SFIFF: The High Line

B The High Line

The advantage of short subjects is that the bad movies are over quickly. Unfortunately, so are the good ones. Such was the case with this collection of animated shorts I caught last night. I’ll tell you about the ones I liked, plus one that’s of technical interest even if I didn’t care about it.

A big, hilarious parody of action movies and, even more so, of product placement. A police force of Michelin Tire Men hunt down the evil Ronald McDonald, who at one point holds Bob’s Big Boy hostage. You have to see it to believe it. Made in crude CGA, with crude language to match.

Incident at Tower 37
A fable about a man, water, and intelligent frog-fish creatures. Visually stunning CGA that could have come out of Pixar.

Voice on the Line
A collage of still images, many colorized, with moving patterns in the background, tells a story (entirely through narration) of the government spying on American citizens through telephone operators in the days before direct dialing. I have no idea if there’s any truth to the story, but it has a surprising, and arguably positive, outcome.

In these six minutes of CGA, a cute little girl finds herself in…well, I don’t want to give it away, but it could be out of the Twilight Zone. Filmmaker Rodrigo Blass was there in person, and discussed the frightening childhood experience that inspired the movie.

And now, the technical story:

When we entered the theater, we were handed cheap, cardboard 3D glasses. They weren’t anaglyph (red-and-blue), but they weren’t polarized, either. They’re something called ChromaDepth 3D, which separates colors into an illusion of depth. For instance, red objects appear closer; blue ones farther away.

The movie that used the format, Afterimage, was really just a study of motion. It started out interesting, but at 13 minutes, went on way too long.

The High Line screens one more time, Thursday, May 6, 5:00, at the Kabuki.

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