The staff at Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival makes a great effort to bring all kinds of horrific, kooky, and fun shorts to their fest. The films chosen are of a wide array and all different from each other. Here are a few shorts reviews for a few of these short films:
I’ve Got My Mind’s Eye Set on You: and Part of Me Knows What You’re Thinking (USA) (2017)
In writer/director Samuel Valenti’s short film, a woman afflicted with what looks like visions and paranoia tries to handle life and what comes at her as best she can. This short is created to have a strong effect on the viewer. The images overlay at times and are edited to be busy visually, to create a visual chaos. The sound design is invasive, even a bit too much at times, successfully adding an auditory chaos. These two aspects paired with the writing and acting creates one of those shorts that is effective, invasive, and disturbing and it works. The feeling this create is total discomfort, something along the line of what the lead is feeling with her visions and her situation. It’s both complex and simple, but most importantly, it works.
Season’s Greetings from Terriorate (USA) (2016)
In director Gonzalo Nosal’s short, a young man answers letters from random people asking for help with a variety of problems. This short film is one of those that is very visually interesting, it feels almost like an old Twilight Zone meets Pee Wee meets general weirdness. The set and décor are super busy visually with all kinds of stuff crammed in all available nooks and crannies. It’s all a lot to look at and visually busy, but it adds to the film’s tone and feel. This feel is of general WTF-ness but is not annoying. It may be odd for the sake of odd but it’s oddly charming and it works as a whole. It’s also possibly the cutest credits design seen this year so far.
Get Yourself Together, Mikey
A short without an IMDB page, one that seems to have come from left field but that is quite good. Here a man is hired to play a part in a student film solely because he looks like a famous local actor. As he goes to meet this actor to discuss things, life goes for the messed up. This short starts up low-key weird and slowly builds up the oddity before going full blown fucked up. The acting is good and the performances by the lead are great, giving him a chance to explore both sides of some of the situations he finds himself in. This leads to an odd watch, but it’s fantastic to watch. It’s shot well and keeps the visuals and audio simple to give the story plenty of room to work and give the actors the space and time they need within the confines of the short film format.
Signal to Noise (USA) (2017)
In this end of the world, political short film, writer/director Jarret Blinkhorn builds a world eerily realistic and lets the viewer make their own mind as to what is really going on by not giving much away but showing just enough. The cast including Rob Pierce and Diana Porter adds to the mystery and odd situation unfolding helping the film pass a message that is not completely clear and very much left to interpretation. Each viewer will see what they want in it and interpret the film as they see fit.
Tickets for the rest of the fest can be purchased at https://filmfreeway.com/festival/PhiladelphiaUnnamedFilmFestival/tickets