Silverdocs Shorts: "Out of Character" Friday, June 24 at 12 p.m. at AFI Silver 1; also on Saturday, June 25 at AFI Silver 3.

Irma
Directed by Charles Fairbanks

When she was a champion female wrestler, Irma Gonzalez moved fast in the ring. In footage from a 1988 match, she’s a blue leotard-clad banshee moving deftly and powerfully to ground her opponent, all while taking blow after blow herself. More than two decades later, Irma moves slowly, gingerly descending stairs so that she can go to the gym, where she continues to train. At 12 minutes, the film gives only a glimpse of a rare character whose humor and strength have evolved as her body has weakened. Irma says as much about the politics of gender as it does about the frailty of the body and the fierceness of the spirit. Like its subject, the film is short, sweet, and powerful.

Oil and Water
Directed by Gemma Atkinson and Fred Grace

Oil and Water is 10 minutes of unintelligible gibberish. It’s a monologue delivered by a man named Darren, who yammers on as he alternately paces around and works in an auto-body garage. But Darren’s got a severe Scottish accent and a job to do; though he’s meant to vocalize some sort of struggle, whatever that is barely surfaces above the harsh noises of sanders and drills he uses on the cars in his garage.

Two
Directed by Maya Newell

April is going to celebrate her second birthday for the 45th time today thanks to Julian, a man in a cluttered house filled with childish tchotkes and clutter. By the way, Julian is April. Maya Newell’s tightly framed glimpse of “being an adult baby” presents a fetish less about sexuality than nostalgia and an implied loss of relationships with parents. In his crib, Julian notes, “You’re never under threat in a nursery.”

 

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