This year, we’re doing things a little different. Previous years, I’d do the short films before the movie review that its paired up with for the Fantasia Festival showing. This time, since I chose movies coincidentally without a lot of short films and there is only two, I’m doing a lovely little double feature to cover them. I’ve always been impressed with the short films shown at Fantasia and this year is no exception.
Quenottes (Pearlies) (2016)
Director: Gil Pinheiro & Pascal Thiebaux (writer)
Cast: Lionel Abelanski, Matthieu Clément-Lescop, Frédérique Bel (voice)
Quenottes (Pearlies) is a story about a little mouse, but not just any mouse. It is THE little mouse, or tooth fairy, of your childhood. The one that brought you your first coin in exchange for the tooth under your pillow. In everybody’s mind, the little mouse is a benevolent and generous character… What if it isn’t ? What if it is actually a neurotic psychopath obsessing about its collection of dental trophies? If a tooth is missing, it simply must be replaced. By any means necessary…-IMDB
There is some intricate planning for how these short films are paired up because this French partially animated horror short matched perfectly with the film Before I Wake. Both played on a fairy tale-esque sort of story. You can see the Before I Wake review HERE. Quenottes is done so well. It plays on the tooth fairy story which seems innocent enough. As a father and son clean out the grandmother’s house, the father finds a hidden spot in the wall where a tin holds the teeth he lost and gave to the tooth fairy. When he drops the tooth he had and it falls into the cracks, we know something is wrong. In the short film, its effective because it brings an incredibly uneasy dark tone. On top of that, the animation is done incredibly well for the mouse. Its eerie and before we even know its a mouse, all we have are the quick patters and the constant feeling as it spies on the father and son. Not to mention the short film is accompanied with really ambient music.
Quenottes is a 12 minute short film but one that is worth a watch if you get a chance.
Roadside Assistance (2015)
Director and writer: Bears Fonté
Cast: Sarah Fletcher, Joel Gross, Kelsey Deanne, Ronald Bush
A mysterious woman stranded by the side of the road hitches a ride with a passing stranger – neither of them is who they seem.-IMDB
For a seven minute short, Roadside Assistance carries quite a bit of plot. Sarah Fletcher plays the mysterious girl who gets picked up and she is definitely hard to grasp. Her character is provocative but at the same time, we soon learn is special. She captures her role perfectly. It also makes us wonder whether there is something more to it. Maybe the potential of a full feature. Regardless, Roadside Assistance carries a rather suspicious tone but pulls the stops at an unexpected moment and teasing the audience with a little more. These few minutes of the short is all about the subtleties in the actions and conversations.