ON THE EVE of the millennium, the four founding members of the Danish Dogme95 movement -- Lars Von Trier (Breaking the Waves), Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), and two guys you never heard of -- will be out shooting feature films, each of which will be broadcast the very next day, at the very same time, on the four different channels of Danish television.

It's a good gimmick, but not necessarily an original one. During the golden age of television, Playhouse 90 would produce amazingly intricate 90-minute dramas, and perform them live.

Since then, people have created temporal limitations within which they create projects -- most recently, the Seattle International Film Festival's "Fly Filmmaking" program: For the last three years, SIFF has chosen three filmmakers a year (mostly out-of-state artists), given them 800 feet of film (about 22 minutes), a local crew, editing facilities, and one week to cast, shoot, and produce a short film.

As with the Dogme95 group or the Playhouse 90 people, artists tend to thrive under the limitations, and the Fly Filmmakers are no exception. I had seen all the shorts before, in each of their festival appearances, but I was impressed at how well they played in the Little Theatre. The retrospective of the first three years is broken up into two programs: the first being the films from 1997 and 1998, the second being the entire 1999 collection along with a documentary about the program, made by SIFF. Even if you've seen these films before, I can recommend trotting out to the Little Theatre to see them again -- this time without the film festival hubbub or late-festival burnout.

Local cast and crew will be at Thursday night's screenings to answer questions, dish gossip, and re-tell horror stories.

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