A Bit Older and a Little Bit Taller 

2:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5, Cottonwood Center for the Arts; 3:15 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6, City Auditorium

A Bit Older and a Little Bit Taller exemplifies, to me, many of the problems with short films that try to come at you with a comedic bent when written by people that really aren't all that funny. It's an inside-baseball type of flick that may appeal to people who have experience with the travails of movie casting and whatnot, but elicits a minor chuckle, if that, from everyone else.

British actors Gary Condes and Joe Ferrara are two unkempt, stubbled dudes sitting in a quiet café, enjoying a lunch together. When one of them is called up and offered a job to star as the lead in the latest Quentin Tarantino movie, we're treated to the highs and lows these two feel when one of them realizes his big break is only moments away. Until it isn't.

Now maybe this is the nitpicky movie-geek inside me, but the Tarantino movie described doesn't sound anything like a real Tarantino movie; it reminds me more of pseudo-comical description of a movie that someone who has only seen Pulp Fiction once, but who reads Entertainment Weekly on the toilet with passion, would think that Tarantino would make. It's such a glaring, unrealistic plot-point faux-pas that it takes me out of the impact of what happens to this duo next. But maybe this is just me. Maybe I'm not the target audience.

Another problem I had with director Manlio Roseano's Taller is that a comedic short, no matter how dark or fluffy, no matter how short or long, needs to build to a final punch in the gut. You only have so much time to get across not only the point, but the ultimate joke, the very reason why the film was made, and that needs to be handled with nimble timing and deft comedic voice. Both of which, sadly, this 13-minute short lacks. It almost moves into some sort of Britishly-twee arena that becomes more cynically cloying than anything else. There was potential here, but it was ultimately wasted. — LF

Independent Film Festival

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