By Daryl Jacob
For my last evening in dreamy San Francisco, I decided to expose myself to as many artists’ work as possible. I went to see TAINTED LOVE and SILENT RITUALS AND HOVERING PROXIES back-to-back – two collections of shorts offered by SFIAAFF.
Now, the great thing about a screening of short films is that you get to enjoy small tastes of a variety of artists, not unlike the exploration of savoury hor d’oeuvres at some cocktail party. Certainly, you’ll come across something tasty.
From hipsters to policemen, commuters and a singing telegram guy, the audience was served an eclectic range of characters with their respective stories of love. Now, I confess I was expecting a majority of feel-good tales; this was certainly not the case.
In DIRTY BITCH the boy fantasizes about a “chubby girl” from his police department. His private journal is read-aloud in graphic detail, while the film visuals serve images that contrast yet are analogous to the aforementioned events described. A surrealistic chain of events ends with an admissions counsel, prancing about an interview room at the dismay of the disturbed female protagonist, in dancing blood-stained bunny slippers. So much playful fun in this film. It was a fascinating sight I never thought I’d get to see – especially in the Year of the Rabbit.
Another notable piece for me was BICYCLE by Dean Yamada. The story is heartwarming: the ongoing metaphor of a broken man finding himself in the reconstruction of his bicycle piece by piece. The director creates quick audience rapport with the protagonist, Mamoru, exhibiting his solitary life and pathetic co-worker relations. His bicycle is stolen and a note is left. The undersigned, “God, who may or may not be a conventional bike thief, forces the introverted man hunt down each bicycle part – one by one, from different personages. And, as we see each bicycle part turn up, we see Mamoru grow bit by bit. The film is a tender adventure and a must-see.
Daryl is a participant in this year’s Verizon Student Delegate Program.