10 Films You Must See From the L.A. Comedy Shorts Festival
This past weekend at the Downtown Independent was the fifth annual Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival, featuring ten film blocks of shorts. Topics (and interpretation of "short") varied in the films showcased at the film festival. One moment it's the German porn industry, the next, a guy in bed eating Chicken McNuggets. And I sat through over fifteen hours of it just so I can tell you which comedy shorts you should watch.
Nadia Takla The Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival festival directors and producers, from left to right: Gary Anthony Williams, Kelly Frazier, Jeannie Roshar and Ryan Higman
Here are our top ten picks from the festival:
Starring David Neher (the bit player Todd in Community) as Ernie and a yellow Post-It, this short follows the growing friendship between this lonely cubicle worker and his reliable pal who can always be counted on to remind him of what he has to do. Things turn for the worse when Ernie starts to set reminders on his iPhone, leading Post-It to go into a jealous rage. But when Ernie is mugged and forced to withdraw money from the ATM, his yellow-squared friend comes to help.
9. Talking Carl Talks Too Much
Written and directed by Justin Dec, this short got its start when Dec's friend told him about the annoying app Talking Carl, after the friend originally got it to entertain his son. Talking Carl is a voice-changing orange rectangle with a big mouth (and grating voice), and Dec feeds him lines that highlight an ADHD-like personality. Put him in a situation where someone is stuck with him -- a stakeout -- and you've got yourself a short that will either make you want to punch an inanimate object to shut it up...or randomly want to go out for Lunchables.
The same rules apply as rock, paper and scissors play a different kind of game -- the game of seduction. It stars Paper, an origami pickup artist, as he turns up the charm to snag Stephanie (an actual woman) from the clutches of Rock and into bed...only to look for a way out when Stephanie's boyfriend unexpectedly comes home. Snip snip.
7. Harry Grows Up
If watching one-year-olds running around by themselves isn't funny enough, it's seeing them go through the milestones of an adult relationship: dating, moving in together, marriage and a pseudo seven-year itch. Shot entirely in black and white and voice-overed by a very grown-up-sounding Harry, this short by Mark Nickelsburg, which won the Audience Award, takes us on a sweet and funny journey about being in love and showcases the city of New York.
6. The Mind Job
This short from JJ Winlove is a glimpse into a part of the male mind that no woman really wants to see: what the Australians call a "wank bank" (or "spank bank" for us Yanks). As witnesses to a crime, lovebirds Zac and Izzy have their memories unencrypted by futuristic technology to try and reveal the culprit. In the process, Izzy discovers what we all know to be true when Zac's stored memories are revealed: that all men are just horny bastards.