Currently we’re in the final day of the We Are One Film Festival, a free ten-day online festival that’s running exclusively on YouTube. The festival started on the 29th May and currently has a load of features, shorts and Q&A’s for people to watch that is co-curated by over twenty film festivals (including BFI London Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival as examples) and even if you miss the premiere screenings, they’re more likely gone now (especially the majority I’ve reviewed so far) but plenty still remain on the page during the festival’s run as they continue to raise funds that will benefit COVID-19 relief funds. So I’ve spent time watching a few of the short films that’s available at the moment and put my reviews for them below.
DIRECTED BY: Sofìa Carrillo
STARRING: Diana Bracho
Cerulia pays one final visit to her childhood home, but her memories may have other plans for her.
Cerulia is written and directed by Sofìa Carrillo and is a stop-motion animation short that focuses on the title character returning to her childhood home in order to say goodbye to it but as she does, her memories begin to haunt her. I haven’t seen any of Carrillo’s previous work but after seeing this, I’ll definitely have to check it out as I really liked this unusual, creepy, gothic short which has some terrific use of stop-animation, and the use of lighting and how she frames particular shots are beautifully handed that I can’t fault this at all from a technical standpoint. I figured that the story was about how childhood memories are difficult to leave behind, but the credits make me think I may have been reading the short all wrong.
Creepily effective short from Sofìa Carrillo and now I must seek out her other work.
DIRECTED BY: Victor Orozco Ramírez
An essay film about Victor Orozco Ramírez’s personal Internet: a parallel world where memory loss, errors, surveillance and addiction smear everything and everyone.
32-Rbit is an animated short by Victor Orozco Ramírez that focuses on making a ‘short essay’ film on current culture and as well as reflecting on the impact that the internet has now on society as a whole. I like the imagery that’s used here and how it’s presented in this black-and-white chalk like painting, and how it’s complimented by the hand-drawn animation. While it raises issues on the negatives of that the internet has on our culture, but it feels overlong in conveying its message.
Lovely animation and an interesting look on current culture, just too long for my taste.
LE GRAND SAUT (THE JUMP)
DIRECTED BY: Vanessa Dumont and Nicolas Davenel
STARRING: Alain Demaria
Of all the daredevils who dive from the rocks of Marseille’s perilously steep Corniche speedway, 22-year-old Alain Demaria is the only one to jump headfirst to “break the water.”
The Jump is a documentary from Vanessa Dumont and Nicolas Davenel that focuses on Alain Demaria, an individual from Marseille that has earned a legendary reputation among the locals at the Corniche Kennedy as he regularly jumps into the waters of Marseille from a great height. He has a rather unusual technique compared to the other divers though, as he dives in head first, with his fists set to smash through the sea below as if he’s ready to break through glass. What stood out the most to be from the film was the cinematography by David Foulkes, particularly in how he focuses on the subject and frames the background behind them, especially in a close shot of Demaria with the rocks and ocean behind him. The editing by Edouard Mailaender is good, especially on blending the stock footage if their own material, and I thought the direction by Dumont and Davenel was fine. At twelve minutes, your enjoyment on the documentary will depend on how you view Alain Demaria and his hobby? Passion? We learn of his harsh upbringings and how it’s affected him mentally, hence his reasoning for doing what he does despite knowing the risk it involves.
A unique subject matter brought to are attention here with The Jump, whilst I can’t fault it on a technical level, it just feels like it’s missing that extra something to make it great.