Shorts notice


If highly paid and trained trained professionals can take a year or two and spend  $60 million or so to come up with a film like, say, "Arthur," what chance do relative amateurs with no money and a 48 hour production schedule have of making something good? Especially when they are constrained by arbitrary, somewhat bizarre strictures, including a requisite line of dialogue (such as "Yes, I mean I hope so!"),  a character (Marty or Mary Quinzani - second in command), and a prop (a magnet). Those are the guidelines of the annual 48 Hour Film Festival, now celebrating its tenth anniversary, and maybe Hollywood should apply them to their own movies because it has resulted in such gems as Brandon Aaskov's "The Lemonade Stand," a black comic variation on "The Exorcist" and winner of numerous awards in the 2009 Boston competition. That film and a compilation of 15 of the best from contests from around the world and from various years will be screening tomorrow evening at  7 pm the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

And if you're interested in trying your own hand at whipping out a cinematic masterpiece in two days, here's where to apply.

Meanwhile, other venues will be showing  outstanding shorts by aspiring local filmmakers. Such as the Boston International Film Festival, which will be screening  Brian Dorrington's "Action," a venture into the now hot Boston crime genre shot in a John Cassavettes-like verité style and including  an ingenious, self-reflexive twist. It will also screen tomorrow -- at 8:30 pm at the Loews Boston Common Cinema.

And next week another award-winning local filmmaker will be represented at the Independent Film Festival of Boston -- B.U.'s Charlie Anderson, whose "All Day Yeah" won the Redstone student film competition last year. I was honored to be on the jury that awarded his film first prize, and at the time I described it as "a deceptively simple, meticulously subtle, totally authentic  tale of a disaffected homeless teenager -- it reminds me of  Gus Van Sant at his offbeat best." It screens on Thursday, April 28 at 9 pm as part of the "Shorts 2: Narrative 2" package.

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