Tuesday, April 27, 2004

God is better than football

So says the church group in the short animated film, Harvie Krumpet. Tonight was the opening night of the Nashville Film Festival and it looks like it will be a good event.

Tonight, I saw The Damned and The Sacred - a documentary about a Chechen folk dance group as they toured Western Europe. I was impressed by their courage (to practice while helicopters fly overhead and shoot up buildings just streets away), their honesty, and their passion for their art. The director of the troupe was genuinely concerned for the kids, even taking on kids who had no talent just so they wouldn't get into trouble back home. Best part: a documentary without an agenda. It didn't attempt to paint the Russians as boogie men or the Chechens as heros. Just a bunch of kids trying to make the best of a bad situation.

Second on tonight's bill was Animated Expressions - an hour and a half of animated shorts. Already mentioned Harvie Krumpet. Harvie is a Polish-born Australian immigrant who collects "fakts" such as "Fakt #908 - Love does not conquer all" after his new bride's pets reject him. He has a plate in his head that becomes magnitized, he has a carpe diem moment and joins a nudist colony and the Animal Liberation Front (Fakt #758 - There are more chickens than humans on Earth). He has cancer and marries the nurse. Since one testicle was removed due to the cancer, they can't have children. So they adopt a thalidmyde (poor spelling I know) who has no arms. She grows up to become an attorney for the disabled. Harvie ends up in the old folks home with a nasty roommate who had lost the will to die. Very cute and funny. I know it was nominated for an Oscar and I think it won. If it didn't, it should have.

The other short of note was "Dear Sweet Emma" - an sweet, non-threatening elderly lady with homicidal tendancies. We see her crying over the paper when the sherriff said they will stop the search for her missing husband. The radio announcers says that they are all there for her.. here's a peppy song to cheer her up. A pretty little bluebird dances for her. Emma beats it to a pancake with her skillet. Her emaciated cat tries to eat the left over bird-bits and Emma stuffs it in the garbage disposal. When she opens her freezer, we see her missing husband stuffed inside.. at the same time, a skeleton drops from the cabinet.

Out on the porch, "dear sweet" Emma sweeps away the carcasses of the smooshed birds as the announcer says "And Emma, you will have your pick of any of the men in the county..." - which is met with a murderous grin. Sick, twisted and funny as all get out.

Stay tuned for more reports from NFF as events warrant.