Saturday, September 13, 2008

DC Short Film Festival: # 5262

English Language (With English Subtitles)Directed by Tim Plester, United Kingdom,2008, 19minutesSource: DC Short Film Festival, showcase 3

The movie begins with a couple having communication issues and for this reason they have subtitles of what they should really be saying to each other. They have a disagreement regarding issues that don’t really exist; and that women sometimes fight about with men, and then she leaves. The man in the film goes to his best friend for advice, the subtitles continue; but in this case they detect the sarcasm in his friends voice. The man goes for a walk in a park where apparently he had gone with his girl (the one who seems to have left him). However, the interesting part is that in the park there is a band playing a ballad and the subtitles change to making fun of the situation; “you can download this song from the internet. For a limited time only so don’t hesitate to obtain it”. Then, the man goes back to the house to try to get over his sadness. He tries to take a shower but is interrupted by a phone call. He then decides he can not distract himself from missing her. He attempts to reach her but is unable to finish dialing due to the fact that the door bell rings. While all of this is going on, the subtitles describe everything that one can see. But for example, when the door bell rings, what the subtitles express become the thoughts of the main character. And finally, when he opens the door, his girl is there and as she enters the flat, the automated response of when you leave a phone line open becomes the main sound but with the subtitles changing languages from Chinese, to French to even Spanish and Arabic. And the short ends.

Although it has been my first experience at a movie festival, I have to admit that I enjoyed the environment of people clapping after each film and some laughing at certain moments in certain shorts while others did not. In other words, it was like enjoying thirteen moments with strangers. Moreover, I went with one of my best friends and enjoyed the fact that we could share comments. Also, we had a really interesting discussion of what makes a short, a short, and what are the differences when compared to feature films. This discussion ended when we faced the reality that it was a Short Film Festival.

However, my choice to discuss represents what a short film is to me: a quick dosage of entertainment with a unique message about an issue, in this case communication between a couple, or “lack thereof” (City Paper, 6). The film took the idea how people sometimes speak the same language and are not able to understand each other. It seems that the Director (who plays the main character in the short) is trying to make the audience understand that we should stop talking in subtitles because it is as if we tried to speak to each other in another language which to me is the explanation I have given to the change in language at the end of the short.

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