In 2003, the small Kochi Racetrack in southern Japan was in trouble. The Lost Decade hit the provincial raceway hard, and the staff was scrambling to find some way to stave off bankruptcy. One day, they found an unlikely savior. This is the story of Haru Urara, the losingest racehorse in Japan, and how she gave hope to millions.
Fabrice Mathieu created something new, and an homage to the shadowy, noir films he loves with two shorts: In the Shadow, creating a film from shadows and silhouettes, and Master of Suspense, a story built from Alfred Hitchcock's cameo introduction and cameo appearances.
Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.”Franz Kafka's Before the Law, animated as a pinscreen prologue to Orson Welles' film adaptation of Kafka's The Trial (Pop Matters review), and a stand-alone "free interpretation" short titled The Guardian by N9ve Studios. [more inside]
Puppy Love, a fetching first date tale, took home 1st place in this year's Des Moines 48 Hour Film competition. Woof.
Projections in the Forest is a micro-scale projection video ("making of" short) that imitates a bioluminescent forest (project site), with projections to look like foxfire and such bioluminescent mushrooms, plus some animals and elements that usually don't generally glow in the dark. If you like such projection techno-magic, 3hund have a few other projection projects on their Vimeo account.
30 years ago, Rick Rubin was a college student, living in NYU's Weinstein Residence Hall, room #712. It was there that Def Jam Records was formed, shifting the focus of hip-hop from the MCs to promote the DJs, too. Rubin and his label quickly outgrew the dorm, and he hasn't been back since. Recently he returned, and the adventure was captured and put into context by Rolling Stone Film's mini-documentary, Rick Was Here. New footage rolls alongside old, with some animations to bring a few audio-only stories to life. [more inside]
“Aspirational,” by Michael Frost for Vs. Magazine
"Vs. Magazine cover girl Kirsten Dunst stars in what is NOT your typical fashion film. Between late Ubers and selfie-obsessed fangirls, Kiki gives us a tongue-in-cheek look at celebrity culture and social media... Next time you take a selfie with your favorite star, think twice - unlike the girls in this film.vsmagazinelive.com
Butter Ya'Self (Vimeo; YouTube) is "basically ... the story of Drake and Lil’ Wayne [as told with an anthropomorphic banana, hot dog bun, and stick of butter]. ButterKrust is 100% based on Wayne – Nana Splits isn’t based on anyone real but his relationship to ButterKrust is based on Drake’s relationship to Lil’ Wayne. The most important thing I wanted to express in this video is the relationship between them, how tight they are and how much Nana Splits looks up to ButterKrust." That's the story from Julian Petschek, who is studying at The California Institute of the Arts. [more inside]
Let's think back to the 1960s, when more people were writing surreal, paranoid themes. Now place Jim Henson in that context, and you get Time Piece (YouTube, excerpt; behind the scenes clip, YT). Add in collaboration with writer (and puppeteer) Jerry Juhl and you have The Cube (YT, full film), as well as the setting for the hypnagogic story of a man pursued in the desert, called Tale of Sand. This was first written up as a screenplay and pitched as a movie in the late 1960s, then revised and re-pitched in 1974. But no one bit, so the screenplay was shelved, and then Jim gained fame for Sesame Street and The Muppets. Elements of Tale of Sand appeared in The Muppet Movie (YT, full movie) and other places since then, but the work was largely unseen and forgotten. Jump ahead three decades, and the Henson Company teams up with Archaia, first releasing Fraggle Rock and Dark Crystal comics, then digging in the Henson Company vault to bring Tale of Sand to light with cartoonist Ramón Pérez. You can see a preview of the graphic novel on Graphicly (including a nice dynamic display) and Amazon (static images, but more pages in the preview). [more inside]
Three young filmmakers from Melbourne, Australia were set to make a short film on the serenity of fly fishing, focusing on a man named Phipps who lived on a lake in central Tasmania. Once they met Phipps, however, that all changed. Here is a glimpse into Phipps' beautiful, quiet world. [more inside]
Sometimes you want to be somber, or serious, or just enjoy some peace and quiet. And in some of those instances, you get jazz that nobody asked for. Jazz that just won't die. [more inside]
New York Biotopes deals with abstract plants and creatures, which change their forms because of insufficient living space and adapt themselves to the surroundings of the metropolis New York City. Set to the music of Man Mantis. More videos from Lena Steinkühler on her Vimeo channel.
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
The short documentary Always A Fire (vimeo) "details Chad's incredible rehabilitation and recovery from the horrific accident that nearly cost him his life. Comprised of intimate interviews with Chad and his trainers, as well as never-before-seen footage of his long road to recovery, the film provides an unflinching view of an elite athlete facing unimaginable tragedy and refusing to submit." [via mefi projects]
Prasanna Puwanarajah's moving short about a Velodrome carpenter, BOY was the winner of the British Airways Great Britons 2012 competition. [more inside]
Like a children's book for adults. Blok [slyt] a 1982 short by Polish Director Hieronim Neumann.
The short films of Floris Kaayk and Sil van der Woerd blend live-action footage and computer animation. Metalosis Maligna. Swim. Duet. Order Electrum. [more inside]
In 1964, Mel Brooks won both the Oscar & BAFTA Best Short Film awards for The Critic. His first film, it revolves around an old man heckling abstract animation that he doesn't understand. Youtube (lower quality) | brettratner.com (higher quality)
Copy Shop is a 12-minute dialogue-free film by director Virgil Widrich about a guy inadvertently duplicating himself over and over (320 x 240 streaming Real format download link). The most interesting aspect of the short, however, is that it was made frame-by-frame of photocopies, manipulated for jarring visual effects and then shot with a camera to put together the final cut. (Mentioned previously by film aficionado pxe2000.) Also see Widrich's photocopied short Fast Film with even more calamitous, unraveling effects. Get this guy toner refills for his birthday.
Rustboy, a short film about a Pinocchio/Frankenstein-esque robot child almost a year in the making thus far, has up until recently been illustrator Brian Taylor's personal side project. He's been keeping a diary of the process on his site and posting movie clips, storyboard sketches, and descriptions of how he achieves various effects the whole time. Followers of the site recently got the good news that Taylor has received funding to work on Rustboy full-time beginning in April. I've bookmarked it so I can check in every so often and say, "MAN, I wish I could do that!"
Everyone's favorite foul-mouthed, philosophical shopclerks are back. For those of you who missed it's premiere on the Tonight Show a coupla days ago, the inimitable Kevin Smith has new short up on his site(Quicktime and RealMedia). Dante and Randal are back talking all about mad German Scientists, The Jetsons and the decline of American ingenuity. Terrific, as always, Kev.
There are some new cops out on the street. Yes. Its Eric Stoltz starring in "Jesus & Hutch". Just in time for Christmas. *Warning* This is a movie so if you are on a dialup like I am, sorry.