Partycrashers: A Video Dispatch from Vila do Conde

Why are short films so under-valued and under-discussed?
Neil Young, Michael Pattison

Partycrashers is an on-going series of video dispatches from critics Michael Pattison and Neil Young.

Anniversaries are bunk, and birthdays not much better, but it seems acceptable to note that this ninth Partycrashers discussion—taped at the Curtas shorts film festival in Vila do Conde, Portugal—took place almost exactly a year after our first, recorded as the sun set on a muggy evening within sight of Marseille’s port.

In between, we've ventured to Poland (Wrocław), Kosovo (Prizren), Austria (Vienna), back 'home' to the UK (Newcastle), Germany (Berlin), Austria again (Graz) and the USA (Los Angeles), debating films, film festivals and whatever else caught our passing fancy and didn't seem too self-indulgently tangential or esoteric.

While we’d like to think the standard of debate has been consistent—hopefully improving as we’ve gone on—the technical aspects have been, shall we say, somewhat more erratic, dependent on the availability of equipment and skilled collaborators behind the camera.

No cause for concern at Vila do Conde, however, Curtas being one of those festivals where every intro and discussion, every sneeze and hiccup from every guest and juror, seems to be recorded for posterity.

In these days of precarious funding for all cultural events—including film festivals—documentation is crucial, so that the moneymen (and -women) can be given empirical, digital proof that the event actually took place and worthwhile activity really was conducted therein. For every buck, a bang. —Neil Young

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