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"The World According to Shorts" film series at BAMcinematek is like a pinata full of bite-size, exotic treats. Get your fill of animated, narrative, documentary and experimental short films beginning Sept. 8, when BAMcinematek presents 12 movies from all over the globe.

Now in its fifth year, the series, curated by Jonathan Howell of New Yorker Films, is culled from two French short film festivals, Clermont-Ferrand and Brest.

The "Cartoons and Conundrums" program, screening Sept. 8 at 6:50 pm, and Sept. 9 at 9:15 pm, features Peter Cornwell’s animated delight "Ward 13" (pictured). In this 15-minute Australian film, a patient awakens in a hospital to find that the medical professionals have nefarious motives and sharp instruments. A highlight of "Cartoons and Conundrums," this hilarious - yet gruesome - flick features a head-scratching, how’d-they-do-that? high-speed chase featuring mechanized wheelchairs that whiz down corridors and careen around sharp, 90-degree turns.

"Cartoons and Conundrums" also features Torbjorn Skarild’s experimental film from Norway, "All in All," which is a tour-de-force of editing and sound design; Daniel Askill’s "We Have Decided Not to Die," with jaw-dropping scenes of three people’s journeys of transcendence; Hyun-Kyung Park and Woonki Kim’s "The Old Man with the Knapsack," an animated parable from South Korea featuring villagers curious about the contents of an elderly man’s heavy load; and Marc Craste’s "JoJo in the Stars," a 12-minute animated film from Britain about one creature’s love for the incarcerated aerialist in a brutish circus freakshow. ("JoJo in the Stars" won the Best Animation award in Clermont-Ferrand’s International Competition.)

Among the tasty morsels of the "Facts and Fictions" program - screening Sept. 8 at 9:15 pm and Sept. 9 at 6:50 pm - is Hugo Maza’s "The Bitch."

In Maza’s satirical, 17-minute film from Chile, a domestic servant dutifully cleans the home of a bourgeois couple while they loll around their bedroom, fearing and yet becoming absurdly aroused by the prospect that they’ve hired another pilfering maid.

Other "Facts and Fictions" highlights include Adam Guzinski’s "Antichrist," a film from Poland about a parentless gang of boys that demonstrates the pure joy and cruelty of childhood a la "Lord of the Flies" and Jonas Bergergard and Jonas Holmstrom’s "Natan," a Swedish film that won the International Competition’s Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand. "Natan" features a Scandinavian Forest Gump who is berated and bullied by the pot-bellied boss of a fast-food chain.


Admission to each program is $10. There will be a reception for ticket holders in the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Natman Room on Sept. 8 following the 6:50 pm screening. BAM is located at 30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place in Fort Greene. For tickets, call (718) 777-FILM or visit www.bam.org. For more information, call (718) 636-4100.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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