Just in time for school, the CFC celebrates adolescent angst.
After last month’s showing of the Worldwide Short Film Festival’s award-winning titles, the Canadian Film Centre returns to original programming with its August installation, A World of Shorts. A response to the summer doldrums as well as an anxious look ahead to the fast-approaching fall semester, this month’s edition is subtitled “After School Special.”
True to its title, the program offers a selection of films about the joys and pains of adolescence. The guide warns, a little ominously, that lessons will be learned. The eight-film slate is internationally diverse, with offerings from Australia and Poland (among other countries), and a single homegrown short, Motown Morning. Simone Stock’s Canadian-American coproduction is a light coming-of-age treat about a young man’s morning routine. Along similar lines, Alexander Gellner directs the sole animated title on the docket with One Minute Puberty, a breakneck tour through one guy’s growing pains and hormonal swings.
Things aren’t all as light or as male-centric as that, though. Olivia Newman’s First Match is about a female wrestler trying to impress her father, who’s retired from the sport, in her first proper bout. The longest entry, at 20 minutes, is Emily, Benjamin Matthews’s psychological thriller about a teen returning from a stint in the hospital, and struggling to keep from relapse. It promises an equal mix of suspense and melodrama, which is roughly how we remember our teenage years.