The Image Formed

Short Highlights

Program 1

Yes, brevity is the soul of wit, but in the compact environs of the short film, weirdness trumps all. To wit: a pretty cult leader channeling Linda Ronstadt, a blood debt to a pasty-faced samurai paid out in piggyback rides and pedicures, and a blockbuster franchise built on the happy accident that the term "cow dong" is anatomically incorrect. James Strzelinski's six-minute-long "Fear Is a Lot Like Love" is one of the more offbeat offerings in this 11-film program, as well as one of its more thematically ambitious ones, likening love to a cult and the object of affection to Jim Jones in stilettos. It doesn't entirely make sense (try reconciling "I touched the owl orb" with men in matching windbreakers running with inflatable balls), but that's original thought up there, not pastiche or parody. Then again, let's not knock parody; it's the engine of Chad Briggs' "The Blood Debt of Master Ken," about an everyman locked in ignoble servitude to Master Ken, who likes his Pop-Tarts just so. Sounds silly? Then you haven't yet met "Moosecock," Will Hartman's six-minute-long schlong joke. It's one-note for sure, but that one note is pretty funny, plus it stars a stuffed moose and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from The Office). – Kimberley Jones

10/20, 9:45pm, S.F. Austin; 10/22, 2:15pm, Hideout

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