Short films, program one | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Short films, program one



Normally, viewing 16 shorts in a row is a bit like following ice cream with pickles, cheese dip, key lime pie, lima beans, bread pudding, and spinach. But this lineup is relatively homogeneous in its strangeness--evident in the actor's monologue filmed by children that constitutes David Cronenberg's 35-millimeter Camera (2000, 6 min.), Joshua Pritzker's weird animation Small Car (7 min.), Jim Finn's Communista (a compilation of three songs), and most of all, Todd Rohal's wildly surrealist Knuckleface Jones (1999, 13 min.), which offers the most peculiar and dreamlike cross-gendered sex I can recall seeing. There are more surrealist high jinks in the other animated shorts, some featuring puppets and clay animation, plus an experimental black-and-white documentary (Trevor Arnholt's 13-minute digital video The Composer) and a parodic trailer starring Eric Stoltz and Tate Donovan (Paul Harrison's Jesus and Hutch). The program runs about 95 minutes, and overall it's not a bad lineup. Biograph, Friday, May 18, 8:00, and Sunday, May 20, 1:00.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

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