Thursday, September 15, 2011


After my very interesting night trying to get back home from my DC shorts viewing in time to post this, I finally was able to sit down and really think about which film was my true favorite of the night. I had a very close tie between Sudden Death! and Der Eisangler (The Icefisher).

So for my post I have decided on Der Eisangler, really only because someone already talked about the hilarious Sudden Death!. I was very skeptical as Der Eisangler began because it was already in German with English subtitles, but as soon as the movie started I was intrigued. The movie opens to find a very young boy named Jonas sitting in the back of a car driven by his Mother. They are headed down a freshly shoveled street, but the rest of the area around them is blanketed within at least a foot of snow and ice. As they arrive at the destination, a beat up trailer home owned by Jonas' Father, we see the bickering begin between the two parents almost instantly. The little boy, whose innocence just radiates through his adorable face and deep eyes, just stares at them until his Mom leaves and he can ask his Dad about going ice fishing. His Dad tells him tomorrow morning they will go and that he should never, ever go ice fishing alone (instant red flag). So that night while they laid in bed together, the Dad reads the little boy a story. This story is basically about a Fisherman, His Wife, and an Enchanted fish. The Fisherman tells his Wife of the Enchanted fish he threw back into the water after she begins to yell at him for not bringing any fish home. After she hears of the wish, she orders her husband back to the water to make a wish to the fish. He reluctantly goes back and sure enough the fish grants her wish of a bigger house. As the story goes on, the wife is never happy and continues to order her husband back to the lake to make more wishes, each one granted. The story ends after one or two wishes for the night, because Jonas falls asleep.
The next morning, Jonas wakes up before his Father, took the story book, and ripped the picture of the Fish out of it. Then he took the fishing gear and headed out to the ice. He finally found a spot to his suiting and as he chipped away at the ice, he said the poem asking for the fish to come to him and grant his wish for his parents to fall back in love with one another. I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that there was about an 82.7% chance I was crying at the end.

I really enjoyed this film because not only did it absolutely break my heart, but the actual set up of the film was immaculate. The director has such beautiful scenes with the massive amounts of white snow as the backdrop and doesn't try too hard with the contrast of color throughout the film. The simple color contrast of a little boy in his brown coat tugging fishing supplies behind him is already so beautiful in one frame alone that I was very relieved she didn't try and throw in some sort of loud, bright color. The other amazing set up that I loved was that since the story really ended early to the audience when Jonas fell asleep, the director used a voiceover of the Father continuing the story throughout the rest of the film. We'd hear more developments in the story as the day of fishing went on for Jonas. The climatic parts of the film were synchronized with the climatic parts of the story, all up until the very end when we learn that the moral of the fishing story is that "you cannot always have what you wish for," but at that moment it is too late for our precious Jonas to learn that lesson. That ladies and gentlemen, is when you find yourself looking for tissues because all of a sudden you are bawling your eyes out while the end credits run up the screen.

All in all, I definitely had a very pleasant evening at the DC short film festival and hope all of y'all did too!

1 comment:

haley schattner said...

Hi Morgan, I saw the same showcase as you, and wrote about Sudden Death! so I can agree with your decision to write about either, if the first was not taken. This was definitely the best edited film of the evening and probably the most sad. Unlike the other films in the showcase, Der Eisangler was not stylized and held a very realistic feel, allowing the fairy tale to add the bit of spoken fantasy. The film is very realistic which is what adds further sadness at the end of the film.