Moving Images: Funny Haha & Funny Peculiar

The time has come, it’s the last week of Moving Images at the U of W. I’ve really enjoyed seeing 23 short films over the past few weeks. There were a few I’d seen before, but even more I hadn’t and probably would not have seen otherwise.

I’ll include a few of my favourites at the end, but keep in mind it’s quite subjective because they’re all so different.

Moving Image’s last program theme was Funny Haha and Funny Peculiar. Found lot of good clips and online version this week. Here are some thoughts/pictures/videos:

Two Men in Search of a Plot (1976) by John Kozak & Howard Curle 

Starting out with Funny Haha, this film is about two men trying to find a place to stash a dead body. They keep running into people and killing them to cover it up until the body count becomes ridiculous. I love the title and how it can be taken two ways. I thought it was intentionally shot to look old, until I found out it was old (oops my millennial side is showing), but I still like that aesthetic and how it complements the comical crime gone wrong story. The music fits well too. Returning to shots in the car as the bodies build up is great.

The Champ (2015) by Markus.Milos.Ian.Fabian 

This is one of the films I had seen before. Markus.Milos.Ian.Fabian got a good deal of press when their more recent film, Imitations, screened at TIFF so I went through some of their other work on Vimeo. The Champ is about a prisoner fighting to keep his boxing title. There’s some surreal humour as the prison guards weigh him for the fight and the viewer can see his butt in the mirror. His ‘last meal’ is pepperoni pizza. I recommend watching it above so I don’t just SPOIL (warning) it for you. The end takes on a more serious tone as the prisoner is swiftly beaten to death, pronounced dead, and his opponent is epically declared the winner. It compares public lethal injections with violent sports cleverly. I don’t think it condemns either, but definitely points out how voyeuristic both are.

Loss of Contact (2014) by BJ Verot & Brad Crawford

I had also seen this one before. I also saw Verot’s last 48h Film Contest short film, Flashkick: A Kumite Revenge Story, this past summer because I helped out with a different short film Hue Quilted Windowpane (Plug! Unfortunately I don’t have a link). This film is great because watching speed walkers is already inherently funny. The epic attitudes of the actors just heightens this. There are a few things Verot seems to like using: stunts, brief special effects, and narration. In this film, there’s the speed walking sabotage and foot injury (may have been makeup). In Flashkick, there’s all sorts of fighting stunts and a tooth being punched out. He definitely has a preferred style.

The Idea (2012) by Leslie Supnet

This film is the only animation in this theme section. The drawing in minimalistic and charming, especially combined with the music. It’s about a writer who has a great idea but doesn’t feel he can do it justice, which is quite relatable for most people. The ending makes me sad and I don’t know if it’s supposed to or not. It makes you ask yourself, is it better to just get an idea into the world, or for you to grow enough to get your idea out properly?  I may be selfish because I gravitate to the latter.

Whine (2012) by Glen Johnson

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This film is a one-take close-up of a spoken poem. I believe it was created for F-Wordz, a Winnipeg Film Group event where poets team up with filmmakers. Usually at F-Wordz the film plays while the poet performs their poem. I think this film would be more impactful with the addition of that live performance. I liked the poem, and his eyes are engaging as he reads and you can’t exactly see his mouth, but to me it can’t compete with a living breathing performance.

Thanks for reading!

Here are a few of my favourite short films of Moving Images:

  • Cattle Call (2008) by Mike Maryniuk & Matthew Rankin
  • Nikamowin (Song) (2008) by Kevin Lee Burton
  • The Heart of the World (2000) by Guy Maddin
  • Clean (2015) by Danielle Stuck
  • Maiden Indian (2011) by The Ephemerals
  • The Champ (2015) by Markus.Milos.Ian.Fabian
  • The Idea (2012) by Leslie Supnet

Hope you enjoyed watching some of these films. It’s reading week for me now, so I’m planning to catch up with a long list of movies I’ve been meaning to watch!

Please comment (would love to know your thoughts), like, follow, share, and all that jazz.

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