Short films tend to be tossed aside within the film industry, and are arguably one of the most undervalued art forms in general. Other than the shorts that appear before Pixar films, the general audience is not exposed to many short films, and that is a shame. A good short film is able to tell a whole story, or evoke strong feelings in its audience—and it does so within mere minutes. Unlike a feature film, shorts are not bound by narrative structure or expectations, and as such they are more free to be art in its purest form.
Ingrid & the Black Hole, a short film by Leah Johnston which recently screened at The Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival, is a small miracle. In less than six minutes, the film uses its unique visual techniques and story structure to portray the basis of a family’s life. Skipping over the finer details, the short film transports its audience through time, showing us the life two children would eventually create. Due to the film’s structure, it is able to forge a connection that is rare within such a small time frame. Without giving too much away, the film also gives us a new way to think about certain mental illnesses, while not making it feel depressing, but magical and hopeful.
Glimpse, the short film from filmmaker John Nicol, is very different from Ingrid & the Black Hole. In fact, the two may be opposites, despite screening at the same festival. Glimpse is an experimental film that juxtaposes images of a man slowly becoming tangled within film reels with short clips of gory and raunchy scenes. An anxiety-inducing score adds to the overall uneasiness that pervades the film. Nicol does not hold back, which leads to a fairly disturbing piece of art that will definitely evoke feelings from its audience. Glimpse may not be for everyone, but it is hard to deny its power and Nicol’s ability at wielding it to his desired affect.