"In Dome!" As they like to say here from time to time.
Yet again I was trying to remember that Sapporo Short Film Festival was on its way, but utterly forgot about it 'til the whole thing had started. Ah well, I'm kinda sick and exhausted and so-on this year, so I might have to settle for the one selection I saw last night. It was a pretty strong one, and unlike previous years there was nothing that made me think - God I wish this guy hadn't decided to make a short film, but since he did, couldn't he have made it a little... shorter?
But that dome! Yeah, check it out:
This year's main program is going on in that white geodesic business there in front of the TV tower. I was, let's say sceptical. A big, big part of my enjoyment of going out to watch a movie is the actual ambience of a cinema building, and I've gotta say while the dome setting certainly didn't suck... it wasn't as good as previous years which were mostly in the TOHO Plaza in Tanuki Koji. Then again, how often do you get to watch movies in a screen that has actual trees growing inside?
The sound was great, and though the picture wasn't from time to time, some of that might be down to the problems with film quality that I assume comes along with some of the submissions they recieve. I really don't know what made them use the dome, perhaps they couldn't use the TOHO Plaza and this was their best option (I'm pretty sure it's the same thing they use for the Jazz Festival). So, I don't want to be too harsh, but... I was kinda looking forward to being in a cinema. That's just me being pouty though. It wasn't too cold, or too uncomfortable or anything, and the selection of six films, while being bookended by pieces I didn't much care for, was really pretty strong.
I would guess that when you set about making a short film, a short, comedy thing with an obvious punchline would probably be the most reliably... pull off-able. And certainly the most crowd pleasing. So I feel a little guilty that I thought the two best films in the selection I saw were the two short, sweet, comedy ones.
That was 'Born and Raised' directed by Eelko Ferwerda, which was great, probably especially for music makers, and the other was 'True Beauty This Night', directed by Peter Besson:
Two trailers there of course because, since they're short flicks putting them on youtube, while tempting, would be like... Well actually I don't know what it would be like. The world of short films is a fascinating enigma to me. I presume none of the festival fare kinda movies end up on the big video sites like youtube because the directors don't want to give their work away entirely for free, and thus cheapen it or whatever. Plus there is a trade for short movies that... I mean I have no idea about that either though, but there's a short film market going on to coincide with the festival, so I guess people are buying and selling them, but I have no clue where they end up. It doesn't seem to me that there are vast, unwashed mobs clamouring for the latest 5 minute Norwegian thought-provoker, and yet put one of these movies on youtube and it would reach a far, far (far) greater audience. But then, it would just feel like a five minute diversion and not... a 'film'. I really can't be bothered to think my way out of this little intersection of ideas, but I'm almost curious enough to do some research and find out what the short film world thinks about their future.
I have spent even longer ruminating on video art, believe me, and I'm pretty sure I'm never gonna make any.
Anyway! Sapporo Short Fest! Fun again, I wish I had the time and health to see more. But the Norwegian '2023' wasn't very good.