Friday, May 4, 2012

Très Courts: Paroles de femmes

I'm not a fan of Très Courts. And even saying that makes me feel just rotten.

Seeing almost 40 (or even 20) shorts in a row makes it difficult for any of those shorts to have a real impact on me, as a viewer, and at the end of the screening all that's left is a lot of confusion. At the same time, I realize how essential this festival is. It gives a voice to local filmmakers, to amateur filmmakers, and more importantly: it gives a voice to those whose voices are silenced by the mainstream media.

If last year I had zero interest in Très Courts, this year I was curious about one particular selection: Paroles de femmes. The fact that it was also playing at my local movie theater (which doesn't show movies any more) definitely helped. Though, after getting a taste of said local flavor (don't wanna get into a rant here but grrr: the local authorities taking credit for this event instead of giving credit to the French Institute in Cluj, these kids today who don't realize how lucky they are to even have a film festival come in this godforsaken town, lucky to still have a movie theater; I wish my teachers would have taken us to international film festivals and not to the same old Sergiu Nicolaescu movies - okay, that's not fair: maybe only two of those mandatory viewings were by Nicolaescu, anyways) I think I would have been better off just watching the shorts on Vimeo. Because yes, most of them are available online.

Unfortunately, I can't find A Little Respect ! (by Juliette Morice), which alongside Vie de meuf (Osez le feminisme !) is the only explicitly feminist short in this selection. There are also those few shorts on domestic violence (Amar, Böses mädchen, Une longue tristesse, and Jeanne by Lily Oop, Paskua - "not pictured") and one on sexual abuse (Happy Anniversary by Stephen Carnell - "not pictured"), which are of course inherently feminist.

However, there are two shorts that I found rather anti-feminist. De palier presents women as these crazy, incomprehensible beings who see in every man they encounter a potential romantic partner. Then there's Ms Marvel's Day Off, which is so objectifying. I even gave this one a second thought: what if the director is trying to de-objectify Ms Marvel? But no, no, no. With the actress in that skimpy outfit there's only one thing he could be doing, and that's objectifying Ms Marvel, as if she isn't already objectified. I can see why sth like Ms Marvel's Day Off made it into this section of the festival, but De palier... I seriously do not understand why it was included. It's making me so angry! It's quite incredible how such a short short manages to be so very sexist.

In all fairness, I should also note that 36 rue Saint-Gui, a short that I liked, plays a little too much with stereotypes, even misogynistic stereotypes. So, I don't know, I guess I could be accused of inconsistency when it comes to my feminist criticism. But simply put: there are things that infuriate me more than others. Besides, strictly film-wise, 36 rue Saint-Gui is way better than De palier. (On an unrelated note: 36 rue Saint-Gui reminded me of one of Lena Dunham's tweets: "How many of us are sustained by the belief that our unseen neighbor might be someone we could fall in love with?")


Très Courts is happening in these Romanian towns.



Paroles de femmes(12 out of 20)

Don't skip: Gravity, Böses mädchen, 36 rue Saint-Gui.

Feel free to skip: De palier, Transformation !, Les Josianes.


36 rue Saint-Gui
(Lola Goulard)

(Javier Alba de Alba)

Böses mädchen
(Eve Dufaud)

De palier (Benjamin Busnel)

Gravity (Filip Piskorzynski, Natalia Dufraisse)

La vérité des fées
(Sarah Seené)

Les Josianes (Pierre Louis Levacher)

Ms Marvel’s Day Off (Ruckus Skye)

The ground trip
(Margaux Zinsner)

Transformation !
(Sylvain Certain)

Une longue tristesse (Morgan Simon)

Vie de meuf : "Les relous"
(Réalisation collective d’"Osez le féminisme !")

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