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M60 - Montreal's 60 Second Film Festival Explores Deception

Posted by Scott / September 11, 2009

screen-shot-M60.jpgOne participant interviewed experts - six cats - about the M60

The Sala Rossa was full to standing-room-only capacity for the the second night of M60: Montreal's 60 Second Film Festival. The second annual edition of the event saw 74 film-makers screening their pieces on the theme of Deception for peers, friends and fans, in a fast-moving, entertaining evening.

Based recent experience at other independent film screenings, I knew the M60 had vast potential for Film-Haus pretension and art snobbery, but I was pleased that event organizers have fostered the M60 with a fun and welcoming atmosphere for the audience and participants. In fact, the M60's selection process for films includes no judges, no juries and no prizes, and while this means that some of the films were less successful than others (to me, at least), the 74 films were remarkable in how self-assured and consistently entertaining they were.

One major advantage of showing pieces that are only a minute long is that no single film ever wears out it's welcome. The usual indie-film designations 5, 10, 18 minutes (etc.) are left aside, and allowed most film makers to play with an idea inside a limited time frame. In fact, some of the best pieces simply ended abruptly just as the story reached it's first conflict - the point where most short films need to ramp up the action. Instead: Fin. Hilarious!

It's impossible to review 74 films, but I will say that they tended to divide into a few categories: cat / dog / pet stories, faux commercials, punchline-style pieces with a sight gag at the end of the film, meta-films (ie: films about films about films inside films), and Mushroom-Trip / WTF style sensory overload pieces. There were also a few that made no sense on any level, but I was surprised to find that they were the exceptions.

My one complaint about the night was that the sheer volume of pieces made for a bit of a barrage on the audience, and coupled with the heat from the capacity audience in the room, and having the only light source being a flickering screen, I needed to step outside for a brief moment to clear my head. Perhaps two intermissions (rather than one) may have helped a bit.

Otherwise, I strongly recommend the M60 to any of the Midnight Poutine arts & culture glitterati. The event offers a laid back, unpretentious night, and even the most successful films suggests that nearly anyone can make a 60 second film - something event organizers probably intended.

The M60 continues through tonight, with a reception after the night's screenings.

M60: Montreal 60 Second Film Festival

Screenings
Wednesday, September 9th
Thursday, September 10th
Friday, September 11th
LA SALA ROSSA, 4848 boul. St-Laurent
Doors at 8:30 pm / $7.

Discussion

4 Comments

laura / September 11, 2009 at 01:39 pm
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yeah, there were a suprisingly large number of movies starring animals!

i was at the festival last year as well as this year and i think that the darker theme (deception) did well to diversify the types of films, and the batch this year are even better than last year. long live the M60 festival!
scott / September 11, 2009 at 01:54 pm
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Well, any movie starring cats certainly implies the theme of Deception!

I think the number of people there and the interest in the festival suggests good things in the years to come.

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