By eshman | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog September 27, 2005 at 12:03PM
I've missed one or two of the shorts, and there are still three to go, but with the exception of Cary Fukunaga's Victoria Para Chino, which tells a full and fully horrifying story of a deadly migrant border crossing - its economy by no means compromising its intensity or importance - I've found nothing of note. Which is a nice way of putting it. Seems the primary qualification for acceptance was high production values: shot on film, shot to look "professional" for future employers, and well-funded (and often shepherded by influential academics at influential academic institutions). Furthermore, most are "topical" or flatly localized in an early nineties issue-oriented way that also bears academic fingerprints. Is this about poor selection by the NYFF committee, or about a thoroughly professionalized film school food chain? Probably both, perhaps more the latter (for film isn't the only art form getting declawed by academia - witness the way writing and fine art making have become degree-only fields, for example), but I find it hard to believe that no one's making brilliantly self-contained or deliriously odd-ball or rigorously experimental short films and sending them the NYFF's way - whether or not they were graded or workshopped well or submitted with a glowing recommendation from an advisor. Why not throw a curveball the Good Night, And Good Luck audience's way, and advocate something unique and alive, something respectful of and turned on by the short form?