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FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN – SLIFF Review

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The film’s title pretty much sums up the world’s view of poor Antonio. Oh yeah, he’s pretty shy and constantly abused, too. He’s the butt of the office bully’s constant jabs at the little notary office where he works. His neer-do well brother Nardo only calls him to ask for money (and gets furious when reminded of past loans). Even the waiter at his lunch-time restaurant ignores him. Something’s got to change. And, surprisingly, things do change. He gets a new boss who looks remarkably similar (they’re constantly posing for photos together). And it turns out that the support group for shy people he reluctantly joined may just bring him out of his shell. Antonio’s story is told using new animation techniques in this Columbian feature-length film. Live action footage of the actors are traced in the computer and turned into squiggly-lined (the line weight is constantly changing) cartoon characters (a technique used for the recent films WAKING LIFE and A SCANNER DARKLY). Their look is simplified with only a few lines to delineate facial features (eyes, noses,etc.) with solid bright colors. The characters movie against photos and footage of real places (some that include blurry real folks). The  unique animation style helps bring out the humor and pathos of this story of a modern-day Latin MARTY.

FAT, BALD, SHORT MAN screens as part of the 21st Annual Whitaker Saint Louis International Film Festival on Monday, November 12 at 4:30 PM at the Plaza Frontenac Cinemas

Jim Batts was a contestant on the movie edition of TV's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in 2009 and has been a member of the St. Louis Film Critics organization since 2013.

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