The world according to these far-flung shorts will only appear familiar to patrons of the BAMcinématek: Distributed by New Yorker Films and opening at the Cinema Village, this engagement is something of a best-of package, compiling as it does some of the stronger works from “The World According to Shorts” series Jonathan Howell has been programming for BAM since 2000. For everyone else, revel in the variety of aesthetic and moral insights these six little films advance, proving that world cinema is alive and kicking everywhere on our not-so-little and delicate planet. The breathtaking We Have Decided Not to Die conveys transcendence of the body in the modern age through a series of ritualized tableau; only time will tell if its director, Daniel Askill, will be able to parlay his talent into motion pictures, but car commercials and music videos are most definitely in his future. Also good: La Perra, about a bourgie Chilean couple that derives sexual pleasure from accusing their maid of stealing from them; United We Stand, a sweet parable on labor, unity, and age that culminates on a field of Norwegian quicksand; and Antichrist, a gripping 28-minute splatter of Come and See-style phantasmagoria about a boy with delusions of devilhood who torments his three friends throughout a post-apocalyptic Polish dumpsite. Less successful is the muddled The Old Woman’s Step, during which a sneaky old woman sells a rooster to buy a present for her grandson—and possibly sneak a glimpse at his rock-round bottom?—but the program ends on an incredible high-note with Andreas Hykade’s visionary animation Ring of Fire, a black-and-white western deadwood about catastrophe, illusion, and hope told through a barrage of kaleidoscopic, hyper-sexualized images, where rows of dancing can-can women are the forests, strange rotund creatures fellate the stumps of trees, and the strange friendship between two men is forever damned after a brutal rape. To call this film penetrating would be a gross understatement, which is why the Ang Lee Fan Club should take note of how it’s really done.
- New Yorker Films
- 95 min
- 2000 - 2003
- Hugo Maza, Daniel Askill, Hans Petter Moland, Adam Guzinski, Jane Malaquias, Andreas Hykade
- Hugo Maza, Daniel Askill, Are Sjaastad, Adam Guzinski, Jane Malaquias, Andreas Hykade
- Claudia Celedón, Boris Quercia, Catalina Saavedra, Kasia Werstak, Daniel Askill, Jordan Askill, Dariusz Maciuk, Marcin Zaluski, Tomasz Szczesniak, Adam Witkowski, D. Néné-Francesca Ribeiro Da Silva, José Luciano Da Silva Araujo, David Michael Williamson
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