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Thursday night the Pacific Film Archive showed a collection of student films entitled “Fleshed Out.” We weren’t sure what to expect from the title until we walked in a few minutes late and we were faced with a 15-foot vagina on the screen. The first film was a disturbing montage of medical consultations … let’s just say there was lots of body hair and penetration.

The second one was about a mock researcher named Sarah Gray who was investigating the “Ego Monster,” a naked bird-like creature with a bulbous stomach that called itself “Fraat” and squawked something about coming from L.A. and being a photographer. We assumed it was some kind of criticism of SoCal Frat boys, but then the film just ended. We found out it was originally part of an instillation for an art class … alright, that makes sense.

The biggest crowd pleaser of the night was “I’m In,” which attempted to flesh out what it means to be a hipster. The joke, of course, is that a hipster will never self-identify, even in the context of being interviewed for a documentary about hipsters, which led to some pretty hilarious self-reflexive moments. Bottom line: hipsters try really hard to look effortlessly cool. Now you know.

Another one explored a CIA agent who was put into the body of a (stuffed animal) cat but ends up getting frisky with another feline and not completing his mission. Dra-ma, Me-ow!

The next short entitled “The Flesh: Chapter 1, Angle of Trajectory” was by far the best of the night. A stop-motion film about a hand-made wire creature appropriately called the “Wireman,” it was made with the same professionalism as any full-length stop-motion film found in theaters today. It followed the Wireman through a series of surreal dreams and honestly left us a little disturbed.

“In His Blood” was a long-ish documentary by a student from the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism following a father-son camera crew in San Antonio. The vampirish duo found their niche filming freelance after the news stations had gone to sleep, then submitting their footage to the stations to be shown the next morning. Their story includes a lot of sleepless nights, dead bodies and a lot of criminals.

Good job, aspiring Berkeley filmmakers, we were thoroughly impressed!

Image Source: Ruby Lee

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