"To launch a science-fiction anthology series is to dare comparisons with The Twilight Zone. Happily, Welcome to Paradox is not unworthy to be mentioned in the same sentence as Rod Serling's classic show. The weekly dramas, all based on short stories, are set in Betaville [a nod to Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 dystopian sci-fi/noir film, Alphaville], a future city filled with ultrahigh technology and perennial human unhappiness.... Bottom Line: Makes the future look intriguing." The Sci-Fi channel only produced 13 episodes (archived view of their site; ep list on Wikipedia), letting the series end with one season. The show was only released on DVD in Australia, which now seems to be out of print. But fear not! You can watch the episodes on YouTube in a convenient playlist, or with separate episodes linked below the fold. [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]
Alice Munro Puts Down Her Pen to Let the World In: Accepting a literary prize in Toronto last month, Alice Munro, the acclaimed short-story writer — “our Chekhov,” as Cynthia Ozick has called her — winner of the Man Booker International Prize and just about every important North American literary award for which she is eligible, told a newspaper interviewer, “I’m probably not going to write anymore.”
Dr. Easy is a beautifully produced dark sci-fi short based on the story The Red Men. It follows a medical robot trying to help an armed and wounded man before the police are sent in. [via | SFW but may have triggers]
Toute la mémoire du monde (1956: 21 minutes) is a remarkably lovely documentary short by Alain Resnais about the Bibliothèque nationale de France in the age of print. Via The Funambulist. [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]
Partysaurus Rex, a new animated short from Pixar, in which we join the characters from Toy Story for an ecstatic bathtime rave (poster). The short débuted ahead of ("opened for") Finding Nemo 3D in September 2012, and features an original soundtrack by electronic musician BT. [more inside]
Strange Oaks is the latest teaser trailer from the Barcelona-based Headless Productions (and friends), this time about a retirement community for witches. The Headless Productions Vimeo account has 13 more teasers and trailers, mostly featuring hand-drawn animation, some of which has since made its way into full movies. [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]
Paths of Hate is a highly stylized Polish CGI animated short movie which to an extent mimics traditional cel animation, but goes far beyond what's practically possible with traditional techniques. It also has some excellent, high-intensity aerial combat. Possibly NSFW for some light blood and gore.
IDEM PARIS is a new short documentary film by David Lynch on the art of lithography. Read Lynch's intro to the piece.
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.
"You may find my actions extreme, but for a crew of sufficient numbers, if a suitable destination could be found, no return destination would be needed. Therefore, I have had to improvise, with our ship, with our crew." The goal was to make a short sci-fi film, but without CGI, greenscreens, or other digital trickery, instead relying on camera tricks, miniature photography, and stop-animation. And now it is done: C 299,792 km/s [more inside]
Seven For A Secret - an anonymous fanfic author creates seven unhappy ( or at least, unconventional ) endings for Disney Princesses by placing them in proper historical, mythological, or thematic context.
"...the first decade of the 21st century can be viewed as a singularly male-dominated era in American cinema."
New York Times Magazine "Hollywood Issue": Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship. Accompanied by an online web series of 13 original, short films: Wide Awake, each starring an actress whose performance helped 'define the year in film.' [more inside]
The Maker. A gorgeous short stop-motion animation about a creature who has only one important mission (SLYT) [more inside]
Short film by Khalil Joseph Song by Flying Lotus, Film by Khalil Joseph. Very violent images, but beautiful all at the same time.
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]
Le Miroir is the story of a life as reflected in the bathroom mirror. It's a lovely contemplation on staying in place while traveling through the experience of growing older. [via] [direct video link]
A robotic disagreement turns serious when they drop the bass.
Goodbye, Thursday productivity. Hello, 10 wonderful short films based on famous short stories.
A chance of a lifetime for aspiring filmmakers: Kevin Spacey stars in three scripts from the Jameson-sponsored First Shot contest. In the phenomenal The Ventriloquist a ventriloquist and his dummy are having a hard time relating to each other and humanity; in The Envelope, a Russian man's hobby fulfills his purpose; and in Spirit of a Denture a mild-mannered dentist faces off with a difficult patient.
Sci-Fi-London put on another 48 hour film challenge this year, challenging film teams to make a short based around a given title, a snippet of dialogue, a short list of props, and an optional "scientific" theme. After two days in April, over 380 shorts had been made, and the winners have now been announced and and their short films posted on Sci-Fi-London's Vimeo account. 17 more shorts below the break. [more inside]
Animation veteran Steve Moore recently posted a short from the archives of Disney TV Animation, written by Dan O’Shannon, narrated by Garrison Keillor, and voiced by Mia Farrow, Michael Richards, June Foray, and Adam West, all set to a jazz soundtrack. Take 15 minutes and watch Redux Riding Hood. Steve tells the story of the short on his blog. (Via Cartoon Brew)
The Eagleman Stag is the 2011 BAFTA award winning Royal College of Art thesis film of director/writer Mikey Please. It's mostly made out of some strange white stuff, found in the back of a stress cushion.
The Boundaries of Life and Death is a lovely short animation inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe quotation;
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"[more inside]
Heavily influenced by samurai films from film makers such as Akira Kurosawa, French/Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido produced a short award winning film, Hasaki Ya Suda (The Three Black Samurai) set in the future. Its synopsis reads: It is 2100. In the world engulfed in chaos and war whose residents are consumed by terrible hunger, the last fertile land became the subject of fierce battles. Three warriors: noble Wurubenba (Jacky Ido), Shandaru (Cedric Ido), who wants to avenge his father’s death, and Kapkaru (Min Man Ma) craving for power, will face one another in a fight for life and death. Watch the full 25-minute Hasaki Ya Suda short film (available only with French subtitles at the moment) or the 1 minute teaser. Interview with Cedric in English.
Blow Out Sale - An imaginative short film featuring Danny Pudi, which looks at the dangerous and competitive world of retail furniture sales. [more inside]
Rage - An amusing little animated short showing a rage-fueled chain reaction and the impact it can have on the world.
Tiny Transactions on Computer Science ...the premier venue for computer science research of 140 characters or less.
Prasanna Puwanarajah's moving short about a Velodrome carpenter, BOY was the winner of the British Airways Great Britons 2012 competition. [more inside]
Red is a dark retelling of Little Red Riding Hood done as a bloody, stylish animated short.
No Robots: An engaging animated short about prejudice in a future in which robots have been banned.
"There are two ways to fish, with nets or without. But if I fish with violence, will my nets be full of blood?" Fishing Without Nets is a short film about Somali pirates from their point of view, which won the recent Sundance Jury Prize in short filmmaking. The film will tour film festivals, and may be worked into a feature-length film. Writer/ producer/ editor Cutter Hodierne told his story of filming in Kenya to Vice. [more inside]
The Man Who Lived on his Bike is a 3 minute short by Canadian filmmaker Guillaume Blanchet, who spent 382 days riding his bicycle through the streets of Montreal in order to explore what life would be like if he actually lived on a bicycle.
"Piss" Sometimes a girl just wants to get peed on. Filmmaker Bette Bentley has written, produced, starred in and co-directed a funny and very sweet short film on the bedroom negotiations of piss play. [NSFW - also possible trigger]
Archetype is a seven minute sci-fi short by Aaron Sims, which despite being a no-budget project, features amazingly high quality special effects. [more inside]
"Your sentences are so long," [L.A.Times] The point of the long and winding sentence - Pico Iyer’s essay on why he’s made the conscious decision to write longer sentences.
During the big freeze of Europe's Winter 2009/2010, which brought us the stunning image of a frozen Great Britain, the tough conditions in Ireland were epitomized by the misfortune of the guy falling on RTE's Six-One News report , who shot to infamy through facebook and other social Media.
Now two years on a short film catches up with Brendan Adhere - The Man Who Slipped on the Ice
Now two years on a short film catches up with Brendan Adhere - The Man Who Slipped on the Ice
"We're going to try something different today. It's called a reality check." A short film by director Nick Scott and producer Michael Berliner. [more inside]
ROSA (vimeo) A sci-fi short animated film created by a new Spanish artist, Jesús Orellana. This was a year-long, solo project created without a budget. [more inside]
Like a children's book for adults. Blok [slyt] a 1982 short by Polish Director Hieronim Neumann.
"Who are you?" the minstrel asked. "I am the Golux," said the Golux, proudly, "the only Golux in the world, and not a mere Device."
James Thurber meets Neil Gaiman: The Thirteen Clocks. James Thurber's classic work of dark whimsy, wit and fantasy The Thirteen Clocks [Wiki], narrated by award-winning author Neil Gaiman in this magically animated excerpt.
Frédéric Back was born in 1924 in France, where he studied drawing and lithography. He was lured to Canada by Jack London's stories and Clarence Gagnon's paintings, as well as correspondence with a Canadian pen-pal. Back moved to Canada in 1948, married his pen-pal Ghylaine Paquin, and was hired by Radio Canada at the birth of their television network to create still images for display on and to promote moving pictures. The drawings lead to experiments with animations, which lead to a series of animated shorts, starting with the wordless short Abracadabra (9:23, YT) in 1970. You can read and see more about Frédéric Back on his extensive website, and see more animations inside. [more inside]