2022 ASPEN SHORTSFEST Long on Talent

Running April 5th through the 10th, “ASPEN SHORTSFEST” is one of only four Oscar-qualifying festivals in America to feature short films exclusively. I was honored with previewing ten of the productions to be shown at the prestigious event held annually in this Colorado snow skiing mecca.
Here are my reviews.
 

Jensen”-A rock band’s lead singer suffers an emotionally wrenching identity crisis. Will Georgia embrace herself? Or will she succumb to perpetuating the lingering memory of her recently deceased best friend?

Eratum”-Some mysteries are fated to remain so forever, to include this ancient expression of the most egregious “Yo mama” insult in human history.

Daddy’s Girl”Alison can move but she cannot hide from her father. No matter how well-intentioned he may appear, it is papa perpetually running her show.

Auntie”-When it comes to cyber-sexting, one is never too old.

Together”-Amidst a global pandemic, hope emerges. Even for those most paralyzed by pandemonium, there is always hope.

Fuck fear.

Enjoy”-My personal favorite of the films I previewed. Himesh Patel is extraordinary in this parable presenting a simple premise: Depression sucks. This is about the painful and perilous process to make it un-suck.

Actor Himesh Patel in a scene from “ENJOY”

“Swimmingly” so.

During an interview with Director Saul Abraham I asked about the inspiration to explore depression in “ENJOY”:

Callum (Cameron, Writer) and I wanted to approach men’s mental health in a way I feel we rarely see depicted on screen. Although in different life stages, Michael and Archie are both suffering with neither having the language to express it. As Michael retreats into himself, Archie acts out – both reactions to not understanding their sadness. On the surface they both have solid support networks – Michael has a loving girlfriend in Katie, Archie a doting mother in Laura. However they feel they don’t have the right to be sad when everything around them is okay, which prevents them from talking even more.

Filmmaker Saul Abraham

We felt that often in cinema, stories centered around masculinity focus on something physical or ‘macho’ as a vehicle to show a character’s crisis underneath. In “ENJOY”, neither character is overtly masculine or needs to assert their authority in the classic patriarchal sense, yet they still can’t show vulnerability. This film aimed to shed light on what is entrenched in men as a whole.

Soft Animals”-A chance meeting between a pair of ex-lovers. Awkward back and forth. Words left unspoken. An achingly innocuous farewell. All expressed in vivid and volatile animation.

And all in three minutes.

You and Me Before and After”Unrequited love beyond that of siblings for two freshly-tattooed sisters.

It’s permanent.

Skin & Bone”-Amanda Seyfried stars and exec-produces (every inch as beautiful and talented in clearly minimal make-up).

Women are strong. So, too, men.

And should the latter fall short, lo, shall they suffer. 

I Live Here”-Friends don’t see color.

Not so that it means a damn.

I cordially invite you to enjoy all of my entertaining and eclectic film reviews, continually updated, as “The Quick Flick Critic” at:

https://thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com/

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2022 ASPEN SHORTSFEST Long on Talent
  • Acting - 7/10
    7/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
Overall
7.1/10
7.1/10
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2022 ASPEN SHORTSFEST Long on Talent

The prestigious “ASPEN SHORTSFEST” is one of only four Oscar-qualifying festivals in America to feature short films exclusively.


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About John Smistad

I am a voracious writer of Movie Reviews. Check 'em out at my Blog, "The Quick Flick Critic", @: The Quick Flick Critic Thanks guys! John

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