Diario di bordo – Day 5

Tuesday 05 july – Day 05

“The old man fell asleep and dreamed of being a butterfly…or perhaps it was a butterfly who dreamed of being a sleeping, old man”

Angelo Branduardi, Italian singer.

The staging area is packed to the proverbial rafters with adults and children, a colourful mass that can’t not make you swell with pride, whilst we live the most important moments of the 17th edition of Shorts International Film Festival.

We kick things off with the English short Help Point: in a sunny airport car park, a young man and an equally young woman realise that they can’t remember where they parked their respective cars; his efforts to seduce her encounter some tricky obstacles, partly thanks to the scheming of those in control.

Ice and snow for an incident set in the mountains; very suggestive and icy like the natural setting in which it unfolds.

Aslak Danbolt’s Last Base follows an ambiguous path and the viewer must be alert at all times to catch the true connotations of the story.

We are then surprised in a flash by the two-minute long OTTO, but Salvatore Murgia and Dario Imbrogno. It’s almost a graphic exercise which stands out for its noteworthy use of Dolby Surround and the frenetic accumulation of visual information.

Andrea Zuliani’s Per Anna is much longer by contrast: through prudent and involved direction, we are taken into the aquarium-like world of a dumb boy.

The sensitivity of a small, sweet girl of the same age helps him communicate whilst life goes on all around him in a typical, southern Italian province, rites and traditions included.

Kevork Aslanyan’s Kak da nadebeleem zdravoslovno then transports us into a crazy world whose inhabitants float away in a joke about the laws of gravity, and where strange, weight-gaining diets exist.

A modern-day Hellzapoppin’ with an excellent narrative core.

We then meander towards introversions and realities oft-neglected in common conversation with Le Floc’h and Pinto Monteiro’s short Elena, in which a sequence of events less evanescent than one could reasonably stand unfolds in Belgium.

We can talk of a “gay” aesthetic, but in this case it is manipulated by animation. Laurent Boileau’s Lady of the Night is a wonderfully elegant piece of craftsmanship, much like a large portion of Saint Honoré.

Behind this elegant curtain of silk and velvet there are however also other human implications.

Anna Farré Añó’s Con la boca cerrada represents a return to plumbing the depths of the adolescent world. It is evidently about a subject very close to the directors heart, and again in this case the result is remarkable, especially considering the delicacy of the theme concerned.

Wrapped up in fluctuating scenography, the protagonists of Flora Molinie’s Carapace live the yin and yang of romantic passion; a rough path they can’t avoid taking.

As the elegant patrons of Teatro Verdi are leaving the theatre, enriching the colours of the scenery, the big screen shows The Smiling Man.

Directed by A.J. Briones, it represents a true leap into the grotesque ocean of horror, of the arrogant and violent kind favoured by Sam Raimi, with the young girl who plays the protagonist adding pathos with her neutral and infantile presence.

SWEETS4KIDS, which took place in the afternoon hours, was an unequivocal success. Cinema Ariston let our young public take the wheel of cinematographic language, and who knows how many of them will go on in the coming seasons to direct, write and make the small or large visual rhapsodies we all love so dearly.

François Truffaut once said that cinema touches us all indiscriminately, a sort of universal language that obliterates distances, making them equal for everyone, from Argentina to Siberia.

Next stop: Wednesday night.

Riccardo Visintin

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