Rating: NNNNNLIFT: SELF & CELLULOID -- THE FUTURE and THE STATE OF CELLULOID -- THE PRESENT (various, 1997-2001) serve up.
LIFT: SELF & CELLULOID — THE FUTURE and THE STATE OF CELLULOID — THE PRESENT (various, 1997-2001) serve up a motley selection of shorts produced by the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The first night in this free series features commissioned works that address the self, filmmaking and the future. Most of the shorts available for preview are either so complex that you need the filmmaker to explain them to you, or just basically incoherent. Wrik Mead’s naughty Hand Job stands out, as does Midi Onodera’s racism parable Slightseer, perhaps because these shorts have a discernible point of view. The second night, an exhibition of recent works, kicks off with the wry brilliance of Bruce McDonald’s Elimination Dance, starring Don McKellar as a contestant in a dance marathon that eliminates competitors according to their embarrassing secrets. It’s a clever dramatization of a Michael Ondaatje poem, and McDonald deserves points for thinking up the idea as much as for smoothly executing it. This short alone makes the trip worth taking, but there’s also Allyson Mitchell’s gleeful Don’t Bug Me, an animated fuck-you to an ex-lover, and Wrik Mead’s Cupid, another revenge tale, this time against that meddlesome cherub. The Future rating: NN, The Present rating: NNN (April 3 and 4, Cinematheque)