July 14 – 20, 2023Vol. 25, No. 5

More Maine Shorts

One of the Maine Narrative Shorts, “A Natural Force” is the latest animation from serial MIFF contributor Gordon LePage.

by Gregor Smith

Last week, we described the Maine Documentary Shorts, which had their premiere last Saturday and will be shown again this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Cinema 1. The other two Maine Shorts compilations, Maine Narrative Shorts and Mostly Maine Horrors, debuted on Thursday, but will screen also screen again on Saturday, at 1:00 in the Waterville Opera House and at 9:00 in Cinema 1, respectively. All quotes below are taken from the MIFF website.

The Maine Narrative Shorts are six fictional shorts, from 3 to 20 minutes each, coming to 70 minutes altogether. They include a 3-minute, animated adventure from repeat MIFF contributor Gordon LePage about two raccoons in search of food; a tale of two women in their early 20s who confront their uncertain, post-college futures with the aid of a Grim Reaper at a Halloween party; a 4-minute “visual poem about being a solo dad amidst the terrific and terrifying absurdity of modern life”; the saga of a little girl who solicits magical guardians to save her father from a life-changing illness; a cartoon adventure of a boy and a magical duck who try to avert an epic catastrophe on Mount Katahdin in 1960; and the drama of a young lobsterman who must overcome his opioid addiction “in order to save his livelihood and his relationships.”

A boy, Nash, and a goat in a dream sequence from “Nash,” one of the Mostly Maine Horrors.

Mostly-Maine Horrors presents four diverse Maine horror stories. In the 45-minute centerpiece of this collection, which is as long as the three shorts combined, a popular co-ed meets an socially awkward boy who can intuit what will make her happy. Based on the 1976 Stephen King short story of the same name, “I Know What You Need” is a love story, but with a twist. (Incidentally, the festival’s Centerpiece Film is a documentary about making film and TV adaptations of King’s works.) The other three shorts deal with a 9-year-old boy who seeks the monster that killed his mother, a mentally disturbed teenager who falls in love with a creature from Scandinavian folklore, and a directionless twenty-something who “returns to her childhood home to find closure over a family tragedy, and instead discovers she may have inherited a sinister curse.”

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