Robert Florey's "The Love of Zero," is a zippy, lil' short tracking the, you guessed it, love of Zero. Zero's everything I want a 1920s film character to be -- a Chaplin-esque fella strolling around in an impressionistic world (silent, of course), playing on his trombone to impress a coy damsel. The damsel in question, Beatrix, immediately falls for the enthusiastic trombonist. What follows is a sweet story of their courtship, and the inevitable problem posed for the happy couple when Beatrix receives a letter instructing her to get back post-haste to the Grand Vizier's Palace (this was 1927, let's remember - Grand Viziers and their palaces of lusty sin were a part of the vaguely mainstream consciousness).
The short incorporates some seriously stunning shots and innovative uses of film, back when film was still a relatively revolutionary medium."Love of Zero," with its excellent jangly piano and trombone soundtrack, kaleidoscope shots, and genuinely sweet plot, is a welcome break from the inundation of holiday schmaltz we're all suffering from this late in December. Also, while a love story about Zero and Beatrix, it's one of the best odes to the trombone I've ever stumbled upon.