BIFF 2013 - Short Takes on the Shorts (ranked)

The Livelong Day

Lovely mini-doc about obsessive operators of gigantic model railways, who appeared to me to be as kooky as obsessive operators/watchers/readers/followers of pretty much anything. A great deal of gentle charm here.  The full film is included above. 5/5.

Doctor Bucketman

Compelling, entertaining mini-doc about man who has turned playing buckets and pans in subways into musical brilliance. Jovial, light, with fantastic music. 5/5.


Cracking if predictable short Horror. Manages to take in the other-worldliness of animals, the Irish recession and some charged sexuality. Screened with The Last Dogs Of Winter, making it part of the best two hours at the festival. 4/5.

The Perfectionists

Infectiously light-hearted look at a band of precocious, pretentious actors and the odd, occasionally macabre, processes they go through. Would watch a full length with the same characters. 4/5.

Le Souffle Court

Good child trafficking drama concerned with the thin lines between the bad people and the very bad people and wide margins separating them from true innocents. Pretty captivating slow burner. 4/5.


Cleverly edited, this is essentially about a woman turning a light switch on and off but manages to engage more than that might initially suggest. Enjoyably clever. 4/5.

Notes On Film 04: Intermezzo

Chaplain pratfalls to a background of heavy metal and bright editing. Oddly entertaining and a real wake-up call for first screening on a Saturday morning. 4/5.


Shay returns to try to live with his family after a psychotic episode. Tense and quite touching. 3/5.


It seemed that almost all of the BIFF shorts this year had great amounts of ambiguity; a predilection to be so vague they didn't bother to tell a story. Rain is one such film, so ambiguous you really can't connect with anything, eventually petering out whilst saying little. 2/5.

A Marriage

Gruff Scandanavian gets beautiful Russian wife and hilariously miss-matched comedy ensues? Not quite. It's not only the protagonist who seems unable to laugh at the situation. 2/5.

Dangerous Light

Lightsaber battles from various Star Wars film with the background taken down to dull levels and the weapons accentuated. Playful but doesn't offer very much and the technique isn't perfect. 2/5.

A Day Or Two

Another grim ambiguous one, this time possibly about relationship breakdowns and how they effect children. Some of it takes place in flashback, some of it on a farm, most of it is deeply disinteresting. 2/5.


Has something to say about the war on terror but not entirely sure what. Passingly interesting but no more than that. Too long for the amount of plot it has. 2/5.

Tic Tac

Silent black and white footage of youths jumping around walls, some of which happens off screen. Did nothing for me, mainly because it does nothing, full stop. 1/5.


Annoying advertisement for a film festival with subliminal messages doing their best to give you a crushing headache. Saw it three times? Four times? It didn't get any better. 1/5.

An der schoenen Blauen Donau

A man plays a piano with his crotch. Unlikely to win Oscars. 1/5.


An industrial soundtrack and merged together shots of buildings. If it looked pretty, or even interesting, it could be an art exhibit, but it doesn't, so I'm really not sure what you're left with. 1/5.

Four Hours Barefoot

Man commits a murder then wanders around for... well, you get it. Very dull. Won the short film award. 1/5.

A to A

A 3D film about roundabouts. Indescribably boring. 1/5.

Out Of Frame

Shots of empty Greek billboards during a ban on advertising purport to say something about the nation's economy. Perhaps would have been better as a photographic gallery exhibit. Unexciting as any length of film. 1/5.


Stan Brakhage makes films by physically altering the negative. This is one of them but screening it separately to the rest of his short collection perhaps means it loses something in translation. I'm unwilling to write him off but also didn't see enough of his vast array of works to make a judgement. I also missed Dog Star Man, which is apparently his masterpiece. N/A.

Rage Net

Another Brakhage short. N/A.

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