Filmmaker Levi Abrino Gets Shot Through the Heart (and Out of a Cannon)

As far as we can tell, there have been very few, if any, movies made about the romantic troubles of human cannonballs — and that’s reason enough to see Levi Abrino’s haunting and lyrical Lonely Bliss of the Cannonball Luke. An additional reason is that this dreamy love story, about a human cannonball trying to reclaim his girlfriend, is one of the best short films we’ve seen in the last couple of years. Abrino made this film at NYU, but its sensibility suggests the work of someone wise beyond his years; the beautiful 16mm photography and the slightly Badlands-like score also give it an old-school vibe that’s hard to resist. Heck, it’s even got real stunts — the actual human cannonball you see is living legend David Smith Sr., who made news a couple of years ago when he had himself launched headfirst across the U.S.-Mexico border. —Bilge Ebiri