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About Jenna Cato Bass

I'm a director, writer, photographer, aspiring explorer and retired magician living in Cape Town, South Africa

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Winterthur Day 2...

Posted November 14, 2010

Great things were expected from David O Reilly's THE EXTERNAL WORLD (from me, and so it seems, er, the rest of the external world). His previous short, "Please Say Something" was nothing short (ah! enough of these unintentional puns!) of genius and TEW follows up in spectacular fashion, delivering more of O Reilly's tar-black zeitgeist, spewed out to splatter satisfyingly on the face of normality. And oh, how we deserve it. Instead of an existential romance between a highly neurotic cat and mouse (as in PSS), in TEW, O Reilly has assembled a whole ensemble of twisted-nerve characters to populate this multi-plot on amphetamines (from pregnant turds to rape-victim frogs) - or is it perhaps that O Reilly is under the influence of only the madness that comes with a blinding clarity, the gift of sight bestowed on but a few, enabling the chosen to see us as we really are. Stay tuned - I sense our generation's Robert Crumb. Catch more of his work (and you should, yes you should) at and related blogs/vimeo/etc. 

I'm also aware I've used the term 'genius' in two consecutive blog posts. Well, what of it - such was the nature of Winterthur, and good short festivals in general... but more on that later. 

OK, and look, if you really aren't going to take my advice and make your way over to David O Reilly's site (like, right now, screw this blog post) and browse for hours and hours and hours, then at least, check out PLEASE SAY SOMETHING over HERE. Really, it'll save you loads of money on therapy, drugs and whatever your poison may be these days. 

THE DARKNESS OF THE DAY: over 26 minutes, Jay Rosenblatt takes us on a guided tour through the history of suicide, and beyond - from our traveling window of the screen, he points out vistas of despair, plateaus of hopelessness, and the chasm of the human condition. As was always inevitable, but also what gives it its poignancy, DOTD is more than a document of death and suffering, but a chronicle of what it means to live as a human amongst humans on this planet of hours and days. 

Other notable viewings include:

FOR YOU I FIGHT: impressive graduation film by Rachel Lang (Locarno agreed) - its subject matter of female French army reservists is just screaming to be taken further - which apparently it is. 

THE SNOW COVERS THE SHADE OF FIG TREES: or THE DAY SASHA FOLLOWED US ON HORSEBACK - aside from having the best title ever, this is an eliptical, but profoundly poetic watercolour sketch of illegal immigrant life in the chill of the north. 

PLAYGROUND: by Susana Helke - getting under the skin of a group of immigrant boys in Finland, with affection and sincere humor. Nice.  

And seriously, I promise I am not being paid to do this, but really, go watch PLEASE SAY SOMETHING. Here's the link again if you don't feel like scrolling up again. 

For the first time in fact, I'm seriously hoping people read this blog - if only to get some word out about the amazing filmmakers operating in the short form... go seeeeeeee.