This San Francisco-based effort has been touring the nation on video since 1991. The curated Short Attention collection is touted as the oldest festival dedicated to the short film, and festival organizers have been pioneers in the burgeoning field of cyber-based cinema, warping the Web since 1994. The current lineup is available at www.sasfvf.com, if your circuits can handle it.
Inspired by talk radio, toys, comic books, commercial film, consumer trends, fast food, foreign travel, punk rock, '70s cartoons, human anatomy and a near-infinite array of other neat stuff (we've only previewed half its offerings), this year's festival is a technically stunning time-capsule of both the shiny surface and raw underbelly of popular culture.
Highlights include a digitally manipulated James Bond in Toyland (Adam Jordan's action-packed "Toy Troubles"); jungle animals aping American sex-talk-radio in the Aardman-esque "Politi-Clay Speaking," a claymation short out of Savannah, GA; and the simply terrific ink-scratching on vellum of Lev Yilmaz's multiple "Tales of Mere Existence" (sure to strike a chord with fans of Max Cannon's strips of "Red Meat").
"To Build A Better Mousetrap" is an eye-popping, computer-animated war on rodents that has the production values of a Pixar wunderkind gone postal. (It's unlikely that Los Angeles animator Christopher Leone is part of that particular enterprise, but if he were it would be a funny take on the lauded indie studio's unholy alliance with the Disney machinery.)
The majority of this year's entries hail from the U.S. (including Tucsonan Christine Dehne's "Back That Ass Up"), but a handful of contenders fall in from Frankfurt, Lisbon, Toronto and Tokyo.
The wild rumpus begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Hazmat Gallery, 191 E. Toole Ave.; and begins again at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Admission is three bones, U.S.
Subject matter includes sex, violence, anarchy and at least one naked penis, and may not be suitable for young children.
In the event that you are totally pathetic, unexpectedly lapse into a coma, or have a predisposition to drunken blackouts, write down the following addresses and keep them in a safe place: www.shortspan.com, and www.dreamspan.com, where this year's winners and more than 800 clips from the past decade will be available late summer online.