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Short Film: ‘The Pirate of Love Vol. I’ Is So Much Better Than ‘Searching for Sugarman’

Short Film of the Day

Why Watch? An Icelander found a CD, 15 songs by an unknown American musician named Daniel C. The lyrics give plenty of hints. He’s definitely a trucker, and he’s definitely in love with someone named Sherry. Yet beyond that any interpretations to rumor, with some claiming that Sherry was underage, that the trucker was an immigrant from Romania, etc. It’s like Searching for Sugarman but without any of the overbearing sense of historical significance.

Director Sara Gunnarsdottir expertly balances her interview subjects and the music itself, choosing to juxtapose black and white footage of speculative Icelanders with deliriously animated interpretations of Daniel C’s songs. The animated sequences are careful to maintain the sense of mystery, never settling on particular visual representation of the singer for too long. His face is reshaped again and again, part of a larger shifting aesthetic that soon reaches an almost psychedelic climax.

On May 13th of this year, Gunnarsdottir received a message from a dispatcher at a trucking company in Mississippi. It turns out that Daniel C is one of his drivers, and that “The Pirate of Love” is not his only CD. Determined to bring the whole story to the world, Gunnarsdottir is raising funds for a sequel at KarolinaFund. If you’re curious (which you should be), go support the project!

What Will It Cost? Just over 10 minutes.

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Daniel Walber is a freelance critic living in Brooklyn. He holds a MA in cinema studies from New York University, loves any movie under 80 minutes, and is gay for Bette Davis.

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