SXSW '08

For me the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival was definitely the year of the short film. The program was overflowing with technically proficient short films that had richly developed characters and profoundly touching narratives. A prime example of this can be found in my absolutely favorite film of the festival "Glory at Sea". There is no synopsis or explanation I can give that will do the film justice. I will say that I haven't gotten misty eyed at a film since watching "The New World" for the first time. If you'd like to try and catch a tiny glimpse of it's greatness here is the trailer:

Here's the Quicktime version with is much higher quality and well worth the wait to load and watch:

"Glory at Sea" along with most of the other amazing short films that played this year were over 10 minutes long. This is a trend I hope to see continue in programming throughout the U.S.A. I've said this before but I really feel that many festivals obsession with the 10 minute cut-off is unjust and ridiculous. If we want to encourage filmmakers to make emotionally complex, well crafted films we have to allow them the proper time to do it in and not apply internet standards to the craft. Sometimes it feels as though you either have to make a feature or a short under 10 minutes if you want the chance to play a film festival and that's just stupid. There is so much amazing work being made out there in that no-man's land of 20 to 60 minutes and it deserves to be seen.

Here's my list of favorite shorts from SXSW '08:
Bachianis No. 5, Blindspot, Closing Night, Crossbow, Dynasty Handbag - The Quiet Storm, The European Kid, Frog Jesus, Glory at Sea, I hate you don't touch me or Bat and Hat, Kid, Knock Knock, Madame Tutli-Putli, MAN, Mr. P, Paradise, The Problem With Machines That Communicate, Rock in a Hard Place, The Rambler, Safari, The Second Line, Small Apartment, Spider, The Stain on the Sidewalk, Swedish Blueballs, Warlord.

Of course one section of David's triptych "A Catalog of Anticipations" screened and I loved watching it again on the big screen. It plays very well and is so amazingly done it definitely held it's own amongst the other excellent short films it was playing with.

As far as features go, well, I didn't gorge myself on them like I have in years past. Amy and I were trying to relax a little bit. As a matter of fact I missed a great deal of films I wanted to see. Nevertheless, there were some great ones. My top favorite was probably "Medicine for My Melancholy", check the trailer:

Here's a list of my favorite features:
American Teen, Goliath, Medicine For My Melancholy, The Pleasure of Being Robbed, Present Company, Nights and Weekends, Woodpecker, and Yeast.