live from the Acme Retirement Castle

The challenge in covering Bristol’s Encounters Film Festival, once you’ve calculated a route to Canon’s Road that doesn’t actually involve Canon’s Road on a Saturday night, is to accept the inevitable: A festival report that attempts to describe everything screened at a short-film festival would have to rumble on for a week. Even one limited to just the films you actually like will have a commissioning editor reaching for the migraine pills.

Little White Lies gave me space to rave about a few, but leaving out the ones that wouldn’t fit was a chore. No room to mention Tony Grisoni’s The Pizza Miracle, with its fake slice of black and white Italiano called The Madonna of the Eels and the looming silent presence of none other than Ray Cooper. No space to giggle at The External World, David O’Reilly’s spasm of animated lunacy on which a year’s worth of catchphrases can draw. Darren Kent playing a lad allergic to sunlight in Sunny Boy and blurring the lines between acting and reality completely; the young actress in Burn My Body who did the same thing from the exact opposite direction; Luke Treadaway looking very harassed in Man In Fear (“I’m being hunted by a conceptual artist.”/”Is he threatening to drop a pickled shark on you sir?”)… All gone, washed away by the editing tide.

The Little White Lies festival report about the ones that survived the edit, including the film in which Chloë Sevigny does something remarkable with her face, is posted here.

An Encounters interview with animator John Kricfalusi circled the runway for a while but has now landed over at Critic’s Notebook.

Just for comparison’s sake an earlier Encounters report from a few years back is online at the same place, this being the one in which my admiration for Rebecca Hall really kicked in.

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