Say Qua?! New DVD Features the Best Shorts From 2016's Ann Arbor Film Festival


Remember back in October when Saturday Night Live did a parody of the kinds of artfully shot and totally nonsensical movies you often see at film festivals?

SNL called its film qua -- which was being screened at the, ahem, "Ann Arbor Short Film Festival" -- and it had Emily Blunt running through a forest dotted with the number 3 and ended with her being forced to face her own self ... with her own self.

After the screening, the audience bolted to the stage -- since the crowd was made up entirely of the movie's huge cast and crew, save for one unlucky woman who was forced to ask qua's makers multiple questions about their terrible film.

Awkwardness ensued, comedy was had.

Sadly, qua did not make it onto the new DVD featuring 10 highlights from the actual Ann Arbor Film Festival's 2016 expansive short-film program. But this 9th collected edition of the festival’s best works includes films by:

~Chintis Lundgren, Life with Herman H. Rott (11 mins.) This short is about “a rat who enjoys heavy drinking, loud grind music and chess.” And he doesn’t like when a tidy female cat with a vacuum cleaner and classical records move in.

~Zhou Tao, Blue and Red (25 mins.) A luminescent meditation on light and how it illuminates the shared skin of humanity.

~Susanna Wallin, Two Clothespins in an Envelope (14 mins.) Two brothers, over the course of four days, clear out their mom’s house after she died. Does archive equal identity? Or is it just a reminder of what you left behind?

~Marcin Gizycki, Sto[nes (2 mins.) From the AAFF description: “The English word STONES contains two Polish words: STO = ONE HUNDRED and STOS = PILE. A pile of stones was used to create this abstract extravaganza of moving stripes and circles.” Say qua? No, it’s cool; think of it as a moving painting.

~Elizabeth Lo, Bisonhead (10 mins.) How do you feel about hunting? Now, how do you feel about a Native American family’s legal culling of a bison herd in Yellowstone, a tradition that precedes the time before Europeans colonized North America?

~Wrik Mead, Summer 1975 (10 mins.) Animation, stills, and film combine to explore a 13-year-old’s sexual awakening in Toronto.

~Julia Yezbick, How to Rust (25 mins.) The forced Europeanization of Africans is examined through Detroit’s postindustrial landscape and how something that was once considered “progress” by some can decay in unimagined ways.

~Terri Sarris, Our Last Hurrah (8 mins.) A lifelong, annual family Fourth of July gathering spent at a northern Wisconsin lake is examined through the lens of tradition, change, and loss.

~Ji Young Grace Shin, Phantasmata (5 mins.) Insomnia, dreams, and hypnagogia conflate into a waking life.

~Joel Rakowski & Terri Sarris, Drive In (2 mins.) A pastoral video-landscape painting of a bygone era featuring Michigan's oldest drive-in theater, the Ford Wyoming in Dearborn.

The best of the 2016 Ann Arbor Film Festival’s short-films DVD can be purchased for $15 from here.

But you can enjoy qua for free ... forever. “333 333 3 3333333 33333333 3333. C’EST MOI!”

Christopher Porter is a Library Technician and editor of Pulp.