Diario di bordo Day 02

What a passionate lot Europeans are! The football tournament represents a phenomenon that is difficult to escape from, and there’s no point in denying the adrenaline that brings everyone together as one.

Italy and Germany are the subjects of the night’s suspense, and so here we are relocated in Teatro Miela, where in any event we weren’t lacking for spectators.

The cinematographic dances opened with an Italian production, Giacomo Caceffo’s Pillole dal future, this year’s Premio Mattador representative and a telling example of how one can make a small rhapsody of images in a dialectic context.

We say that time is a rather eccentric variable which doesn’t fail to deeply impact the destinies of each and every one of us; all it takes is a fraction of a second offset from the rest and our existential house of cards folds in on itself.

This concept was entertainingly explored in Fran X. Rodríguez’s Ladrones de tiempo, which was both a lot of fun and very well structured.

The victim of an atrocious destiny brought upon her by her son, a woman in a supermarket finds nothing better than asking for a little affection from another customer who looks tragically similar to the son she has lost.

We are almost moved, but there is a sarcastic final surprise that follows in Iñaki Sánchez Arrieta’s El abrazo.

Present in the theatre is the young Canadian director Sam Luk who, in spite of his tender age, seems to already possess a flawless understanding of the infinite rivulets of the sentimental river. You Are My Present, which he both wrote and directed, is poetic and suggestive, constantly chasing emotions between the present, the past and the future.

We now take an about turn into a suburban military context thanks to the American director Moon Molson who, in his The Bravest, The Boldest, constructs a climate of constant existential tension by reflecting interpersonal relationships and the risky nature of destiny.

A film that truly wrong-foots you, albeit in a good way, is Jacob Frey’s animated short The Present, in which a PlayStation-obsessed, introverted teenager is gifted a three-legged puppy by his parents. The teen’s initial diffidence is transformed into pure affection, even in light of the disconcerting reality that’s staring him in the face; an original and poetic way of talking about diversity.

¿Señor o señorito? From the pair of Piernas and Ruiz turns the dogma of the job interviews we’re used to seeing and often even accepting on its head. Here it is the turn of the other half of humanity, that is to say the feminine half, to be the bosses, in what becomes a vortex of verbal tastes.

The vicissitudes of a young stutterer and his attempts to leave his mark on the outside world form the basis of a short that is anything but banal: Benjamin Cleary’s Stutterer. Coming from England, it stands out with an extraordinary acting effort from the protagonist.

Tropical greens and the almost shocking blues of an uncontaminated sea provide the backdrop for Nicolas Polixene’s Papé; it takes place in the Caribbean and is almost an archaic ritual about memory as a palpable entity which re-invokes the feelings of moments both eternal and ephemeral.

De Smet is a piquant allegory for family, even in its most dysfunctional form; obviously a lack of emotional links can have unexpected consequences. Laughter is guaranteed here.

Burning like an ice cube that’s found its way under your shirt, La Graine from young Belgian director, Barney Frydman, tells the story of two young hooligans who are seemingly irreconcilable with regards to their cruelty and disenchantment with the world. Their existence is, however, turned upside down by the innocence of a new-born baby.

After having had our fill of strong emotions, it was not displeasing to abandon ourselves to the sarcastic and irreverent images of Seron and Fortunat-Rossi’s L’Ours noir. Have you ever dreamed of abandoning everything for a redeeming bath in a natural paradise. Whether it’s in the Dolomites or the mountains of Pennsylvania, what’s important is not relying on one’s own touristic advice! Sincere hilarity for the public watching on, but note also the social significance of the short in question.

Whilst the city is still caught up in the “Night of Sales”, and exudes therefore a sense of glamour, we taste the wind which greets us upon leaving the Teatro Miela, and we provide you with the next date for your diaries: the evening of Sunday July 3rd will see the continuation of the initiatives provided by the 2016 ShorTS International Film Festival.

Riccardo Visintin

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