Posted: February 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Screenings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Interview with Radio Eins on short films.  Before my turn with the charismatic host, Maike Mia Höhne, the tireless director of the Shorts Competition, was asked about the status of the short film form:  ‘Should short films be considered ‘real.’” She diplomatically talked about the huge amount of submissions she received and the quality and interest of her program.  (At a film festival like this, where narrative features have the privileged spot, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of films in the shorts competition that aren’t ‘calling card’ films – made with no other raison d’être than to gain the director the budget to make a feature.  I think of this as the disease of (spread by?) most film schools.)

I took the chance, at the end of my interview (I’m learning the benefits of holding on to a microphone when one is handed to me) to risk the prediction that the traditional feature film form (unless one is working in James Cameron steroid 3-d) is on the wane and that the short film is in its ascendancy, what with YouTube, Vimeo and David Lynch ranting about the dangers of watching a feature film on a cell phone (with an official or non-official iPhone tag and ending with a nice use of the word Fucking)
Then the interview was over and the booth was filled with familiar but unrecognizable pop music.

I’m not saying that these short films will necessarily all be good films, but this idea/formula that an optimal film is 86 minutes seen in a dark cinema where the popcorn costs $6.00 and the plot is developed in the first 10 minutes (etc) may no longer hold.  I’m pretty sure that Hollywood is running scared.

An observation – a wide range of budgets and shooting formats evident, and much of the festival is being projected digitally – a far cry from the not so distant past when ‘film’ festivals wouldn’t consider screening a video, or a film for that matter, unless it was on 35mm.

Some things are changing quickly and some things are not changing quickly…

An image of the main table of the temporary stall set up in the lobby of the Arsenal Theater by B-Books, a wonderful Berlin bookstore (and publisher).  All interesting filmmakers.  All men.