Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wholphin No. 14

Edited by Brent Hoff

I'd fallen behind on Wholphin lately, and I don't even know why, because each disc is full of great shorts.

The strongest piece in this edition is Pioneer, directed by David Lowery and starring Will Oldham, as the father of a young boy who asks to be told the story of his missing mother.  Oldham's story is beyond incredible, involving many fantastical elements that are too horrifying to be told to a young child trying to sleep.  The long, quiet shots are full of menace, but also a certain sweetness.

Chicken Heads, directed by Bassam Jarbawi, is another strong short.  It's set in Palestine, and shows the stresses of living there on a sheep farmer and his two sons.  The story doesn't address the troubles, giving us instead a story about an ibis that gores the family's prize sheep, which is the youngest son's fault, but they are lurking in the background throughout.

Soft, directed by Simon Ellis, is yet another strong short, showing the actions of a father and his teenage son when they are targeted by a group of British thugs.  These two films go well together.

In Quadrangle, director Amy Grappell examines the polyamorous love square that her parents found themselves living in back in the 60s.  This is a pretty powerful piece, made more interesting by running both of her parents' accounts simultaneously on a split screen.

I Am A Girl! is a Dutch film about a young transsexual that explores the topic in a very straight-forward manner.  Feeder is a very short piece that was filmed from the back of a man's throat while he eats, drinks, smokes, and makes out with someone.  Don't watch it while eating.  Styrofoam shows a woman tying a prodigious amount of Styrofoam to her bike before riding away to recycle it in China.  It's kind of incredible.

Inside Report From Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Evacuation Zone straight terrified me, as two journalists drove into the excluded area, and their Geiger counters kept raising.

As always, something for everyone on a Wholphin disc.

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