The Movie Waffler Seattle Shorts - <i>THE APPLE TREE / THE EVOLUTION OF A GEN-X MUSIC PURCHASER / THE EDGE OF IMPOSSIBLE</i> | The Movie Waffler


We review three shorts from the upcoming Seattle Shorts Festival.

The fifth annual Seattle Shorts Film Festival takes place November 14th-15th and we've been given an early look at some of the shorts competing. Click the image below to book your tickets.

Reviews by Benjamin Poole (@filmclubchs)

The Apple Tree
Appropriate to the hard work and tenacity exerted by the filmmakers to realise their individual visions, a recurrent theme of this year’s Seattle Short Festival is that of a lone individual, struggling against odds to contribute towards something beneficial or beautiful. In lovely animation The Apple Tree, this something comes in the form of the titular shrub, as little Tommy happens upon an apple tree in the forest, withering due to the lack of care and attention it’s been given. Rubbish is strewn about it, and older kids have carved their initials into the bark. As he resolves to repair the beleaguered plant, by turns Tommy reminiscences about his unfortunate lot, and is set upon by a couple of bullies (the tiny tree is clearly analogous to Tommy).
The narrative, at times, was a little loose for my tastes, but there is certainly a ramshackle charm to be found in The Apple Tree, and the hand drawn animation invokes a detailed and at times breath-taking sense of place.

The Evolution of a Gen-X Music Purchaser
Despite the suggested intractability of its title, The Evolution of a Gen-X Music Purchaser begins as it means to go on, with an image of efficient speed as we follow a skateboard smoothly navigating urban sidewalks, setting the nimble tone of this hugely insightful and entertaining film,. We precede to tear through 20 years in the life of music fan Zack, and receive a potted history of the developing landscape of music consumption. This film will strike a chord (ha!) with anyone who came of age in the 1990s, as we see Zack rifling through crates in record stores, buying his first cd (NIN, The Fragile - nice!) before graduating (conceding?) to digital file systems; "billions of bytes and not even a real collection." Never falling into a grumpy old ‘I remember when all of this was plaid shirts and doc martins’ romanticising, The Evolution of a Gen-X Music Purchaser is vibrant with a clear, unfatigued love of the music at the centre of this narrative, and its protagonist’s agony over its preservation. As the digital revolution has made music more available than ever, has our care and respect for the art form diminished? Possibly, but that same advance in technology has in no small way allowed the prevalence of, and a platform for, interesting, low budget creations; much like this stimulating little film itself.

The Edge of Impossible
Real life documentary, The Edge of Impossible is the powerful story of paralysed heli-skier Tony Schmiesing, and his determination to become the first quadriplegic to ski the Alaskan Chugach Mountain Range, referred in the film as ‘the Mecca’ of skiing challenges.
Tony himself is a fascinating, inspirational figure; paralysed from the waist down following a skiing accident at age six, he nonetheless realised his ‘DNA was already in place’, as was his drive to ‘push forward'. If he is the film’s protagonist, then his condition is the adversary, which lies slain and defeated by the end of this moving film. The cumbersome frustration of Tony’s condition is spared no detail, but the relative torpor and reliance of his everyday experience is contrasted magnificently by the grace and motion of his skiing; upon the snowy slopes, this skilled sportsman experiences sublime freedom. Filmed with ice on the lens, The Edge of Impossible looks striking too, capturing the imposing grandeur of the Alaskan panorama. As Tony waves two fingers at the fate prescribed him, you’ll find yourself giving two thumbs up to The Edge of Impossible.