Critics’ Week: Top Three Shorts

Random Acts Commissioner Catherine Bray returns with three personal short film highlights from the Critics’ Week at Cannes 2018

The Critics’ Week this year felt dominated by lengthier narrative shorts with feature film ambitions – look for all of these names to appear in Critics’ Week in the next five to ten years with a first feature, or perhaps even sooner in the case of the Giger brothers, whose filmmaking style felt the most confident and self-assured. 

1. Schächer

29 mins
Dir: Flurin and Silvan Giger

Swiss siblings Flurin and Silvan Gigers crisply shot and loosely Haneke-esque Schächeris an affecting character study with eerie undertones, founded on Ernst Jacobis low-key central performance. It very much has the feel of filmmakers ready to deliver a feature debut, and indeed, the brothers, whose debut short Ruah played at Venice in 2016, are working on a feature which will shoot in 2019. It should be one to watch. This film achieves that rare feat where nothing much actually happens, and yet an atmosphere of tension and incipient violence is sustained throughout.


2. Hector Malot: The Last Day Of The Year 

25 mins
Dir: Jacqueline Lentzou

Jacqueline Lentzous Leica Cine Discovery Prize winning portrait of a young woman on December 31st delights in documenting seemingly quotidian moments, from singing along on your own to a pop song, to a friends laughter, or the texture of hair curled vulnerably in the nape of a neck. The image-making is occasionally indulgent, but crescendos beautifully with a joyous final scene of a dog having a bath to Roxy music.


3. Pauline Enslaved

24 mins
Dir: Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet 

Openingwith a quote from Roland Barthes: “Am I in love? Yes, since I am waiting”, director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s piquantly-observed drama wryly explores the politics of texting a lover. It should strike a chord with anyone who has ever gazed desperately at an ancient read receipt in their phone, trying to figure out whether to send a second message or wait it out.