If a short film can cover insecurity, trauma, heartbreak, and hope in 8 minutes while telling a coherent story through a clever lens, you have to keep an eye on those filmmakers. Thus today I offer up “I Make Good Sounds at Parties,” directed by Amanda Prager.
Written by and starring Russell Goldman, this funny and slightly surreal Cinequest short focuses on that awkward guy at a party. He’s not really sure why he wants to go, and his inner voice screams at him not to step inside the house. As his evening progresses, we really only hear his insecurity speaking — which should be a character in itself. He’s not good at small talk, he may have accidentally poured too heavy a drink, and he’s terrible at beer pong. But the consequences are funny — even if they’re not really happening.
It’s tight, engaging, and carries through an entire arc. Prager’s direction (and editing) flows seamlessly, and Goldman plays a balancing act that leaves things opening for his insecurities to be all in his head. (Which, of course, they are, but you know what I mean.) Maybe the next party will go better for him, but you shouldn’t miss this one.
Shorts at Cinequest are running a bit differently this year; instead of thematic groupings playing together, each one is available to stream through March 30th at creatics.org/cinejoy/ for only 99 cents! Half the proceeds go to the filmmakers, and half keeps Cinequest running — so we may all meet again in San Jose.