Real Artists (2017) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Obsessions” Shorts Block

Director Cameo Wood, and co-writer Ken Liu’s “Real Artists” is a slick bit of satire that folks annoyed by the dominance of certain Hollywood studios might love. In fact, “Real Artists” is a great movie regardless, as it explores the idea of actual art, and what separates actual art from homogenized products for the masses. After her edit of a big studio’s animated movie goes viral, artist Sophia Baker is called in for an interview with a very popular and dominant animation studio.

The somewhat omnipotent organization is very eager to bring her on board as an animator and producer of animated entertainment for the masses. But as Sophia Baker realizes she’s about to be brought in to the fold of probably the most popular animation studio in the world, she learns that there’s so much more to the studio than anyone knows. “Real Artists” has its intentions firmly planted in its narrative, and I loved the scathing albeit creepy bit of satire that unfolded. I enjoyed how Wood turns the family studio in to a creepy monolith, but also how their appeal is based more on manipulating emotions down to a pure science rather than producing quality entertainment.

Director Wood manages to squeeze in as much winks and jabs at the intended target as possible, even sneaking in various sight gags in the foreground and background. I had a nice giggle as Sophia and her potential boss Anna converse in front of a promotional poster with a red and yellow exclamation point entitled “The Superlatives.” Cameo Wood’s short is a clever and sharp piece of social commentary about the concept of creating and art, all the while creating an unsuspecting villain we’d never see sneaking up on us.

The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival runs every year from January 31st to February 3rd.