Though less glamorous and commercially viable than the feature, the short film is often the more compelling, sophisticated and experimental cinematic exercise, concentrating less on plot driven narrative than tone, texture, mood and portent.
And it’s even more rewarding if you have a limited attention span.
The programming powers behind the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival are well aware of this quality and between June 17th and 21st at various Toronto theatres, they’ll be unspooling a cavalcade of diverse work that challenge and inspire in less time than many motion pictures take to spill out their opening credits.
One of the most anticipated films at this year’s fest is The Spine, the latest visionary effort from Oscar-winning Canadian animator Chris Landreth (Ryan). The Spine is a dark, visually disarming peek into marital dysfunction that boasts a dynamic, completely computer rendered palette and a bittersweet pint of view.
“Since I can remember I have seen people in marriages and have often been stunned by how these people can be together when the chemistry and dynamic in their marriage is so screwed up and so bizarre.” Says Landreth of his current effort’s thematic genesis.
“My hope was to getting into their souls using animation that I could make something ordinary into something extraordinary.”
The Spine exemplifies the sort of daring work the WWSFF trades in and most importantly it evolves the unique, somewhat disturbing impressionist style Landreth coined in Ryan.
“The paintings of Francis Bacon have always been a strong influence on me,” he admits. “What he did with realism and portraiture had a big effect on me. Putting psychology into the visuals is a big part of what I explore in my films.”
• For more information on The Spine and for complete festival schedule and showtimes go to www.worldwideshortfilmfest.com