Arts Desk

DC Shorts, Showcase 16: Vices as Devices

Victorita

The festival guide recommends DC Shorts' Showcase 16 for viewers over 18, but its surfeit of naked flesh feels incidental, not prurient. Yes, there is naughty action onscreen (the gay-porn documentary, however, is not the one that shows erect cocks), but the topic really worth discussing–stay with me here—is craft. The films about total strangers are the easiest to buy into, probably because the actors are unburdened with imagining the backstory of a relationship. The one about farting is a bit sadistic, so any thrill comes in watching the two leads work around the material. The jokey stuff, meanwhile, cannot hide its professional aspirations, and the two foreign-language entries are patently upscale, natch.

Victorita, Victorita (pictured above): Starts with a regular fuck and turns into a literary mindfuck, in a Skinemax-meets-Almodóvar kind of way.

Love in Our Time: If you're not immediately turned off by the idea of watching the morning-after chatter of two millennials, there's respectable chemistry here. Less exposition in the dialogue would've been nice, though.

Food Porn and By the Fireside with Larry: The Zimlet: Larry, the demented and mustachioed lead character in both, is funnier when he's not actually talking.

Flo: Documentaries about photographers should put a premium on cinematography. This one—about New York's Flo Fox—does not.

Gay 4 Pay: Key fact: If you're not gay, it's easier to convincingly do gay porn if you're a bottom.

Scent of a Woman: Lactose intolerance! Was this an advertising pitch that nobody wanted, but that somebody felt compelled to film anyway? I was disappointed by the sound design on some of the farts.

Come Clean: A convincing conversation between two English pill-popping partiers who end up naked in a tub.

Il Neige Sur Acapulco (Snow Over Acapulco): French people with too much cocaine: no more interesting than other people with too much cocaine. Perhaps that's the point.

Showcase 16 showtimes (see a complete schedule):

Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at E Street Cinema
Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. at Angelika Film Center

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