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1974 shorts

Posted by martinteller on September 1, 2012

Mr. Frog Went A-Courting – An animated rendition of the classic folk song.  The cut-out animation is crude and not very impressive, but lends a surreal eeriness to the work, which has a macabre ending.  Nice performance of the song, too.  Rating: Good (74)

Wednesday – Jack Lemmon plays a sleazy DJ who is forced to contemplate the possible repercussions of his lurid call-in show.  A satisfying little morality tale that packs some tension.  Lemmon’s always fun to watch.  Nothing about this is stunning, but it’s all executed nicely.  Rating: Good (77)

…No Lies – At some point in the last few weeks, IMDb started classifying this as a 1973 film instead of 1974, but since I’ve got it handy, I watched it anyway.  A woman is preparing to go out as her friend films her.  The casual feel turns harrowing as she reveals she was raped the previous week.  Utterly compelling and thought-provoking exploration of attitudes concerning a very uncomfortable subject, and the title has an intriguing interplay with the film’s vérité style.  Layered and affecting.  Rating: Very Good (87)

Przeswietlenie (X-Ray) – One of Kieslowski’s early documentary shorts, featuring interviews with patients at some sort of sanitarium (it isn’t clear in the film, but a little research tells me they’re being treated for tuberculosis).  The men discuss their feelings of uselessness as their illness has left them idle, their desire to recover and work and rejoin society.  In the final shot, a haze of factory smoke looms over the area.  There are a few interesting moments and the subjects are sympathetic, but overall it’s hard to call it one of Kieslowski’s more intriguing works.  Rating: Good (71)

The Miracle of Flight – An amusing look at man’s attempts to conquer the skies, done in an animated mockumentary style.  I always thought Gilliam’s interstitials on “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” were the weakest parts of the show… essential to its format but rarely as funny as the live-action sketches.  But this was quite chuckle-worthy, with a great ending.  Rating: Good (76)

Puppeteers of Rajasthan – I’ve been meaning to check out some Mani Kaul.  I didn’t expect my introduction to be a documentary short, but so it goes.  Kaul examines the lives of nomad puppeteers, particularly their economic hardships as practitioners of a dying art form, their craft supplanted by film and radio.  A sad story, I suppose, but such is life.  It’s hard to imagine getting too worked up about how hard it is to prosper as, say, a juggler.  Although the voiceover is in English, I wish the dialogue had been subtitled.  I would have liked to understand what the people were saying.  Rating: Fair (67)

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2 Responses to “1974 shorts”

  1. JamDenTel said

    Any particular reason these were the shorts you chose to go with?

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