The third program of TIFF’s Short Cuts International focuses on the everyday decisions and words we use and how the impact of those decisions and dialogue, or lack of them, can be just a world shaking as the ones we agonize over.
In The Tricycle Thief director Maxim Bessmertnyi takes us to Macau and into the life of a down trodden and financially desperate tricycle driver who’s night takes a dramatic twist with the appearance of a late night customer looking for a ride. The film struggles with the notion of greed and how even the most simple and hardworking of men can be corrupted and lured into doing drastic things when desperation marks their actions. Featuring a strong lead performance and a grimy yet picturesque setting, Bessmertnyi delivers a good story that leads up to a satisfying finale.
Young Hanan in Eye & Mermaid is fascinated and determined to find out exactly what her father and crew do when they set sail each night and where the mysterious and beautiful black pearls he presents her with come from. Director Shahad Ameen takes what starts as an innocent tale and twists it to a more sinister place when the spying Hanan discovers the truth in an excellently shot sequence that focuses on a very solid performance from our young actress. The film’s ambiguous ending will leave the audience with more questions than answers, but in this case that is exactly what Ameen’s after.
What A Single Life lacks in length – it’s a very brief 2 minutes and change – it makes up for in style and substance. This wonderful animated film features an ingenious premise that’s executed flawlessly and packs a lot of laughs and meaning into its tiny frame. Directors Job Roggeveen, Joris Oprins, and Marieke Blaauw (known simply as Job, Joris & Marieke) have crafted a memorable and delightful take on the aging process and how we can sorely take advantage of our everyday lives without living them to the fullest.
The Last Day of Summer, a film about three friends dealing with the tragic news that befalls one of them, An Immortal Man, a documentary about the cryostasis of baseball legend Ted Williams, and Voila L’Enchainement, Claire Denis’ film about the effect of dialogue, and silence, between two people in an already strained relationship, were unavailable to be screened at press time. But stay tuned as we will get to them during the week. (Kirk Haviland)
Sunday, September 7th, 7:00pm, Scotiabank 14
Saturday, September 13th, 11:45am, Scotiabank 10
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