Mr. Twister (Documentary Shorts)(Clay Westervelt, 2013): USA

Reviewed by Christopher Stull. Viewed at the SB Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Film Festival 2013.

Whenever you have a short compilation, there are always hits and misses. Though that could be said about anything really. My point is its about the audience, if they love it or not, their perception. I personally saw three of the short compilations at the film festival, and this one was the best as far as overall quality. Each documentary had a little something that kept me engaged, whether it was the captivating personality of Stue Larkin in The Bronzer or the big-headed personality of Brute Force. This one stood out to me though.

Mr. Twister is a 5 minute documentary about Brian Tolley, an autistic teen who has the awesome ability to create art out of twist ties. To me, his autism is an afterthought. I honestly forgot he had it until he stuttered a little in his interview. His creativity was just so amazing that I actually became envious of his autism. Brian’s creativity sparked when he saw a bent paperclip. It was a simple shape, curved into a crescent, but one end was then bent into a tiny circle with a bit sticking off. Normal to you and me, but to Brian it was a man, the circle being the body and the little bit being his head, with a giant scorpion tail. I find that amazing, to be able to take a simple shape and turn it into something so original. And he has been making twist action figures, spaceships, even life sized swords and shoes ever since.

This short, while amazing, to me, could easily be passed up by others. In part due to its paltry length of 5 minutes, and also because of its placement in the showing. It’s essentially competing with Jiu-Jitsuing Reality, despite there being no contest between the two. I think that Mr. Twister deserves more love because most people will talk about Jiu. Neither is better than the other, just that people will inevitably forget the really cool autistic kid who makes and actually sells his twist figure dragons and zombies.

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