Short of the Week

My Wrongs #8245–8249 & 117

An epic battle of the mind between a man and the dog he’s watching.

A film on the dangers (and joys) of drug use, paranoia and talking to animals, Chris Morris’s My Wrongs # 8245 – 8249 & 117, is a hard film to nail down. Like the current knockout The King’s Speech, this BAFTA winner has a wonderful and darkly British sense of humor coupled with strangely dramatic and poetic moments.

My Wrongs follows one man’s descent into madness. Our unnamed hero is an unambitious house/dog sitter. After smoking a joint he takes the dog, a burly doberman, for a walk and begins making some very bad decisions.

I had a screenwriting teacher in Germany who was fond of quoting John Ford: “You can show anything you want in a movie as long as it’s interesting.” Morris took this lesson to heart. My Wrongs is bizarre, hilarious and tragic all at the same time. Mixing live-action and animation with a quirky and very effective score, Morris effortlessly creates a manic and totally believable world wherein dogs, babies and even ducks seem out to get our hapless protagonist.

Sharp dollies, dutch angles, fast cutting and jagged zooms and focus pulls help shape the world from a camera perspective. Morris also makes use of photo montage, narration, and just about every other camera technique under the sun.

Morris went to Sundance in 2010 with his feature debut Four Lions. My Wrongs is an extremely accomplished beginning to what will no doubt be a long and interesting career.

Jason B. Kohl is an Austrian/American filmmaker from Lansing, Michigan. His short films have played SXSW, Los Angeles, Locarno and been finalists for the Student Academy Awards. His first nonfiction book, a practical guide to film school, will be published by the Focal Press in 2015.
  • Jason Sondhi

    And the Golden Globe for Best Animal in a Short Film goes to…this dog! Steals the show.

  • FilmmakerFred

    I agree with the reviewer, I thought this was rather pedestrian looking at first, but the camera direction and editing eventually show a lot of personality. The score is amazing too.

  • Daniel Bottoms

    An impressive view of life through the mind of the mentally ill.The edit timing and performances by man and beast were top notch.With films of this caliber out there, I don’t understand some of the other questionable choices, for a “Short of the Week”.

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