As Robert Redford's Sundance Institute turns 35, these 10 short films make good on its mission to "champion the risk-takers and pioneers whose stories reflect and shape our world."
First up is Robots of Brixton, Kibwe Tavares's reflection on race and history repeating itself, as a brillo-haired robot stands in for the repressed working class. A Karl Marx quote posits that the portrayal of a metal underclass is farce, but it feels just as tragic as the still photo of historical brutality that Tavares ends on. Matt Linski's Meaning of Robots, meanwhile, is a kink-filled portrait of a boundlessly creative hoarder.
Cutter Hodierne's Fishing Without Nets and Blerta Zeqiri's The Return both deal with the human costs of war, one in Somalia and the other in Kosovo. From the darkness of these tales, we move on to Jessie Ennis, Brie Larson, and Sarah Ramos's The Arm, which explores the ironies of a modern, text-based relationship, until a texting tragedy brings things to their unnatural conclusion.
Becky Sloan and Joseph Pellings's Don't Hug Me I'm Scared and Drew Christie's Song of the Spindle cover the puppet and animation portions of the program, sometimes both at once, while Andrew Ahn's First Birthday, Charlotta Miller's Fungus, and Nash Edgerton's Bear take varying looks at coupling, and the unforeseen consequences, from the strains of being gay in a conservative Korean family, to, well, the dangers of donning a bear costume.
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