SXSW Film Reviews

This collection's themes of self-responsibility, introspection, and carpe diem made for a charming program.

Shorts Program Three

D: Various. (35mm/16mm, 90 min.)

If the goal of any well-crafted short is to get in, make your point, and get out, then Nicholas Peterson would take the filmmaker's prize for packing the most punch into five minutes of celluloid. Peterson's "Cookies for Harry," a humorous study of a geriatric couple's demise into senility, got a huge audience reaction for its simple, yet richly crafted punchline. As for the more contemplative of the Shorts Three program, there's David Cronenberg's Dorian Gray-esque "Camera," a one-man show contemplating life within art and art within life, and "Bullet in the Brain," David Von Ancken's heady adaptation of a Tobias Wolff short story that effectively encapsulates the fleeting thoughts of a man suddenly pushed into Death's arms. Also of note is "Two Grey Hills," by Emma Wilcockson, the gritty portrayal of a Native American's struggle with alcoholism and lost love. And while the program, naturally, includes some less compelling fare, its themes of self-responsibility, introspection, and carpe diem generally won over its viewers with its mature approach to storytelling. (3/15, Dobie 2, 6pm)

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