Short Sighted #3: A Cautionary Tail

Would we have had this years Mystery Road without Ivan Sen’s ’98 short Vanish? Or Robert Connolly’s million dollar success The Turning without his ’97 short Rust Bucket?
The fact is short films are the backbone of the film industry and the beginning of amazing careers for some of the world’s greatest auteurs.
Here, Cinema Australia takes a look at the four shorts the Australian Film Institute deems the years best.

A CAUTIONARY TAIL

Directed by: Simon Rippingale
Starring: David Wenham, Cate Blanchett and Barry Otto

A young girl is born with a tail and as she develops her abnormality becomes an extension of her emotions, expressing curiosity, sadness and an adorable playfulness. When she has the tail removed she soon discovers conformity may not have been the best option.
It’s hard not to get swept away by Erica Harrison’s rhyming screenplay, narrated by the wonderful David Wenham. It will have you cackling during some scenes and choking backs tears in others. Everyone, male or female, will find something in this delightful little character to relate to.
But while A Cautionary Tail’s animation style is beautifully colourful and grand in scope, it’s rapidly becoming unoriginal and lacks distinction from other animated films.
While I enjoyed this short, I don’t think it’s the most dominant of the four nominations and if it is rewarded the AACTA, I hope it’s not just for it’s A-list cast.
Producer Pauline Piper told Cinema AustraliaIt’s fantastic just to be part of this year’s program of great Australian films and celebrating everyone’s success. Taking home the coveted gold man would be an honour for any Aussie filmmaker.

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