Who Wears (Watches) Short Shorts?

I've been fiddling with the idea for a long time of a theater devoted only to short films. As my friend and colleague Ronnie Scheib sagely (and drily) observed, booking films for a feature rep house is already a huge amount of work and aggravation, and doing programs for a venue showing many shorts every day would be pure hell.

So there went that idea.

However, the very informative CinemaTech blog has an interesting item today about a new restaurant/cafe in Orlando that will be showing a program of shorts once a week at no charge to customers, with food service interspersed. (The blog also has a link to the Orlando Sentinel story about the venture.) Reminds me of a notion Brecht once had of creating a cabaret-theater-bar-restaurant where one could smoke and eat during the shows. Of course, as usual, BB was ahead of his time. Today we call it dinner theater. Ick. And I must admit the idea of having to try watching a film while people are clanking silverware and glasses -- not to mention chattering -- is not an appealing prospect. As if audiences didn't already think they were in their goddam living rooms all the time.

Still, I have felt for a long time that short film directors of all stripes are a vastly underappreciated breed. They're like children's book authors, who are constantly being asked, 'So when are you going to write a real book?" "When are you going to make a real film?"

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By the way, apropos of nothing whatsoever, I do a DVD column for INSIDE Magazine in Philly, which is a quarterly. With only four opportunities to write about new(ish) disks each year, I have developed a huge backlog. So you can expect to see occasional DVD reviews in this space in the very near future.

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