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Mark Atwood
2nd Annual Seattle SFSFF, my reviews.
I just got back from the second annual Seattle Science Fiction Short Film Festival. Like last year, it was a mixed bag.

Too many authors/scriptwriters see "SciFi" to mean "I can do anything. Consistancy? Who cares!". And the more they claim otherwise, the more guilty of that sin they are.

Under the heading of "Art with a capital A" (which means they otherwise utterly sucked), was Spaceball (I have this really cool lens to play with, but otherwise have no clue), Life Signs, which, if it had been entered unchanged in a contest for music videos, would have fit better, 13 Ways to Die at Home, which won one of the juried prizes, which really lowered my opinion of the jury, and finally Agnieskza, oh so very European, in all the worst ways. Textbook "artistic" lighting and camera angles, uberskinny supermodel actresses in panties and high goth babydoll tops, no dialog at all, and a theme of descruction and decay. Yuck.

For mildly amusing, there was The Incredible Bulk, basically "The Fly", but with broccoli, Atomic Banana, again with "The Fly", only with this time with a scientist, a chimp, and a banana, and The Tragical Historie of Guidolon the Giant Space Chicken, about a 1960s city smashing giant monster being allowed to make his own movie about his life. The best one in the "amusing" camp was Maklar, Anyone?, about a small Trekkie fan club, with a at least one member who really does belong there.

Under "heavy on the romance, lots of expensive FX, but pay no attention to the science", there is Mizar, about an estranged couple on a manned Saturn probe that suffers a mishap. And Face Machine, about a future so polluted that everyone has to wear environmental helmets, but for some reason it's utterly impossible to build a sealed arcology.

For heavily "inspired by Phillip K. Dick", we have Machinations, about a hot rising politico who turns out to be less than he seems, TV Man, something about impossible love and too many tv ads, Project K.A.T., which felt too much like a pitch for a TV show that would have been a natural fit on the bottom half of UPNs roster, and for best in this category, Haunted Planet, about a woman who's convienced that the world is a nightmare that her friend cannot awaken from.

For "the world is different, lets explore how, but not really think things thru TOO deeply", we have F*ck You, Pay Me!, where bad credit rating is a felony. The Un-gone, that tries to be about a creepy varient of scan/construct/destroy teleportation.

The most happy-making and uplifting was Fantastic Fortune, about a poor redneck `roid prospector that makes a First Encounter, that gets smoothed over despite some mishaps.

And for the best in show, there was Transgressions. It was a "world is different, and we DID think things thru", about a very shiny, very clean, very low-crime, VERY torturiously violent future. I was sick to my stomach (and not because of any splatterfest FX), but I gave it my highest rating on the ballot. It did very well both on the audience ballots, and on the jury.

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Current Location: AlohaHaus, Capitol Hill, Seattle WA

3 comments or Leave a comment
docorion From: docorion Date: February 4th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Textbook "artistic" lighting and camera angles, uberskinny supermodel actresses in panties and high goth babydoll tops, no dialog at all, and a theme of descruction and decay. Yuck."

The thing I've usually hated about these is the utter and complete lack of plot and resolution. Harold Pinter does plot better than these guys. I am otherwise all about scantily clad people, even with the 'artistic' lighting (which I always interpret as "insufficient lighting budget"), and even with the destruction and decay, which I see on a regular basis anyway, so it's believable to me.
From: samildanach Date: February 6th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was in despair up until about "Machinations" -- which wasn't great, but was a huge relief after its predecessors.

"Fantastic Fortune"? I wasn't so impressed with it at the time, but it's growing on me. The look of wonder on the guy's face was pretty cool.

"Mizar" was shiny and pretty and shallow, but oh, the effects!

"13 Ways" was... amusing, but not best in show by a long shot.

"The Un-Gone" was an old concept, but reasonably well executed -- and played to the creepy un-person feeling of modern air travel. Likewise, I thought "Singularity" was a pretty well-executed portrayal of what's become a stock concept.

I shared your reaction to "Transgressions", and agree with your assessment.
intrepid_reason From: intrepid_reason Date: February 7th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your company.
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