Monday, October 06, 2008

Spout #13 (Part One): Hyper

The disc I'm reviewing this time is a collection of short films, 13 to be exact. I didn't plan on writing individual reviews for each film, and I still don't. My friend and fellow Spout Maven Rik did that far more impressively than I could hope to do here. I'm leaving it up in the air right now, some posts may have only one short film, others may include a few, or I may just burn through the final dozen in the next post(that last one is highly unlikely). I do plan on treating each of these shorts as an individual film, however, and will be taking time to review all of the special features they may have(each includes at least one commentary). To many of these filmmakers, this short film they've produced represents just as much passion, sweat and ingenuity as a feature length film, and maybe more of that stuff than many features. I've also decided that the best way of reviewing these films, the best criteria, is a single question I'll ask myself at the end of every viewing; would I pay to see a movie directed by this artist? I'll answer the question for the first of these shorts, Hyper, in the following paragraphs.

Like the Ace, the subject of the fake documentary that is Hyper, and Rik, who suggested this disc to me, I move at a personal speed that is noticeably higher than that of the rest of the world. Part of that is my height, longer legs and longer strides, but most of it is motion. I fidget a bit, I pace constantly when I'm required to be on the phone, and I've somewhat mastered the ability to weave in and out of clusters of shoppers at the mall. And yes, this brings with it a level of frustration. Constantly slowing down to the speed of the people I'm with, or facing the terror of a packed mall where I'll have my own personal rhythm interrupted by some teenager who decides they don't need to see what's going on behind them before they stop short to stare at something in the window. That stuff can sometimes be annoying. I sympathize with Ace. But there is where the similarities end.

I may move at a faster than average clip when walking, and may experience mild annoyance when that clip is interrupted, but in general I am not worried about time. It does not appear logical to me to live your life watching the clock, or constantly measure time in a series of positive or negative blocks. In my life, as anyone reading my infrequent blog can attest, I am not averse to stopping to smell the roses, as it were. But Ace, well, Ace is a bit more extreme. Every moment of his life is lived in fast forward, counting every minute and adding or subtracting to some vague, unmentioned total. Working out while riding the train to work gains him an hour, while spending time with the girlfriend loses him 15 minutes. I'm not sure what he's keeping track for, or what he's doing with the total, but it completely consumes his life..

I guess that would be the biggest question: Why? What is Ace hoping to accomplish? What is he going to do with all that extra time? It's not as if it sits somewhere, accruing interest until some magical day when he retires. And besides, Ace seems to have no real goal or desire to be anything other than a courier, which he already is. He obviously doesn't want a family one day, as private time with a magazine in a public restroom seems more than enough domestic satisfaction. Sure, the point may be that all of Ace's tips for faster living are, in fact, pointless. That in the end Ace winds up stuck in his own rut, alone and never at rest. But I'm still unsure as to why this man would feel so compelled.

By the time I made it through this film for a third time, watching Ace gave me the sort of annoyance I normally reserve for those people who use wheelchairs but push themselves around with their feet.

Final analasis, would I pay to see a feature length film directed by Michael Canzoniero and Marco Ricci? Well, I wouldn't avoid it. I know that sounds like faint praise, but it's hard to judge from this short. Hyper was quick and fun and mildly stylized, but there was nothing to it to set it apart. Nothing in the film gave any idea about the philosophies, ideas or style of the talent behind the camera. So yes, if the subject matter of the film appealed to me, I'd love to see more from these guys.

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