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a pair of shorts

Posted by martinteller on April 4, 2014

The External World – Done in somewhat crude and blocky computer animation, this 17-minute film is a series of unconnected (or very loosely connected) skits, many reflecting the pop culture of videogames, cartoons and sitcoms.  It’s relentlessly cynical and reflects an attitude that everything in the world sucks and so does everyone in it.  I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that writer/director David O’Reilly was 24 or 25 when he made it.  It’s the work of a young man, it has the feeling of someone who thinks he has the world all figured out.  The film would be depressing if it had some real meaning behind it, but it’s mostly just a parade of misery.  It also reaches too often for shock value, with moments that touch on murder, suicide, scatology, sex (including what amounts to a pedophilia gag) and what the hell, a little Hitler just for funsies.  How many buttons can you push?  I got bored after the first few.  Which is too bad, because although the film is so immature and undercooked, there’s a lot of excitement to it.  It has the surreal energy of David Lynch or the anime short Cat Soup.  I was pretty into it at first, wondering what would happen next.  But while the action is unpredictable, the attitude is not.  You know something horrible is going to happen every few seconds.  Tiresome.  Rating: Crap (43)


Skallamann – Jonas (Frank Kjosås) comes home to his parents Helga (Marit Andreassen) and Helge (Randolf Walderhaug) and reveals — to his mother’s horror — that he has made out with a “baldguy” (Ole Giæver).  Jonas exuberantly proclaims his excitement singing and dancing in the streets, while Helga frets about it and Helge tries to chase him down.  In stark contrast to External World, this is a lively, fun, and delightful mini-musical.  It’s an amusing take on the coming out story… his parents aren’t upset that he kissed a man, they’re upset that he’s bald.  Jonas’s irresistible joy in discovering his sexuality is done in a burst of heartfelt — and very silly — song and dance.  Casting an actor with such an androgynous appearance in the lead gives the film’s sexual dynamics an extra level of complexity.  Really funny and sweet, and the tunes are pretty catchy too.  Rating: Very Good (83)

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