SHORT CUTS: What Is Love

This Saturday’s Rooftop event is First Comes Love, a lineup of romantic short films. But that description is incredibly broad. Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet or Joaquin Phoenix and his operating system, there’s an infinite number of narrative variations on “romance” out there. In this spirit, these short films, all Vimeo Staff Picks from previous Rooftop Films Summer Series, offer up delightfully unexpected meditations on matters of the heart.

Tired of Swimming (Dir. Anna Eijsbouts, shown in 2013)
In this atmospheric stop motion short, Anna Eijsbouts evokes an elderly man’s experience of the loss of his wife. His memories begin to creep into the newfound stillness of his life in a way that makes the film take a turn for the surreal. The sound design, done by Mauricio D’Orey and mixed by Mike Wyeld, wraps you up in the film’s quiet melancholia.

Phantom Limb (Dir. Alex Grigg, shown in 2014)
With Phantom Limb, Alex Grigg is also interested in what it means to be psychically connected to a romantic partner, though his take focuses on the connection between mental and physical. After losing her arm in a car accident, Martha’s boyfriend begins to experience the phantom pains that she should theoretically be having. Fittingly, the film drifts through its action with fluid transitions, much like a phantom. But enough overwritten close reading, you should watch it yourself because it’s very good.

Tim and Susan Have Matching Handguns (Dir. Joe Callander, shown in 2014)
Let’s end with something especially short and sweet. In fact, the title of the film might just be the only introduction you need. Take a look, and if you like Joe Callander’s style, you can see his new short film Gary Has an AIDS Scare this Saturday at First Comes Love.

So what is love? To expand the definition even further, watch a variety of love stories at First Comes Love this Saturday at Industry City!

**Keep an eye out for more posts from Short Cuts, where we’ll be spotlighting short films from Rooftop Films Summer Series filmmakers.**