Shorts #1 | Chicago Reader

Shorts #1

In my favorite of the ten videos in Shorts #1 (86 min.), Pol Pot's Birthday, actors portray the meager staff of the mass murderer and former dictator trying to throw him a birthday party. He complains that the cake is tiny, their applause seems unenthusiastic, and director Talmage Cooley's slow pace and odd pauses make the event surpassingly strange. Fredrik Bond's acidic The Mood depicts the way anger resonates: a supervisor and his wife yell at the protagonist, who then sees the consequences of other families' fighting. Marc Craste's JoJo in the Stars (2003) has a striking digitally created giant castle but an uninteresting story, and Peter Cornwell's Ward 13 (2003) is cleverly animated with miniature figures that tell a trite tale of an attempt to escape from a hospital worthy of a horror movie.

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