Short round

In Andrew Dickson’s “Nate Preston: King of Portland,” we meetone Mr. Nate Preston. He’s beefy, works at a place called “LennarAffordable Communities”and wears decidedly uncool clothes, which iswhy I was so alarmed to see him described in my program as “amember of the Portland hipster glitterati.” Preston may not be agorgeous, misunderstood, Pabst-guzzling trust-fund baby like youraverage Portland hipster, but sometimes he talks like one. “If youshow this movie about me to the rest of America, they probablywouldn’t be able to relate.” Thank you, Preston, for giving alittle hope to those of us who are cursed to be born, live and diein the same city block.

Alec Macneil Richardson’s”Flush” hinges on the fact that toiletseat protectors aren’t good enough for Richard. He prefers thecomfort of his own bacteria-free facilities. His dinner companionSarah, dubbing him a neurotic pussy, challenges him to an adventurein the restaurant bathroom, where she learns she should have kepther damn fool mouth shut. “Flush” pulls out all the horror moviestops: an absurd premise, creepy music, ominously running water anda zombie-like bathroom patron who screams as the frames flash by.Ten creepy minutes of fun!

Ryan Jeffery’s “Window” would make a great screensaver. A womanpawing at the inside of a glowing blue box in the middle of theforest… do you see? Do you see how we humans are LANGUISHING eachday as we separate permanently from the loving bosom of MotherNature?

In “The Effects of Small Change,” Melissa Gerr rather charminglymakes something out of nothing in this personal-essay-on-film. Whentourists dump their change into a certain wishing fountain inItaly, they’re really throwing “pure, unadulterated bursts of hopeand faith into the air.”

Awesome. While I have trouble stomaching this much optimism in asingle sitting, “Small Change” is unremarkably pleasant and thusjust barely irritated my pessimist bone.

In Leif Peterson’s “It Came from 20,000 Fathoms” a professorwe’ll call, “long ironic foreign name, that I didn’t catch becauseit was a silent film and I read too slow,” discovers a shell on thebeach! And a two headed sea creature! Oh my. Short, sweet andhilarious.