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DC Shorts: Dark Secret Loves

What the Dresser loves about the DC Shorts Film Festival is the mix of experienced and new directors. In this fourth review
of the 2013 DC Shorts Film Festival running September 19 to 29, the Dresser looks at two films that Dresser believes represents star power--Andrew Napier's "Grandma's Not a Toaster" and Nicolaj Brüel's "She Is Love." Napier was producer and assistant director for "Curfew," which DC Shorts screened in 2012 and which won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film as well as many international awards.

Both "Grandma's Not a Toaster" and "She Is Love" are screened in Showcase 1, which satisfies the Dresser who believes that the selection for the first set of films shown in film festival must be of the highest quality so that patrons will come back to see other sets of films. The Dresser chose "She Is Love" because it was grouped with experimental films and did not notice in which showcase it would be screened. Then she asked DC Shorts Festival director Jon Gann which film director who had the most name recognition and he pointed toward Napier.

GrandmasNotAToaster-250x140.jpg"Grandma's Not a Toaster" concerns three siblings who have not been written into their grandmother's will. In this ten-minute dark comedy, the elderly and failing grandmother sits in the background as the conniving sister and her two brothers, operating on two very different moral planes, discuss the situation. Meanwhile Grandma takes matters into her own hands. The focus of the film, which has impressive graphic credits and compelling original music, is strictly point of view and a rather fractured set of viewpoints. In this film, the Dresser thinks comedy is overtaken by the kind of darkness of which only youthful creators are capable. "Grandma's Not a Toaster" leaves an audience with a lot to think about.

In "She Is Love," a young boy in a war torn landscape encounters a mysterious woman who lives in a lake. Who is she and why is the boy moved to follow her? Perhaps the title of the film provides the only answer. German film director Nicolaj Brüel's paints a decidedly impressionistic mood in this seven-minute masterpiece.SheIsLove1.jpg

"Dark Secret Love," a prose poem by Carol Quinn viscerally reflects the swim the boy takes in "She Is Love" and impressionistically meshes with the asthmatic good grandson in "Grandma's Not a Toaster" with such phrases as dark secret love, how long his own breath could sustain him, only then did he know what he was capable of.


One day in the spring of 1778, David Bushnell, a colonist from what would be Maine, flooded the tanks of a homemade bathysphere to see how long his own breath could sustain him. Only Alexander of Macedonia, who was said to have a diving bell made of glass, had done anything like this before. Bushnell could navigate by cranking propellers, so to save his strength, he gave over to the current for a while. After fifteen minutes, phalanxes of bass glinted around him. Kelp strained against its roots as he passed through. A sea horse held on like his newborn daughter's hand. After forty-five minutes, he saw wrecks still burning under water--the sponges and crinoline leaves like clouds of smoke suspended. He began to dream of the fire hunts of his childhood, the blue flickering in the eyes of baffled deer. Then he felt the impact. He opened the hatch and saw that he had drifted up against a blockage ship.

Only then did he know what he was capable of.

Carol Quinn
from Acetylene

Copyright © 2010 Carol Quinn


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 17, 2013 2:05 PM.

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