SPASM film festival comes back with another selection of eclectic movies
Looking for something to better suit your short attention span than the two hour-long shameful and nonessential rehash of The Magnificent Seven? SPASM can probably help you.
SPASM is a predominantly-French short film festival. Each day of the festival presents a selection of short films focusing on a specific theme—ranging from sex to horror to science fiction to Montreal’s iconic Café Cléopatre drag queens. The Oct. 27 event—appropriately titled Total Crap—will present the best-of-the-worst Quebec films that will make you cringe, laugh and wonder how such horrendous content was produced.
SPASM will also feature more conventional, though still noteworthy films, some of which have been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.
Jarrett Mann, one of SPASM’s founders, described the festival as the place where directors once came to present their first films, but it now only shows la crème de la crème. According to Mann, he and the rest of the jurors watched over 400 short films from various countries, including Canada, the U.S., Spain and Mexico.
This doesn’t mean all the films presented are all pure nuggets of cinematographic triumph, however. Anime, one of the eight films presented at the festival’s opening night, is as beautiful as it was boring. Giving us the silent treatment, the protagonists served only as pale impressions of what George Miller’s Mad Max movies do best. The film also served as a reminder that not writing any dialogue doesn’t necessarily make your movie an intellectual and profound piece of art. Just like a bimbo Anime looked good, but tried a bit too hard and had no substance to fall back on.
Great short films usually use a rather simple but efficient formula: find a good idea, concept or topic and bring it somewhere unusual and inspiring. Films such as Thunder Road, the latest winner of Sundance’s short films contest, use limited time and resources as tools. It’s the story of a man just trying to get through his mother’s funeral with a little help from Bruce Springsteen.
Grimaces, another one of the films presented on opening night, also employs the concept of simplicity perfectly. It addresses the childhood myth that your face could get stuck in a grimace. The result is utterly awkward, ridiculous and tremendously funny—at least for the audience. The film was simple and modest, but everything was well-thought-out and put together in a humble and marvelous way. The cast was great, especially when you realize they were forced to maintain their professionalism and seriousness while being asked to literally not keep a straight-face.
Sometimes, it’s not size or length that matters, but the way you use it. The SPASM film festival knows exactly what it’s doing, despite being only 15 years old.
For more information, visit their website. Check out The Concordian‘s exclusive video below: