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Phast Phillip

Iowa's Version of the Red Carpet: 6x6 Astroturf

As someone with a short attention span, I love short films. As someone who enjoys laughing, I love comedies. So bless my soul, when I heard that there would be a program of comedy shorts at the Landlocked Film Festival, I got there faster than the lovechild of Roadrunner and the Flash (who I think should have been named “Roadflasher”. Buuuuuut Roadrunner just had to honor her uncle Philip.) Here’s a speedy rundown of the 7 comedic shorts:

“I Hate Panda” (dir. Ian Bennett)- A six-minute amalgam of all those weird aspects of Chinese culture that are inscrutable to your standard Anglo-Saxon. There was a karaoke singing girl in a panda outfit, the characters yelled their emotions really fast and close up at seemingly random points, and lots of anime-style flinging and whooshing and cartoon-y text. It’s my sad misfortune that at no point during this screening was I a 12 yr old Hong Kong schoolgirl.

“Rifle Ave” (dir. John Nodorft)- a crazy paranoid guy ventures out of his crazy bunker in a crazy hazmat suit, even though imaginary helicopters could imaginarily shoot him, in order to save his neighbor/crush/nurse/lady across the street. I give it two tiny thumb-sized tinfoil hats up!

“Bathing and the Single Girl” (dir. Christine Elise McCarthy)- This sassy monologue about the perils of dating as an older-than-20-something-lady was essentially Sex and the City except with a sharp, thoughtful, funny person in it. That being said, it was the only entry by a female human and it was about her boy problems. It made me wish that more than 1 in 7 people in the world were girls and that those precious few had more to talk about than boys. Wait, what’s that? HALF of all people are women? The nightly news shall hear of this, mark my words!!

“Clean Break” (dir. Ryan Lieske)- A skeleton in a rigid book deal who’s being pigeonholed by his publishing company to write “skeleton” books when all he wants to do is write a novel about the plight of a single mother who lost her child? It’s funny. Really. I just didn’t like it. Some people are amused by cruelty and hopelessness and puking in children’s faces. Some aren’t. That’s life. As the French say, “Bonjour!”

“Astronaut on the Roof” (dir. Sergi Portabella)- Is it just me or are things automatically witty in a Brittish accent? It’s so funny, you guys! Okay, so it’s a movie about two guys writing a movie and you see the scenes they’re trying to put in their movie but then they decide to make it a movie about themselves writing the movie and they’re in their own movie all of a sudden and Brittishy voiceovers, you guys! I don’t get it, but goldarn is it funny!

“Mimespeak” (dir. Tracy D. Smith)- A cubicle-bound operator in a call center gets jealous of his inexplicably wildly successful coworker who is… a MIME. What?! A mime in a call center?! How–Wha–huh? It’s utter foolishness! I LOL-ed all over myself. And, praise mighty Zeus, a laaaadyyyy director! I’d like to scale back my previous sarcastic indignance and kiss the feet of Tracy D. Smith, you beautiful lamb chop, you.

“Wolfsbane” (dir. Matthew Wilson)- This is not a comedy. It was probably put in with the comedies because it is a laughable drama. It’s steam punk Red Riding Hood where Granny is a werewolf and you’re not even slightly surprised by it. You can tell it’s set in “the past” because everyone over-enunciates and uses Pee-Q-Lee-Ar words and syntax. It annoyed the puke right out of my bile-filled belly.

And that’s how that all went!

Zzzzzzzzzzzoooooommeepmeep! Get out of here, Phil.

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