Toronto After Dark 2011: Shorts After Dark
Reviews by Kayley Viteo
Good Morning Beautiful – Although I missed the beginning of this one due to Toronto traffic, I walked in at the right moment. Creepy, but with a sly undercurrent, there’s something both slow-moving and frenetic about this short by Todd Cobery.
Protoparticulas – A sci-fi black and white piece that manages to fit a huge narrative into a few short minutes. Bizarre, but still somehow poignant, with a shockingly mundane ending.
Dirty Silverware – A concept that is worth its weight in … silver. You know that extra fork you always find in your drawer and don’t know where it came from? It’s evil, and this short shows you how. This short reminded me of the late, great television show Pushing Daisies, mixing a rather absurd concept with romance and a vintage aesthetic.
Nursery Crimes – Stop motion animation and viscous re-telling of all those nursery rhymes from when you were a kid. Darkly witty and clever, this one left me wanting more from director Laura Whyte. By far my favorite of the shorts program.
Rosa – Combine lazy metaphor, hard to follow fight sequences, and a video game style and you have this short film. Empty and weak.
The Dungeon Master – Co-directed by Rider Strong (Cabin Fever), this one had me curious. Genre nerds will also recognize Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Dungeon Master had me until the last two minutes, when it went from dark on a very real human level to just plain silly. The switch in tone had me reeling, and not in a way that I particularly enjoyed.
Brutal Relax – A man in desperate need of a vacation takes one, and finds relaxation on the beach in an unexpected way. A flat-out crazy, though repetitive, short film that features an impressive level of special effects.
Martha’s Birthday – A young boy gets his revenge on a piñata, who then get their revenge on him. This one comes close to my love for Nursery Crimes, though stop motion animation will always win my heart. Martha’s Birthday is wonderfully clever, funny and just straight up fucking entertaining. This drew huge laughs from the After Dark crowd, deservedly so.