If there’s one running theme of the absolute tyre fire that was the year 2020, it’s that we always need ways to escape. As such, it’s suitable that this block of the long-postponed 2020 Edinburgh Short Film Festival focuses on this very topic.
With an impressive cast and a gorgeously bleak southern gothic aesthetic, THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME’s time-hopping, plot-crossing saga is thrilling and gruesome in equal measure, and only slightly hampered by a tendency to meander.
Technical craft isn’t everything and, taken as a whole package, SUMMERLAND winds up feeling more like Fyre Festival than Coachella. Ben Johnston reviews.
With its impressive visuals and inventive approach to documentary storytelling, there is certainly enough substance in ALL THAT PERISHES AT THE EDGE OF LAND to keep it floating, but more time really needed to be spent exploring the key themes in order to mark it truly seaworthy. Ben Johnston reviews.
HI, A.I. shows us that this technology has more to offer than just murderous HAL 9000s and Skynets.
Director Phyllis Ellis leans on the juxtaposition between the image of care products pushed by the manufacturers and the harsh reality being revealed by the plaintiffs and scientists. Ben Johnston reviews TOXIC BEAUTY, which screened at Raindance 2019.
A spirit of resistance is at the heart of THIRST FOR JUSTICE, and serves as a much needed silver lining around the bleak cloud of angry, toxic rainwater. Ben Johnston reviews at Raindance 2019.
HARPOON: a brilliant blend of horror and humour, and a strong argument against the commercial sale of spearguns to people with anger issues.
J.T. Leroy is a fun enough ride through the trials and tribulations of fabricating a famous person, but one that all too quickly glides past some of its more interesting themes, missing the opportunity to bring true depth to the story. Bern Johnston reviews.
THE DARK RED shows a great deal of promise early on, with all the markings of a successful entry into a popular genre, but given the dip in quality after the halfway mark, it’s unlikely that any secret cult will be scheming to get their hands on this film anytime soon. Ben Johnston reviews from FrightFest 2019.