- Film Guide
I am uniquely qualified to get you excited for today’s movie pick (welcome to day five, by the way). As a member of the short films committee since the MFF has existed, I’ve had a very small part in shaping the amazing programs we schedule each year to showcase the absurd variety of short films that we offer throughout the festival. From shorts for the youngest in your family to shorts for the weirdest in your family, we cover your bases year in and year out. And thanks to the dilligent work of shorts programmer Anna Sampers, only the very best in shorts even make it to the screening committee to be decided upon. From there only the best of the best* make it the programs proper, so I can assure you the quality control leading into this year’s Shorter Is Better programs is quite ludicrous. There’s little chance of you finding a dud in the whole bunch.
And stylistically, the Let’s Get Animated program is a particular treat. Allowing for the most diverse collection of styles in any of the Shorter is Better programs, you’ll be treated to a visual experience quite unlike any other in the fest. And while mainstream theater output would suggest that 95 percent of animation is computer generated, the visions on display in this program will finally put an end to our long national Shrekmare and show you a medium that has so much more to offer than adorable anthropomorphized woodland critters.
Included in the program is a new short from festival favorite Bill Plympton, whose style and acute sense of the macabre always deliver in spades each year. Then you have the incredible technique behind films like Abuelas and The Pub, combining live action with animation in startling ways that, for the former, tell a heart-wrenching story of a grandmother’s search, and with the latter showcase a surrealistic murky night at a North London pub. And there’s the brilliant Dripped, which delves into the constant yin/yang of consuming or creating art in a visually delightful way. And this just scratches the surface of what the program has to offer. This is a great opportunity to see emerging talent before they make it big, where big stars work for peanuts to help these filmmakers realize their unique visions. And since the days of newsreel/short subject/feature have more or less passed**, the opportunity to see shorts on the big screen are few and far between, so don’t let chance slip through your fingers. Every shorts program this year will be worth your time and money, guaranteed***, so be sure to make your way out to at least one before the festival is over. I know I will.
SHORTS: LET'S GET ANIMATED screens today (Monday), 6:45 PM at the Fox-Bay Cinema Grill. Advanced tickets are no longer available online, but may be purchased at any film festival box office location.
*Helpful hint: If your short is somehow based on Best of the Best, you’ve increased your likelihood of making into the festival twentyfold.
**Replaced by the car commercial/car commercial/Coca-cola commercial/ABC family TV show commercial/trailer/trailer/
***Be sure to check out the Date Night, Out of this World and Best Damn F*#@ing Midnight Program Ever. Sh*t. programs as well, they’re all amazing!
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Tom Fuchs is returning for a third year as our featured festival blogger, telling you all about our daily festival picks. Tom has been on our shorts programming committee for all four years of the Milwaukee Film Festival.