BAFTA Shorts (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byJennifer Tate10/04/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

An enjoyable blend of live action and animated shorts, BAFTA Shorts is by turns uplifting, disturbing and thought-provoking, thanks to its engaging combination of animation, comedy, drama and mood pieces.

What’s it all about?
Featuring a wide range of different shorts ranging from 5 to 28 minutes long, BAFTA Shorts is a feature length selection of seven short live action and animated stories; all of which were nominated at the 2013 BAFTAS. Marking the first time that BAFTA has organised a theatrical release, BAFTA Shorts features work from the critically acclaimed director Lynne Ramsay, as well as rising stars Muriel d’Ansembourg, Will Anderson, Johnny Barrington, Eamonn O’Neill, Fyzal Boulifa and Kris Kelly.

The Good
Overall, BAFTA Shorts is extremely engaging to watch, thanks to its interesting blend and compilation of a wide range of themes, genres, ideas and messages. A standout film in the selection is the unnerving, yet transfixing, Good Night, a coming-of-age story written and directed by Muriel d’Ansembourg, which show its two young stars, Anna Hogarth and Rosie Day putting on convincing performances as two 14 year olds asking for trouble as they ambitiously embark on a drunken night out in London’s Brick Lane (which inevitably ends in tears).

Another enjoyable film is the Moroccan short, The Curse, by Fyzal Boulifa; a story of humiliation and guilt stemmed by cruelty, it is steered along by a strong, effective script and an impressive lead performance. However, the best is saved until last, with the award-winning and visually faultless Swimmer wrapping up an overall striking selection of films. Competently directed by Lynne Ramsey, the black and white 16 minute film, following an endurance swimmer as he pensively swims his way through an assortment of emotions, is memorable and powerful thanks to stunning cinematography and a mood-setting score.

The Bad
Unfortunately, not all seven shorts meet the standard set by the animated and uplifting opener, Here to Fall by Kris Kelly. Although not terrible, Johnny Barrington’s 13 minute film, Tumult (which followers a tribe of Norse warriors who attack a modern-day tour bus and which was sensibly selected to cushion in between shorts of higher standards) is less enjoyable, thanks to a less than pleasing script and a nonsensical narrative. Finally, I’m Fine Thanks by Eamonn O’Neill also lacks the strength and competency of the others and as a result feels a little out of place.

Worth seeing?
Despite a hiccup here and there, BAFTA Shorts is a varied and pleasing blend of compelling and inspiring efforts from talented filmmakers. Recommended.

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Content updated: 26/06/2017 13:11

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