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Arizona Shorts

Being an Arizona native, of course I had to go see this collection of short films from Arizona filmmakers. I wasn’t let down!

Penelope Fortesque: Romance Novelist

On a blind date, a man wonders what’s wrong with the girl he’s been set up with, as she begins to narrate their evening as they go. Wonderfully funny, this was a fantastic start to these local films.

Long Way

Taking a turn for the depressing, two boys get forgotten at school on Halloween, and decide to trick or treat as they find their own way home. I really felt for the kids, and that says a lot about a film this short.

Unchained

A very short short, this silent film a common experience among victims of domestic sex trafficking. I can’t say much about it, other than it’s interesting, and slightly scary, especially knowing that this isn’t likely too far off from real life.

Our Own Devices

More a set of interviews than a short film, we get to hear from teens and some adults on the role that current technology, including texting and social media, play in their lives, and play with their expectations. It was interesting, but not any new information for me, personally.

Star Babies

A brother and sister are unhappy with each other, as their attempts at match-making go awry. When they finally realize the reason, all is forgiven, and they all live happily ever after, hilariously. Another short where the theater erupted in laughter frequently.

Schism

A story that starts off easily enough, but then is told in split screen, before coming together again for the end. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very impressed. The story was so-so, rather forced, and the lip-synching necessary for the split-screen dialog to work was, at times, distractingly mismatched. Maybe I’m weird, but I also really didn’t care for the actor’s performance, or the “sudden realization” he has at the end. It all just felt very forced. I know I used that word already, but I lost my thesaurus, and I can’t think of anything better.

After The Beep

An interesting look at a woman’s life, through the messages on her (delightfully old-school) answering machine. I was a little moved at the end. For never having seen her face, I felt I’d really gotten to know her though the short.

Technically Grounded

When the power goes out, 5 modern (read: addicted to technology) kids are forced outside by their frustrated parents. I think there must have been a lot of parents in the audience, because this film received the loudest, longest laughs of all the Arizona Shorts. It’s a brilliant piece of comedy, and a hopeful message, at least to me, that maybe parents might move away from letting technology babysit their kids.

Present Tense

A time-travel comedy that takes place during a wedding, this short had the theater pretty entertained. Audacious and bold, the humor is a little adult in a couple spots, but it’s all very worth it.

The Matchstick House

A newly married couple are planning their lives when tragedy strikes. I was a little disappointed in this short film. I saw a lot of potential, but it all went pretty predictably, which always frustrates me. With a little re-working, I could see this becoming a pretty good story.

Blue

Another marriage, another disaster. Though this time, it’s mismatched cereal bowls. Not much to say about this one, other than maybe just be more thoughtful to your significant other!

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