With 41 movies over four weeks, the fifth annual Short Film Exhibition offers a diverse lineup and more than a few finds. Opening night starts out with Architecture of Reassurance, a crystalline, eerily familiar suburban reverie replete with hypercoiffed real estate agent and disaffected blond pubescent gyratingbut alone, in her room, to the Smiths. Words fail director Mike Mills, but his limpid visual style is supremely assured. Week two flings at us Jonathan Bekemeier's Titler, a portrait of the Führer in drag belting out sexually reassigned show tunes, alongside Aldo Emiliano Vesquez's Crabgrass Manifesto, an affable story of a young man juggling girlfriend, Taco Bell job, and the end of the world. The third week kicks off with Five Feet High and Rising, Peter Sollett's ruefully funny look at inner-city kids; the girls and boys flirt, preen, trash-talk, make out, and generally act terrified of each other. Another highlight is Flutter: Bradley Rust Gray's Cocteau-like sketch finds two mysteriously damaged lovers getting acquainted through kissing, peeing, and bathing. Gray's evocative road movie Hitch, a homoerotic Badlands, closes the last night, also the strongest. Rolf Gibbs tosses a camera out of a plane at 30,000 feet and his three-minute G is the hypnotic result. The most moving film here is Mitch McCabe's September 5:10 PM, which records the loss of a parent through a series of answering machine messages and footage filmed through train windows during the long trip home. McCabe's approach suggests the influence of Su Friedrich and Chantal Akerman, but her filmradiating the stunned, introverted quiet of restrained griefis all her own.
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