A large number of youth gathered yesterday at the Amuse concept store for a night of experimental film by Future Shorts.
Future Shorts, the largest short film network globally, started a new initiative in November 2011 to set up quarterly film festivals worldwide. It offers pop up film festivals by allowing anyone anywhere in the world to obtain a license from them and hold a screening of their films.
The selection this year includes Oscar winner The God of Love by Luke Matheny, Bafta winner The Eagleman Stag by Michael Please, Sundance winner Deeper Than Yesterday by Ariel Kleinman, Berlinale winner Incident by a Bank by Ruben Ostlund, The External World by David O’Reilly, and Luminaris by Juan Pablo Zaramella.
In the Amuse screening yesterday, Incident by a Bank was not screened.
Some of the films are a good reminder to the Egyptian viewer of everything that is wrong with the Egyptian film industry, as well as its short film scene. Such an amount of creativity and imagination, as well as the playful use of images, can hardly be seen anywhere in Egypt’s “underground” film scene.
The most striking example was the Argentinean film Luminaris by Juan Pablo Zaramella, a magical surrealistic film inspired by the tango piece Lluvia de Estrellas.
Zaramella made the film after listening to the music piece a hundred times, while taking notes.
In interview with Future Shorts, Zaramella said that he makes films to create an alternative universe. He is very good at that. In Luminaris, he captures a world controlled by light and takes the viewer to an otherworldly and enchanting experience. The film won the Audience Award and FIPRESCI Award at Annecy 2011 and was shortlisted for an Oscar.
The External World by David O’Reilly also depicts an alternate universe, but a much more disturbing one. Audiences laughed throughout this short satire of popular culture. The film captures recurrent scenes, like one child who is learning how to play a piano piece and is hit on the head by his instructor every time he gets it wrong, a Japanese children's video game, and a girl crying.
Some more curious scenes included a creature who takes anti-depressive medication starts dancing. Afterwards the creature appears in another scene, getting into a bathtub where a girl has killed herself and showering and dancing. How the short mocks the "applause" elements in television shows was also hilarious.
The film resembles Waking Life by Richard Linklater in its dreamlike quality.
The Eagleman Stag, a stop-motion animated film, is interesting and well made, yet was difficult to understand in whole because of the heavy English accent. The piece captures the passage of time quite beautifully.
The film The God of Love is a light and funny film about a man who receives Cupid’s arrows that work for six hours. If the person struck by the arrow falls in love within the six hours, the effect will be long term.
After the Future Shorts screenings, the Egyptian film Ahmar Bahet (Pale Red), which won the award of best short film in the Alexandria Film Festival and the Kazan Film Festival in Russia, was also screened. The film — a very simple and genuine story — follows an adolescent girl as she enters adulthood.