The films remain bite-sized, but the platter expands every year: the third edition of the Berlin Short Film Festival, Babylon-based as ever, offers 90 works over four nights, sorted into neat 80-minute screening batches (tickets €8 per block), each featuring a baker’s half-dozen of short docs, comedies, art pieces and music videos.
Among the melee are the midnight-black comedy of Kelly Joanne Jenkins’ Expired, a tongue-in-bleak journal of an enterprising pensioner’s will to death in his bland retirement home, and the tender futurism of Fokke Baarssen’s Match, cataloguing the romance of a couple paired by genetic matchmaking. Also screening is another helping from last year’s sci-fi category winner Colin West McDonald. We Were Not Made for This World (photo), based on Paul Hornschemeier’s somber comic, is a powerful existential cri de cœur – told by a quite charming robot.
In the documentary and experimental corner, Stimming: A Portrait, a crisp and compelling snapshot of the eponymous bright-eyed DJ, his obsessive harvesting of real-world sounds and the gossamer electronica he weaves from them, is food for the eye and ear at the hand of director Harun Hazar.
For something less crisp and more Manhattan, try the grainy Sixties glamour of Max’s Kansas City denizen Ira Schneider’s Somewhere on Orchard Street, a Bolex-filmed snapshot of a daft night among the arty types among which a maître d of that fabled club mingled. The plain-packaged but narratively powerful Andreas Krieger: Heidi’s Farthest Shot details both the fanatical GDR pressure that put the titular champion female shot putter in the crosshairs of a ruthless steroid doping regime, and her subsequent sex reassignment and life as a transman. For full programme, see www.berlinshort.com.
Berlin Short Film Festival, Jun 30-Jul 4 | Kino Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, Mitte, U-Bhf Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz