Each week the folks at Cinema Circus show a series of short films on Wednesday evening at the Chilmark Community Center. The films begin at 6 p.m. but the circus — complete with jugglers, face painters, stilt walkers, food and music — gets underway at 5 p.m.
The short films are programmed each week around a central theme, introduced in the first film by Professor Projector. This week’s theme is telling stories.
An advanced screening of the films was arranged with a young cineaste. This week’s reviewer is Leo Shanus Merkel.
Professor Projector: Telling Stories (Dir. Scott Barrow / U.S.A. / 2013 / 5 min.)
This movie will help any Kid Critic write his or her review. Professor Projector explains to the ringmaster what happened to the big top and the popcorn machine and why everything is going crazy at Cinema Circus. He explains how stories are told. It’s a good lesson and it was short.
Wolf Dog Tales (Dir. Bernadine Sanistevan / U.S.A. / 2012 / 7 min.)
This film made me feel spiritual. It was about wolves and how humans used to be together with the wolves. It was animated and narrated. It is about humans and wolves being brothers.
Black Sheep (Dir. Edo Lukman / Croatia / 2011 / 4 min.)
This was a funny film about two people trying to have their sheep have different hairstyles and be better than each other’s. It is animated, with no dialogue or narration. It was a series of pictures that told the story, with music. I liked it.
The Cats of Mars Meet the Toy Cars (Dir. Jacob Stalhammar / Sweden / 2010 / 8 min.)
This film was very interesting. It was all narrated and it was animated. The voice of the narrator was serious, but he spoke in rhyme. It was about a toy car that met some cats on Mars and the cats helped him find a home. It took place in space and it was very pretty.
Boris the Rat Improves His Posture (Dirs. Kaisa Penttila and Leena Laaskelainen / Finland / 2012 / 5 min.)
Boris the Rat and Annalie the Herring work together to improve Boris’s posture. This film was animated, with no dialogue. It told the story of Boris the Rat who causes so much trouble all because he was too short to ride the roller coaster. He had a funny friend who was a rich herring who helped him. I liked it.
Mountain Animals Lunch with Brown Bear (Dir. Tomoko Oguchi / U.S.A. / 2012 / 4 min.)
This was an animated film in which the characters didn’t move very much. They looked like they were made out of fabric and paint. It was silent, and narrated with cards that the viewer has to read. The story was about a bear that likes people food — none of his friends did though.
Rising Hope (Dir. Milen Vitanow / Germany / 2012 / 10 min.)
This film is about a horse that was number one in the world of horse racing. Then he got a little sick and couldn’t run. He wanted to be in the country more than anything. This film had no dialogue and no narration. A lot of the story was told through the eyes of the horse and that was neat and unusual.
In the Shadow (Dir. Manuel Sumberac / Croatia / 2012 / 4 min.)
This was claymation, I think. There was no talking, but the main character, the squirrel, made sounds. He was trying to get to see the sun but when he finally got to, he didn’t like it and he put an umbrella up. I liked it.
The Sparrow and the Piece of Straw (Dir. Zsolt Richly / Hungary / 2010 / 7 min.)
This film was narrated in Hungarian with English subtitles. The subtitles were fast. There was no dialogue. It told the story of a sparrow trying to build a nest. The sparrow dropped a piece of straw it needed to build a nest for her babies. The straw was too heavy for the sparrow to lift. Other birds came to help, one by one, and finally the birds together lifted the straw.
The Review on the Reviewer
Name: Leo Shanus Merkel.
Age: Eight and a half.
School: Saint Ann’s, Brooklyn, N.Y., entering 3rd grade.
Name and age of sibling: David, 17 and Gabe, almost 13.
Name of pet: Posey. We had a bearded Dragon named Mini for 7 years.
Something new you are learning: I am getting better at tennis.
New place you would like to explore: The Dead Sea.
New food you recently tried: Bluefish. My mom made it. It was delicious.
Favorite thing about Martha’s Vineyard: The walking trails
What do you want to do/be when you grow up: I’d like to be a squash player.
Anything else you want us to know about you: I am learning my multiplication tables. Yesterday, I jumped off a boat into the Sound with my brother. So fun!