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Short Starts: Watch “Dennis,” Short Source of the Sundance Drama “Teddy Bear”

Short Starts: Watch "Dennis," Short Source of the Sundance Drama "Teddy Bear"

Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today, in honor of Sundance rather than a new release, we present a 2007 short that has now been adapted for a feature film.

I thought I’d do something different for this week’s Short Starts. I nearly took a break from the column because I’m trying to cover some of Slamdance and Sundance from my home and that is taking up most of my work hours right now. But I’m about to review a Sundance feature titled “Teddy Bear,” which director Mads Matthiesen and his co-writer Martin Zandvliet have adapted from their 2007 short, “Dennis.” I figured it’s a good setup to talking about the new film by watching the old. This post is something of a column cross-over, too, since it applies to my irregular Originals posts, in which I look at the source of an adaptation or remake or the first film in a franchise.

I don’t want to say much about this film since I’m going to go spend that energy on the review, but I should note that the feature is a lot different, not just because it expands on the story here — “Teddy Bear” starts off with shy bodybuilder Dennis (Kim Kold) going on a date and then lying about it to his domineering mother — but the tone and outcome of the date in “Dennis” is nearly the opposite of the one in the feature. Maybe the events of the short are meant to be separate. Perhaps “Teddy Bear” is more of a sequel than a remake? For now you don’t need to wonder about that since only the short is accessible to those outside Park City at the moment. Watch the 18-minute film in full via YouTube below:

Thank to Movies.com for pointing me to this short film. You can find more early works by Sundance 2012 filmmakers in a post that includes shorts by Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Jamie Travis (“For a Good Time Call…”), Rodney Ascher (“Room 237”), Aurora Guerrero (“Mosquita y Mari”) and Marialy Rivas (“Young and Wild”).

Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter: @thefilmcynic
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