Pura Vida

Why Watch? Beautiful in its layers, this short from Chris Shimojima chases a masked pixie dream girl through picture postcards. It’s constructed with gorgeous shots and pleading dialogue (that finds itself bleeding into flashbacks and new visuals), and in doing so it creates a great sense of useful frustration as a young man desperately tries to see a young woman’s face during a few days of adventurous bliss.

That dreamlike, shifting sand structure gives the story a strong momentum even when the characters are calm and reflective. It has a singular goal, but respects the journey and offers a glimpse at the joy that the young man wants to hold on to.

On that front, David Melissaratos offers a slam poet’s cadence as the lovestruck and naive, but it’s Anita Anthonj — using only her body and voice to magnetize — that shines here as a salsa dancing enigma.

What Will It Cost? About 9 minutes.

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