Though these festivals of short works both include Jojo in the Stars, British animator Marc Craste’s near wordless tale of love between two Mike and Ike–shaped dreamers amid totalitarian lockdown, and We Have Decided Not to Die, a techno-tweaked live-action short riffing on resurrection, the events have different goals. BAM’s annual “World According to Shorts” series provides a glimpse of quirky narratives from around the globe. The short The Bitch by Chilean director Hugo Maza takes a darkly comedic look at a couple whose suspicion of their maid’s untrustworthiness becomes an aphrodisiac. Polish director Adam Guzinski’s Antichrist delivers a demonic Lord of the Flies vignette. Swedes Jonas Bergergard and Jonas Holmström contribute Natan, a tale of a simple man’s complicated intersection with a gruff employer.
ResFest continues its more design-oriented showcase of tech-savvy filmmaking in shorts, advertising, and music videos, this time including the election-year program “Bushwhacked.” Movies like Phil Traill’s live-action Dangle, about finding a cosmic light switch, and John-Paul Harney’s anime Brand Spanking, scolding corporate infiltration of childhood (and featuring a memorable Coca-Cola ejaculation), uneasily mix heavy-handed messages and nuanced graphics. In the stronger music video programs, Daniel Askill’s Polaroid-stacking creates a kind of flip-book motion in the video for singer Sia’s “Breathe Me,” and vids for Madvillain, the Comas, and TV on the Radio are sure cool-kid draws. Res has been doing “I Love the ’90s” since the actual ’90s, paying tribute last year to Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze. This year’s fest anthologizes Jonathan Glazer, of Sexy Beast, Radiohead video, and Guinness commercial fame, and the Brits of the Shynola design collective—whose video for Quannum’s “I Changed My Mind,” featuring an AutoCAD city inhabited by a funky squirrel DJ, embodies the ResFest ethos of boundary-hopscotching hip.