There is a giddy charge that runs through the veins when watching The Weatherman and the Shawdowboxer. That sense of energy that comes with the discovery and acknowledgement of a director who is destined for great things. Randall Okita is that director. Remember his name now because you will be hearing it for years to come. No doubt about it.
Okita’s mesmerizing short film The Weatherman and the Shawdowboxer focuses on the way traumatic events impact memory. In the short film the lives of two brothers go on divergent paths as they both struggle to block out the past. However, as the ominous narration points out, you cannot tell someone they are wrong about their own memories. With emotional scars that run deep, their self-destructive paths have led them to a point where the brothers have vastly different recollections of what actually happened.
A visually stunning tour de force, Okita’s film packs a punch on numerous levels. You will spend just as much time trying to figure out how Okita and his team pulled off such seamless visuals as you do contemplating the heavy themes at play within the film. While Okita has surrounded himself with a talented crew – fellow filmmarker Sol Friedman, whose own short film Day 40 is also playing the festival, is listed under concept art and animation in the credits – this film has Okita’s stamp all over it. Pushing boundaries in every aspect of the film, Okita’s fearlessness is something to behold.
Challenging and provocative in all the right ways, The Weatherman and the Shawdowboxer is unlike anything you have seen before. A cinematic spectacle filled with emotion that resonates with audiences, Okita’s film is one of the best short films you will come across this year.
Screens (as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 3):
Sunday, September 7, 9:45 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Monday, September 8, 4:15 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Ticket information can be found at the TIFF website.