As part of the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2018
The Glasgow Short Film Festival has curated a programme of short films where the major theme is violence. The programme features work from local Scottish directors and also short films from further afield. Tonight there are seven shorts in total and each has its own distinctive look at the subject matter.
The first film in the selection is Great Choice! This comedy is presented as a television commercial for the restaurant Red Lobster. The commercial loops over and over and with each repeat viewing, things start to become skewed and twisted and we realise a women who stars in the video is stuck in the horror of having to live the events over and over again.
Pigeon Man is a short film around two minutes in length which tells the story of the rise and tragic fall of a businessman. It is beautifully shot in black and white and the voiceover does the bulk of the storytelling. Martin Cries takes the viewer into the game Grand Theft Auto, as we view an angry young man running around a city and causing mayhem as he looks for his friends. The film uses the elaborate cityscapes and characters from the game to create an anxious, comedic and entertaining short film. Nothing to Declare is a short animated film that brings together a range of local talent. The short is written by comic book artist Frank Quitely and directed by award-winning animator Will Adams. It tells the story of a man who returns home for Christmas after travelling abroad. It combines tension, body horror and family tragedy in a taut, brooding and menacing style.
Mouse is also a tense film where two drug addicts find a dead mouse in a can of beans. They devise a way to exploit the discovery in a gross and vomit-inducing method. This is not so much a film that looks at violence, but definitely one that challenges the audience to keep their eyes on the screen whilst the drama unfolds. Blockhead follows a man who is on holiday and has a craving for free hotel ice despite his sensitive teeth. As with Pigeon Man, the story is told through a voiceover, but the eerie location of an almost empty American hotel adds to the pensive horror and implied violence that is depicted onscreen.
The programme finishes with Our Old Man (and the Sea). This grand and elaborate short follows two men who attempt to murder a dolphin that they believe has the soul of their dead father. The film appears to have the budget and ambition of a feature film and the ambiguous ending suggests that this may indeed be a pitch or a taster for a larger story.