Coups de coeur Brasserie du Court - Clermont-Ferrand 2018
Friday 9 February 2018, by ,
All this week, we’re working directly with the Brasserie to select and highlight 9 coups de coeur films from the Labo, International and National Competitions at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. We’ll also be filming interviews with their respective directors and will post these as we go!
Here’s a little breakdown of our collaborative selection:
This is a very moving, beautiful and funny - courtesy of its animal co-lead - short about an Afghan shepherd seeking asylum in Italy and asking that his goat and he are allowed to see the Alps, a reminder of happier times in the Afghan mountains. Yet they are denied what should be their right, - the Alps belong to humanity, stress the directors - the shepherd’s right to remain is under scrutiny and his goat is facing euthanasia. Despite the grim outlook for our protagonists, this is a film that’s filled with hope and elicits a good few laughs.
ONDES NOIRES / DARK WAVES
This is a Labo entry and is exemplary of all that is good about experimental films. It’s an utterly mesmerising look at people who suffer (or claim to suffer depending on where you stand) from an allergy to electromagnetic fields. Director Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis traps the viewer in this claustrophic, cacophonous world of phones, computers, wires, waves. The machines have won and they’re everywhere. He shot the film in and around France where radiation-free zones are rare and the sufferers struggle to find respite and shelter. As a bit of a technophobe, I naturally warmed to this film anyway, but it remains technically and artistically remarkable.
HAUT / SKIN
Nancy Camaldo’s short is a mature and sober account of life post-car accident for Lia, a young mother, who suffered severe burns on her face. Despite her resilience, she is struggling to navigate the repercussions of those physical changes, namely on her confidence, her interactions with men and her relationship with her family.
Directed by the surprisingly young Jules Follet, Waterfountain is a darkly funny and stress-inducing short about a small business owner facing a relentless day of escalating problems, occasionally punctuated by unwelcome calls by a sales agent trying to flog him some "Waterfountain" water coolers. The consistently brilliant Philippe Rebbot plays shopping trolley factory owner Armand Münster who is at the end of his tether.
FOOL TIME JOB
This is an imaginative and refreshingly original - and sadly prophetic -animation about the desperation of the modern world of work. Gilles Cuvelier’s black and white short is stripped bare to better reveal the misery and angst of the protagonist who has to go to absurd lengths to earn his crust.
FIND FIX FINISH
There is definitely more to be made, said, decried and shouted about the use of drones in warfare and the cowardice and dehumanisation behind their clinical precision killings. Find Fix Finish is a clever, pared down short that uses the testimonies of three American drone operators, played out as a voice over over footage of pixel-sized human beings, about a war we know so little about.
At 45 minutes long, this National Competition fiction "short" by documentary filmmaker Clarisse Kahn might not be to everyone’s taste when it’s part of a screening of much snappier, bite-sized shorts. But it’s definitely worth a watch, if only for the stunning Mexican landscape, and ploughing through, as the twists and turns start to unfold. French couple Agathe and Mehdi go stomping through a Mexican village looking for psychedelic cacti without any regard for or understanding of the local codes and customs.
Our second animation of this selection is a hand-animated short written and directed by Trevor Jimenez, a story artist at Pixar, with Chris Sasaki (Monsters University, Sanjay’s Super Team) as production designer. It’s an eerily beautiful 15 min short about a little boy traipsing back and forth between the homes of his divorced parents, interjected with dream sequences revealing the child’s inner turmoil, all to the beats of Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing.
This is the fourth and final part of Dutch artist Rosto’s tetralogy, with each one based on a song by his band Thee Wreckers. The festival has programmed the entire tetralogy alongside a documentary about music.
Reruns is a trippy voyage around a subterranean dreamscape - literally based on Rosto’s dreams and memories - through his old school and his grandmother’s house. Good psychedelic fun!