SXSW Film Reviews

'The Raftman's Razor'
'The Raftman's Razor'

REEL SHORTS 1

D: Various

With the exception of "Genius Loci" and "Dream Lover Fondue" – a couple of nightmarish experimental films – this first set of Reel Shorts is an eclectic joy to watch. Both "Mary" and "Keep Right" execute their one joke superbly, the latter employing the subtle comic talents of Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting) and Lance Henriksen (Dead Man). While the short documentary "Renegade Bookseller" might as well be MTV filler, it still manages to charm; and the tedium of "All White People Are French" is relieved when the narrator is finally revealed at the end. "The Lost Cause" takes an original, hilarious slant satirizing Civil War-era dramas. Nearly as funny is "Spam-Ku: I Won a Haiku Contest About Spam," until its strangely poignant ending. The most powerful short of the group is undoubtedly "Everything in This Country Must," a near-perfect adaptation of the critically acclaimed Colum McCann novella, breathtakingly photographed by cinematographer James Whitaker. Yet my favorite of the group is "The Raftman's Razor," a coming-of-age tale about two 15-year-old boys and their obsession with a superhero who does nothing. Funny, honest, and wonderfully symbolic.

Keith Bearden's "The Raftman's Razor" received the Jury Award for Reel Shorts, while Katja Straub's "All White People Are French" received a Special Jury Award.

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, 11am

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