A string of 20 three-minute films sounds like a YouTube self-distraction session, and that’s what the final showing of films at Paris’s Festival International des Très Courts felt like. But admission was only a euro, and in a two-euro-espresso town, I forgave a little less-than-careful culling.
The films were either sans dialogue or in English, convenient for me as a non-French speaker. Some communicated their humor silently, like the Paris Metro acrobatics in Nové in the Subway 3, the attack-chair ninja spoof In Sit U, or the wry, wordless commentary on the repetitiveness of pop lyrics in Papayes Hands. Several of the films even featured symbols of American culture, like the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero in the animation New York, New York, and one of the stomach-sinking images from Abu Ghraib in a poignant animation of The Declaration of Human Rights.
Mostly the showing was silly, the work of nerds (comic book, video game, and band nerds, to name a few varieties) equipped with video cameras. Nerds–filmmakers and viewers alike–enjoy their inside references, and I admit to my own geeky pleasure when I suspected the creators of the Live Good music video had enjoyed the same Sleeveface instruction video (pose with an album cover over your face!) on YouTube that I had. True, I probably could have tracked down Live Good on my own, but then I couldn’t have enjoyed a two-euro espresso afterward.