The films at the Denton Black Film Festival generally offer searing social commentary, and this year’s slate is no different. Short films like Bus Stop and Reel Inspiration show that a talented filmmaker can craft something beautiful and effective in under 10 minutes, and the men and women behind the scenes on both of these films are anything if not immensely talented.
Jason Bostic and Kendra Dobson’s Bus Stop plays with viewers minds a bit, twisting and turning so much throughout the six-minute runtime as an unsettling score provides background music for the revenge tale brewing on screen.
A bus stop provides the setting for chance encounter between an old, ailing professor and his former pupil. The student lashes out and hits the professor, who allegedly experimented on him and other former students, but the professor shows no remorse and quickly boards a bus going to a doctor’s office. What he finds when he gets there sends a chill down the viewer’s spine, and Bostic’s creepy short is sure to stick with the moviegoer long after they leave the theater.
Short but sweet: That may be the best way to describe Reel Inspiration. Rome Harrison’s flick begins with an unnamed narrator walking through a dank alleyway with a reel of film. When the man rolls the film on the rain-soaked cement, the film follows the reel as it slides and glides throughout an unnamed city and past various characters.
There’s a young woman practicing for a track and field event, two men engaged in a shootout that turns out to be a movie scene, and a woman draped in camouflage trying to fix her car on the side of the road. Just like the unnamed artist narrating the film, the reel absorbs a bit from each setting it passes, before ultimately arriving at its final destination – an art gallery.
Harrison’s whimsical and touching film feels both personal and accessible, and by the end of the reel, the viewer will want to see more of Harrison’s unique perspectives.
Bus Stop runs 6 minutes and Reel Inspiration runs 5 minutes. Both will be shown Friday, January 7 at 5:15 p.m. during Film Block 3 with the shorts The Example, Postal and The Letter Carrier as part of Denton Black Film Festival. To purchase tickets at the online box office, click here.