It's hard to squeeze out time to see any short films at SXSW, but I saw two last night that provided an interesting contrast. Benjamin M. Piety's Sunlit Shadows is a very good-looking romantic drama that has a languorous feeling to it. Ryan Scharoun and Jennifer Marks play a couple spending a little time together: in bed, at the breakfast table, watching TV, and so forth. He narrates first, giving his interpretation, and then the scenes repeat from the female point of view. They're a good-looking couple, and Ms. Marks captures a lazy, off-beat cadence in her narration, but the short is probably too precious for its own good. Still, I'd like to see what the people involved do next.
Sunlit Shadows felt long at 14 minutes, but was a good match for the film it preceded (The Lost Coast), as was Ed Goodman's I Slammed My D--- in the Drawer, which played before the frequently funny Registered Sex Offender. The highest praise I can offer the hilarious I Slammed My D--- in the Drawer is that it lived up to the full promise of its title and, at four minutes, may be the only film in the festival that doesn't feel too long.
Speaking of Registered Sex Offender, it featured a supporting performance by filmmaker Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation), which marked the third time I had seen him that day. A few hours earlier he appeared briefly on screen in the Zellner Brothers' Goliath, and even earlier he attended a screening of Wesley Willis' Joyride, a well-made doc about a very unique Chicago musician and artist. Festivals are great for catching up with friends, even those you only know from the movies.