There’s a lot to say about this week’s film. In the words of director Dave Lojek, Occurrences of Questionable Significance is an “obscure postmodern film about the Anthropocene and consumerism.” Certainly, that’s one way to put this quirky adventure of a film.
My first thought was: I’m impressed. It’s well-done from the beginning. The setting is crisp against the black background, the camera is high-quality, the sound is clear, and the shot composition is artistic but direct. I’m a big nerd about shot composition, and I noticed pretty immediately that this short uses only closeup, medium and medium wide shots—no wides to be found. I imagine this was a logistical choice based on their set, but it gave a very intimate feel to the film that helped me, as a viewer, to stay invested in a complex world.
The juxtaposition of an animal head against a human body struck me right away. Keeping human characteristics rather than anthropomorphizing the rest of the actors’ bodies is truly an artistic choice, which I believe shows the humanity of the experiences the animals endure. A chatty fox dealing with addiction, a fiery bunny in a sticky situation with her sugar daddy, and a forgettable moose make up the cast.
Onto my criticisms! I felt that there was some over-acting to make up for the lack of understandable dialogue. I could get what was happening in each scene based on the voice acting, sound design, and shot composition/timing alone, so the exaggerated motions didn’t seem necessary to me. It gave the film a cartoony feel that was a little unpleasant. Disregarding the over-acting, though, I appreciate how the film is able to convey emotion effectively without any facial expressions; it’s an intense roadblock they faced but jumped over gracefully.
I’m not going to address the “sex/foodplay” scene. I have nothing to say about the weirdness that occurs there. I just didn’t want to ignore it altogether—but I was hungry for answers.
Despite my criticisms, I found the ending incredibly impactful. The removal of the animal heads—breaking the rules of Lojek’s universe—further underscores the “animals'” human condition. The masks create distance between us and the animals, and the removal of those masks bridges that gap immediately. The animals are just as human as the audience.
Here’s the film in the director’s words: “When forest animals invade our cities, the world is in disarray. Office fox Fiona struggles with her phone addiction. Will she succumb to it? Temperamental bunny Barbara only gives her stag sugar daddy Nestor his special massage, after he dines her and plays the big spender. This obscure short film pinpoints postmodern tropes of consumerism, eroticism, and art with an homage to the theater stage and references to literature.”
Honestly, I got none of this on my own. I see all of this now that I know, but the story didn’t make this much sense to me without seeing Lojek’s description. But I very well could just be dense! Maybe you could predict this synopsis on your own. Even so, I’d love if it could have been clearer somehow.
Overall, I enjoyed the wackiness of this film! I believe it has a lot to say about society and the world as a whole, even though it’s buried under animal heads and indecipherable dialogue. The high production value just took my breath away and drew me into a delightfully weird plot full of foodsex and banana phones. My review: 3/5 banana phones.
Dave Lojek loves filmmaking and belongs to the most prolific and most often selected directors with over 1674 premiere screenings of his distributions at international film festivals worldwide. His favorite genres are comedy, parody, fantasy, romance, poetry, art, and experiment. Laureate Lojek also directs documentaries, dramas, portraits, sci-fi, and music videos. His works and distributions won 217 film awards. Dave Lojek graduated with an MA in English /American and Cultural Studies from Humboldt-University in his hometown Berlin.
Jett can be found in an Emerson College film classroom, the dance studio, or snuggled up with their cat. they have dabbled in most every aspect of film, from directing, to writing, to being a production assistant, to editing, and now criticizing.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.