Arts Desk

DC Shorts, Showcase 9: They Don’t Know It’s a Dildo!

VoiceOver

This is a strong collection with only one outright stinker—although some might still find the "Hey, I’m twatting!" humor of Social Media Anonymous appealing. They are also the same types unlikely to go to a shorts festival and would rather wait for the film to appear as a .wmv file in Outlook Express.

Hibernation: Well-done retro-futuristic sci-fi about an astronaut who is wrestling with emotions before he’s put into hibernation for a deep-space mission. They shove a lot of melodrama into 16 minutes, and the music can be overwrought, but the overall result is exceptional.

Voice Over (pictured above): This French-language flick starts like a Twilight Zone episode, with a narrator taking the same character through three scenarios—lost on a distant planet, in the middle of a war, and stuck under water—where he has only minutes to reach a location before he dies. But it turns out they were all just metaphors for a boy contemplating his first kiss. Mon dieu.

Wishful Thinking: Five dudes find a magic lantern and contemplate their three wishes. But when the genie appears dead, the wishes start to fly. The Hangover in five minutes? Fun and silly.

The Op Shop: Three elderly thrift-shop clerks in the U.K. receive a strange donation that has them all confused as to what it might be. What follows is several minutes of “They don’t know it’s a dildo!” humor followed by “They totally know it’s a dildo!” winks.

Great Adventures: A touching story about a fully engaged grandfather who spent every Sunday afternoon with his grandson playing make-believe heroes and villains. Then he passes away. Simple and effective.

Social Media Anonymous: A support group meets to discuss their social-media addiction. What follows is an endless string of hacky japes about hashtags, memes, and “He’s a man and uses Pinterest!” groaners. YOLO, so don’t watch this.

Visions of My Mother: This documentary is about a man named Pinchas who cooks a fish dish that his mother made—before she and her husband were led to a concentration camp in Poland. Eat up?

Springtime: Sweet film about an old woman who decides she hasn’t had a chance for renewal—her own spring—since her husband died, so she moves from the countryside to Taipei to find work. It turns out to be harder than she expected, but when she decides to return to the rural she’s not disappointed because "summertime is almost here."

Not reviewed from this showcase: Convoy (no advance screener available)

Showtimes for Showcase 9 (see a complete schedule)

Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Angelika Film Center
Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at Angelika Film Center

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