There have been people through the years I’ve trusted as tastemakers. People who have handed me headphones and said “Listen to this”, knowing I’d love what I was about to hear. These people have come and gone through the years, but no matter who holds the mantle at any one moment, these people seldom let me down.
James McNally is one of those people.
As recently as eight or nine years ago, I wasn’t a fan of short films (I can’t tell you why now). Despite my growing palette for foreign films, indie films, and documentaries, short films just weren’t latching on.
Then along came James.
A year ago, my good friend launched a screening series named Shorts Not Pants. He gathered a bunch of us in a small-ish venue and showed us a gathering of short films he’d culled from his adventures within the medium. Since then, the series has enjoyed a slow and steady build; where I used to know everyone in the room by name, now I don’t recognize half of the faces in the audience.
It’s funny – shorts still aren’t my go-to, but if James says “Hey Rye, watch this”, I know I’m in for something good. While James is pretty good about tipping his hand and cluing us all in on what we’ll be watching, I’m actually just enjoying showing up ignorant and letting it all unfold at its own pace. If you’re in Toronto, I highly recommend keeping an eye on the series and coming out for a night of great shorts.
During last night’s programme, two selections stuck out for me.
The first, MIXTAPE, embodies a purity and joy that comes along with young love. The second, LONGBRANCH, is a cheeky nod towards love and lust in the city I call home. It also delivers one of my favorite bits of dialogue (hint: it involves the word “podcast”)
Thanks James – looking forward to the next time you hand me the metaphorical headphones.
Until next time, here’s MIXTAPE and LONGBRANCH. Take a few minutes out of your day and give ‘em a look.