Prime Shorts: The Best of 2003 | Chicago Reader

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Xan Aranda curated this program of 16 films and videos. There's some fine 2-D animation in Arthur Jones's colorful Diary of Bad Days (2003) and in Lena Merhej's stark black-and-white Drawing the War (2002), which illustrates her voice-over reminiscence of growing up in a Lebanese war zone. James Brett's goofy Earthquake! (2002) uses bouncing rubber puppets to dramatize a California seismic event, and Suzie Templeton's unsettling Stanley uses grizzled clay animation to tell the tale of a homicidal wife and a husband who lusts after cabbage. The live-action shorts don't measure up, though I liked David Greenspan's black-and-white parable Bean Cake (2001) and Yevgeniy Yufit's Woodcutter (1985), a Russian short that pairs creepy, apparently archival silent footage with a crazed jug-band sound track. 120 min.

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