Short Films in Brief: Yearbook and Hudson Geese | Features

Britto sent “Hudson Geese” to the festival circuit last year and it didn’t disappoint. He begins by telling the story of a simple goose who looks back on her days when she was a simple goose. He talks about the love of his life, his favorite places, the perfect weather to fly, and how the sky is the best place for a bird. Then tragedy strikes, a tragedy you are no doubt familiar with, but which ended triumphantly. At least for humans. And the geese? How will they remember them?

These bite-sized doses of depth have a style of their own: fast-paced, whimsical, and full of intriguing humanity. Stylistically, they feel like something edited by Thelma Schoonmaker. The minimalist 2-D animation style gives the movies an extra layer of humanity, as we can clearly see the flaws in the designs. Like I said, very human. The man from “Yearbook”, for example, doesn’t have his arms perfectly rendered, and his girlfriend also looks slightly off balance. It’s part of the charm and it forces us to listen a little more than to watch. Plus, the shots are so quick that you don’t have time to focus on what’s imperfect for too long.

Britto’s knack for tight fitting never miraculously lessens the emotional punch at the end. These films have a funny way of sneaking up on the viewer, setting us up for some kind of fantastic little idea, only to have us question the meaning of their own existence five minutes later. How many features have attempted this same type of ambition? How many have succeeded?

I was incredibly happy to finally see Britto’s movies available on Vimeo (links below). Normally I don’t pair the movies for this column, but watch these two movies one after the other (in any order) and you’ll see why I did. I also highly recommend the short film “Glove”, which he co-directed with Alexa Lim Haas, which I hope to cover in this column in the future.

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