The annual Oscar-Nominated Short Films program is typically pretty good, although by definition, only one of those films will go on to be Oscar-winning. But the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour includes the winners and thus the good stuff, in spite of the tackiness of including the word “Film” twice in the program title. Better yet, you get to keep your indie cred! (At least until Slamdance starts touring.)
Of interest this year is Anna Margaret Hollyman’s Maude, about a babysitter who takes a gig for a rich family and decides to give the lifestyle a try. Fans of disturbing animation will enjoy Kangmin Kim’s Jeom, about a birthmark that vexes multiple generations. But best of all is Mariama Diallo’s horror-homage Hair Wolf, set in a Black hair salon that’s receiving an influx of spooky white customers. Director Diallo’s surname being one consonant off from giallo is no doubt coincidental to Hair Wolf being shot like a stylish 1970s horror movie, complete with an opening-credits freeze frame and a copyright notice! But Hair Wolf deserved to win just for how it repurposes the tired zombie “braaains!” cliché, among the many gems in a relentlessly sharp script that makes one hope that Diallo will get a chance to make a full-length film.
Not rated. Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.