Mike Plante, Short Film Programmer
Leading off this week’s Shorts Break is filmmaker Rodney Ascher’s The S From Hell, a documentary-cum-horror film about the scariest corporate symbol in history—the 1964 Screen Gems logo, aka ‘The S From Hell.’ Built around interviews with survivors still traumatized from their childhood exposure to the logo after shows like Bewitched or The Flintstones, the film brings their stories to life with animation, found footage, and dramatic reenactments. Not an exhaustive historical documentary, this is a subjective film whose aim is make the audience feel the same fear and confusion as the children who were first confronted by the vexing, unfolding sights and mournful, dissonant sounds that hid in the cracks between their favorite TV shows. Check out some other instances of logo-phobia in Rodney Ascher’s playlist here.
Ascher has since applied this style and form of filmmaking on display in this short to his upcoming feature Room 237, a psychological exploration into the individuals obsessed with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. This exciting new film will be available on demand and in theaters beginning March 29th. More information can be found here: http://www.ifcfilms.com/uncategorized/room-237.
In our second short film offering, Sister Wife, filmmaker Jill Orschel offers a rare glimpse into the life of a polygamist wife. Her interview with Mormom fundamentalist DoriAnn, who shares a husband with her younger biological sister, is an incredibly revealing portrait of her feelings about her lifestyle, reasons for embracing it, and the challenges she faces. This frank insight into personal choice and tradition, which combines candid confessionals with footage of a private bathing meditation, presents its subject with striking intimacy and no judgement. Fans of BIG LOVE, or those with even a passing fascination with polygamist culture are sure to learn something about this very real life choice. Watch all of the YouTube Screening Room short films here.