Mike Plante, Short Film Programmer
Welcome back to Shorts Break Friday. First up this week, we have New Media, an insightful American character study from director J.J. Adler. The story centers on an out-of-touch, middle-aged man living in the lap of luxury as a dentist and self-stylized inventor, who tries to make good by getting in on the “viral video” craze to amazingly awkward effect. Shifting often from quirky to heartbreaking, Adler’s accomplished production displays a sharp knack for staging complicated scenes, great casting, and a smart use of locations and characters. The film builds to a memorable climax that may hit close to home for some viewers. This was Adler’s graduate thesis project for Columbia University, and she made this film while also directing the video series for The Onion, which certainly comes through in her work.
Speaking of viral videos, our second short will introduce you to the manic energy of John Bryant. Desperate and scared, a man tries to understand the bloody mess he finds his family in when he returns home in Oh My God. This was the first of two ridiculous shorts that emerged from the twisted depths of Bryant’s brain to wind up on Sundance Film Festival screens. Right when you think you are going to see a lo-fi, homemade, intense thriller, you get slapped with some laughs while slipping in the gore. Watch it with friends.