harshest rejection. Such as the lesbian couple in the comedy short Partners, who constantly attract and repel each other during an argument.
Be honest: attracting and repelling, isn’t that what most of life is about?
Meanwhile, the repulsive is no less important to keeping a grip on life. When a son makes his dad a rather, well, repulsive proposition in A Reasonable Request, it serves to emphasize the usefulness of certain social taboos. And the fart in The Procedure speaks for itself.
But these forces influence more than love and lust. Take the attractive and repellent nature of digital life, each taken to their extreme in Hyper-Reality and I Follow You. And what urbanite doesn’t get weary of the hectic city life? Especially in the summer, when the heat (hopefully, for Pluk) hangs like a suffocating blanket over rooftops. Only when you get outside the city, at a distance, can you start to feel its attraction again, as a young couple from Istanbul discovers in the short film Cosmorama.
Joost Broeren (translation by Jacob van Niftrik)
A Reasonable Request
The absentee dad is a common character in cinema. We can probably thank child-of-divorce Steven Spielberg for that. This hilariously uncomfortable short asks how far one absentee dad must go to reconnect with his son.
“Officer Arnaud loves his mom.” That all that the official plot synopsis of Thunder Road offers, and that’s actually all we see in Thunder Road. But with that simple setup, creator Jim Cummings manages to create surprising depth in a single shot.
A listless summer day in Istanbul. A young couple escapes the city, to a small island looking out on the endless sea of concrete tower blocks. It leads to light-hearted contemplations on life in the big city, where decay goes hand in hand with reconstruction. That, and public fitness equipment.
I Follow You
Life in the modern age offers many platforms for your innermost thoughts. Pouring your heart out on Facebook is normal, and everyone hopes for loyal followers and readers. But what if you meet on of those followers face to face? Would you still be flattered that they (want to) know everything about you?
Good morning honey? Nothing good about it. That’s just how it is when you’re living together: if one partner gets up on the wrong side of the bed, the other is off to a bad start of the day as well. But arguing and intimacy can also go hand in hand. It gets confusing, Leigh and Kate agree.
“I’m exploring things I don’t know about. Sometimes that’s scary and sometimes that’s funny.” That’s how Calvin Lee Reeder explains his working method. Whether you’ll think The Procedure scary or funny, will depend greatly on your degree of empathy for the main character, who undergoes a mysterious procedure.
As loyal as a… scuba diver? Hugo Bumfeldt is given a pet. The catch: Hugo is an alien boy, and his new toy is a human, in a wetsuit. This makes Hugo’s carelessness in his care for his pet amusingly painful to watch.
Two children, on their own. A young brother and sister. No parents, no problem. After all, long and languorous summer days are for loafing about, having adventures and creating mischief. But at night you can hear a dog barking outside.
You shouldn’t suppress your gut feelings. They can take on a life of their own. Literally, in the case of this puppet animation. And then those repressed, puppety feelings might just start boozing and brawling.
Be honest now: who will be checking what Pokémon are hiding at the Pluk locations? Augmented Reality, that’s what that digital layer over real life is called. This short shows the logical and frightening end point of the technology.