Interviews and reviews

Bump, Tick, Scratch
"Bump, Tick, Scratch"

Reel Shorts 3

With any short-film program, the odds of screening nary a lemon equate to winning the lottery. With Reel Shorts 3, not everyone is a winner, but there are no whammies. "Bump, Tick, Scratch" started the show with what appeared to be an MTV spot about a hip New York drummer's side project. Not strange, since it's co-directed by VH1 promo guy Micah Perta, who keeps the piece refreshingly short and engaging. Next, director Oren Shai genre-hops – from black-and-white Reefer Madness-inspired educational films to color-saturated Lynchian scenes – to tell the story of a young girl and her bad trip down the road of addiction. The most talked about film at my screening was "MAN UP," about a teenager and his overbearing father, who takes drastic measures to prepare his son for a post-9/11 world. The question left unanswered: Where is the line between child abuse and a harsh, modern reality? On a lighter note, documentary "Prom Date" poses the age-old question "Who am I going to go to prom with?" When the Internet fails to produce anything but laughs, a high school senior discovers a friend who becomes a date who might become even more. Even lighter is Maria Menounos' "Longtime Listener," which follows a middle-aged geek whose eloquence doesn't extend beyond his calls into radio programs from his mom's house. Changing gears, the creepy atmospherics of "Fourteen" put the familial dysfunction of "MAN UP" to shame. Saving the best for last is "Hiro," about an insectile man in a foreign land. Insert a girl on the run, and our Hiro's quick business trip becomes a well-executed and winning action/love story.

"Hiro" received the Reel Shorts Jury Award.

11am, Alamo South Lamar

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