“Jews in Shorts” played at the Roda Theatre in Berkeley and unfortunately, I made the mistake of walking through the farmer’s market on my way there. By the time I arrived with my sleeping-bag-sized bag of kettle corn tucked under my arm, the audience was almost all seated, thus I was not able to see if Jews in shorts actually turned out to see “Jews in Shorts.” (Okay, that’s my last shorts joke.)
Watching more than half a dozen short films renewed my appreciation for innovative filmmakers who do so much in just a few minutes, with an idea, some good actors, and a camera. I went from giggling, to melancholy, to feeling all sexed up in 15 minute increments as short after short rolled. I practically needed a Xanax at the end of the two hour showing.
I loved the magical surrealism of the German short “Joshua,” the sexy intensity of the two Israeli shorts, “Bait,” and “Grown Up” as well as the poignant “Sydney Turtlebaum,” from the U.K. In three minutes, “Prrride,” a short which was nothing more than a voice-over by an Israeli soldier run on top of footage of someone playing drums, brought a lump to my throat.
The headliner in the program was “Eve,” the directorial debut of Natalie Portman, starring Lauren Becall, Ben Gazzara, and Olivia Thirlby. While almost all the other shorts had a narrative arc, “Eve,” played more like a student film, attempting to evoke emotions in lieu of a real storyline.
Image: Ten For Grandpa