WSFF: Official Selection - Love Hurts

Looking for some shorts to see with that special someone? Well, let the lovebirds do their PDA atop the CN Tower at “Date Night” because these films offer the harder side of love that doesn’t find its way onto Hallmark cards. The honeymoon’s over in the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival Official Selection “Love Hurts,” but not before offering some pretty good films.

First up is Parachute (Canada/France, 6 min.), which is directed by Martin Thibaudeau, who won the Bravo!FACT Award for Best Canadian Short for Cold Blood (Sang Froid) at last year’s WSFF. A much stronger film than Cold Blood, though, Parachute is a great situational comedy that sees one couple put their relationship to the test when they opt to do a little skydiving. Greeted by a blasé, laid back receptionist, the couple wonders if such a sketchy service is the best provider for an aerial free-fall. Some couples just can’t seem to take the jump! The jump is followed by a crash-landing in Off Route 2 (Canada, 11 min.). A bizarre meta-drama about a car crash in the cold Canadian wilderness, Off Route 2 is a good idea that doesn’t really work. A better story of survival amidst the snowy landscape comes in Under (Canada/USA, 23 min.). En route to a remote cabin, Sydney and her fiancé Tom find themselves stranded when their Skidoo goes kaput. Seeking shelter from the cold winter winds, Tom builds an underground lodge; however, the harsh winter snow works against them. Sydney and Tom become trapped by the snow and they are soon forced to make some life and death decisions. Director Mark Raso creates a riveting claustrophobic atmosphere and Under provides a gripping story of endurance à la 127 Hours, although the story of addiction and recovery that prompts the adventure isn’t really developed as strongly as it could have been. Lead actors Zoe Winters and Wayne Wilcox provide good work, as does a symbolic caribou that bodes a bad omen for the lovers, but hints that we can continue to expect good things from the talent behind Under. It’s easy to see why Under was placed among the winners forthe 2012 student Academy Awards.
Remember Me My Ghost
On the other hand, I didn’t really see the point of the next short, Moving Stories (Belgium, 7 min.). An experimental film that combines stock footage of an airplane in flight that is matched with audio snippets from past films, Moving Stories lets viewers play a fun game of “guess that voice,” but it’s only a mild flight of fancy. Moving Stories is followed by the university-set drama Tuesday (Mardi) (Canada, 7 min.), which is a sombre tale of about love that is threatened by a school shooting. Remember Me My Ghost (Ireland, 17 min.) follows with a powerful testimony of one woman’s escape from an abusive relationship. The only documentary in the programme, Remember Me My Ghost offers the voice-over narration of an unnamed woman who describes her years in residence at the Ballymun housing project in Dublin. As the woman explains the decay of Ballymun, she portrays a community ruled by poverty, drugs, crime, and violence. Director Ross McDonnell creates a visual equivalent to her story by offering stark black and white footage that shows the hardship of life at Ballymun. The film shows that the Irish government seeks to curb the ills of Ballymun by tearing the tenement down; however, the anonymous woman’s story of her escape from domestic violence provides a necessary message that it is not the building that breeds social ill, but a lack of service, access, and education. A brave, honest portrait, Remember Me My Ghost stands out as the best amongst the films of “Love Hurts.”
The Master Cleanse
“Love Hurts” then provides some comic relief to ensure that viewers leave the theatre feeling happy. Life and Stuff (UK, 4 min.) whisks viewers through a lifetime of love lessons in one quick staccato stop-motion saga before the programme ends with the hilarious short The Master Cleanse (USA, 15 min.). Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas), The Master Cleanse lists the key ingredients for relationship hell: lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. Mixed together, these four things create his and hers enemas for Kelly and Scott, who think that a mutual detox will also cleanse all the toxins from their relationship. As anyone who has ever gone hungry knows, though, a relationship rarely benefits on an empty stomach. (Unless you’re just some girl seeking a meal ticket.) Instead of rejuvenating their relationship, Kelly and Scott wind up like an old married couple and enjoy ten days of explosive diarrhea and nasty bickering. Thanks to The Master Cleanse, “Love Hurts” ends with raunchy gross-out fun. How romantic!

“Love Hurts” screens:
Isabel Bader Theatre, Wednesday, June 6 at 4:00 p.m.
Isabel Bader Theatre, Friday, June 8 at 9:15 p.m.

Please visit www.shorterisbetter.com for tickets, program/film info, and show times.
(And click here for updates & reviews of this year's Worldwide Short Film Festival.)

Want to see "Love Hurts"? Well, you're in luck! We have 5 pairs of tickets up for grabs for the screening on Wednesday June 6 courtesy of WSFF and the Canadian Film Centre. To enter, please email pat@cinemablographer.com with the subject "Love" and provide your name and email address. And since this programme is all about love, please tell us the name of tyour favourite romantic comedy. Bonus entries go out to anyone who shares this link on Twitter with the phrase "Win tickets to see ‘Love Hurts’ at #wsff12 from
Contest closes Tuesday June 5 at 9 am.