Apricot Screenshot

Hopelessly devoted to romantic shorts

Do you remember your first love? Apricot, written and directed by Ben Briand examines first loves and melancholic memories.

 

The search for love is sometimes fraught with disaster but being a hopeless romantic– and single – Clayton Barnett from the Show Me Shorts team can’t help but fall in love with shorts on falling in love.

Who cares about the second and third acts in romantic comedies? The breakups, the impassioned speech and the big wedding! I’m all about the meet cute, and short films are the perfect length for just that moment. This selection covers three of my favourite loved-up little films, all with a twist that makes meeting that someone special something special.

Paperman


Paperman by videobash

This adorable animated short film was not what I was expecting when I sat down to watch 80’s arcade game homage Wreck-it- Ralph, which it preceded. Surely a missed romantic connection on a railway platform – a black and white wordless one at that – was not meant for hyperactive kids? But this Oscar-winning Disney short entertained children and adults alike.

The increasingly fraught attempts by a young man to gain the attention of his love interest by flying paper aeroplanes at her is so gosh darn cute. Seamlessly merging CGI and hand drawn animation, director and long-time Pixar animator John Kahrs delivers a charming 50’s throwback, and has probably been asked to make a lot of paper aeroplanes.

Apricot

Do you remember your first love? This short film examines those shards of melancholic memory with a meticulous eye. The intricate camera work of ace Aussie cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Macbeth, True Detective, Top of the Lake, Animal Kingdom) has a lot to do with that.

A layered tale of a man and a woman on a first date as he presses her to share the stories of her first love and first kiss. Writer/director Ben Briand shows deft touches, blending the past and present together as the characters nostalgically reminisce. With captivating performances from its two leads this is an emotionally charged story that has a lot to say about love.

Speed Dating

One of my favourites of the 2014 Show Me Shorts Festival, the whimsical Speed Dating mixes two of my favourite things – dating and stop-motion. If you loved Amelie you’ll also be enamoured by this quirky tale of a lonely girl meeting a hilarious cast of potential suitors.

With escaped mental patients, beard-knitting hipsters and an elderly gentleman’s runaway false teeth, it’s as if Tim Burton took over your Tinder. The talented cast (including a memorable speed-date host) must have been a patient bunch for the beautifully crafted frame-by- frame work of writer/director Meghann Artes. The award-winning animator cut her teeth on Sesame Street and her colourful and inventive techniques shine here.

It doesn’t take long to fall in love (some psychologists say it only takes four minutes), so these amorous shorts are perfect for us hopeless romantics. It might be time to embrace our quirks and set aside our short-comings to take a risk like the characters in these films.