Slamdance 2022: Patrick Kelly’s Top Five Features and Shorts
This was my first time experiencing Slamdance, and for the low price of $10 I got far more than my money’s worth. I’m now very much a fan of Slamdance and will be looking forward to diving into the offerings on their channel beyond the fest. These are my top five features and shorts from the festival; if you would like to see additional thoughts on these or other films I watched at Slamdance this year you can check out my Letterboxd reviews, linked below for each applicable entry. The article will also be updated with links to watch the listed films as they become available.
Top 5 Features:
- Killing The Eunuch Khan (Grand Jury Winner for Breakout Feature) – Abed Abest: A visual treat tackling the impact of war, death, and pain of loss on people. It’s immensely powerful as it slowly builds up the grief and impact of a father’s loss. (Review)
- Ultrainocencia – Manuel Arija de la Cuerda: A Jodorowsky inspired sci-fi film trying to determine if God is real. It tackles faith and science and the intersection in our lives. The real treat is the humor between main characters Orion and Adan that had me laughing far more than I expected. (Review)
- Snow White Dies at the End – Kristijan Risteski: Did I watch this because the summary is “In a society where people fart backwards, six stubborn, proper farting citizens pay a harsh price for being resolute to staying true to their values”? Yes, I did. Is that what I got? Not even close. But what I did see was a surprisingly sweet mumblecore dramedy about the intersecting stories of a handful of people in a Macedonian city. Igor’s story is especially sweet and charming, I wish he had more time to shine. (Review)
- The Civil Dead – Clay Tatum: It’s a clever take on the story we’ve seen before of an artist trying to find inspiration and end up finding themselves. The strongest aspect of the film is the way main characters Clay and Whit interact with each other. But the story drags on a bit too much for my taste and gets repetitive at times. (Review)
- Honeycomb – Avalon Fast: I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this one. It has interesting ideas but it felt rushed with the short runtime and doesn’t really get a chance to let the story grow. The dialogue at times also beats you over the head to make sure you know what they are referencing. It’s worth a watch but there’s a lot of potential that’s left behind.
Top 5 Shorts:
- CD-Trip – See the Void Video review to hear my full gushing over this surreal short.
- Ratking (Grand Jury Winner for Narrative Short) – Part mumblecore, part psychological horror. I’m glad other people share their completely bizarre dreams with their partner as we see in the opening. (Review)
- See you, Garbage! – Slamdance Honorable Mention for Narrative Short – A socio-political story of how the upper ruling class sees and interacts with the working class. Darkly humorous and very timely given some of the problems facing people today. (Review)
- Dad Tax – As someone with complicated feelings over my own father and learning to be the best father to my son; this hit me hard right in the feelings. The animation style is perfect for the story being told.
- What’s My Name? – I am someone who is bad with names so this short is literally my nightmare, but the awkwardness of the situation is so incredibly funny.