Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket (video 27:21). Sweetgrass Baskets: "This basket-making tradition came to South Carolina in the 17th century by way of West African slaves who were brought to America to work on plantations." The Sweetgrass Basket Tradition: "Sweetgrass basketmaking has been part of the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities for more than 300 years." Sweetgrass Baskets: A History (pdf): "Coiled basketry, one of the oldest African crafts in America, appeared in South Carolina during the late 17th century." The South Carolina Lowcountry. Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes). [more inside]
The Boy Who Grew Up by Christopher Barzak is a Peter Pan story featured in the first issue of Uncanny Magazine, a kickstarter funded SF/F magazine co-edited by Hugo Award-winner Lynne M. Thomas and Hugo Award-nominee Michael Damian Thomas. Issue One contains fiction by Kat Howard and Max Gladstone (Gladstone previously) as well as non-fiction essays including "The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Films On The Web".
What you're really saying when you first see an ex. (mildly nsfw - language) Vimeo or YouTube. Written and produced by: Ali Vingiano. Directed and shot by: T.J. Misny.
Interesting Ball (NSFW) - A red ball bounces past a cafe and a couple folks’ houses and then goes to the beach. [more inside]
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]
The Fall of the House of Usher (1928): [YouTube] a [silent] film version of Poe's story by Melville Webber and J. S. Watson Jr. [wiki]
"Using footage from NASA's Johnson Space Center, filmmaker Fede Castro creates a captivating time-lapse video of Earth from space. In a little over four minutes, 'Nuestra Tierra—Our Earth' takes us around the world, sighting major cities and even catching the breathtaking aurora borealis." More from Fede Castro.
Fun Size Horror is a film collective which is creating enough variety of scares to make this Halloween really special. Starting October 27, five websites (DreadCentral, Bloody Disgusting, Shock Till You Drop, Hitfix, and Collider) will each host one of 31 horror shorts for 24 hours, and then the next day each will bring you a new horror short. The trailer for the entire series is on Vimeo. I assume you can get links and information from @FunSizeHorror on twitter.
“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
SIMILO. "2065. The entire planet is hit by the effects of climate change. One of the few places that remain habitable is Antarctica, where corporations have built private cities. Hebe and Ciro get back together again. She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." [NSFW, Via]
Entangled. "Forced to care for her catatonic lover Malcolm after a secret quantum experiment goes awry, Erin is determined to uncover the cause of his condition — even at the risk of her own life. This riveting contemporary science-fiction story, from one of the writers of Orphan Black, bridges alternate dimensions as it explores how far a person will go for someone they love." From the TIFF 2014 festival.
"A Truncated Story of Infinity," a short film about the infinite possibilities contained in a day. [more inside]
Brand New Ancients is a spoken word performance (review) by poet, singer and playwright Kate Tempest that won the Ted Hughes Award For New Poetry in 2012. Early this year, to coincide with a wider tour of the show, Kate Tempest and the Battersea Arts Centre produced three short films based on the performance. One. Two. Three (trigger warning, as this one is terrifying).
A 9-minute Dutch animation about a daughter who remembers her father. The Academy Award winner in 2000 for animated short films, and multiple other awards. A more detailed review here and an in-depth interview with Michael Dudok de Wit, but these are best read after watching the film first. No dialogue, sepia-tinged and with an accordion-dominated soundtrack. Possibly NSFW if your workplace minds you suddenly bursting into noisy sobs. Dudok de Wit is now working on The Red Turtle, a dialogue-less feature and the first Western project with Studio Ghibli as co-producer.
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]
VOMICA is a short horror film about a British commando raid that finds an ancient evil in the crypts and tunnels of occupied France. It recently won Best Short Film prize at the 2014 H P Lovecraft film festival, and is available to watch on Vimeo—for today only—if you go here and use the password 'mayday'.
Verbatim: What is a Photocopier? (NYT SLV)
#PostModem [SLVimeo,nsfw:nudity] is "a comedic satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It’s the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity, as told through as series of cinematic tweets." [more inside]
OMEGA - A Stop Motion Animated Short. "The mechanical life form Ohm inhabits a bleak and devastated planet. The thousands of mechanical creatures of this world share a single cycle of energy. In this cycle, Ohm is a rogue element. His nature is to devour and absorb others. When one day a gargantuan foreign object appears in the skies. Drawn in by mysterious creatures of light, the Ohm tracks them across the planet, changing the known order of matter, time and space." [Via]
The Exit Room. "In 2021, an imprisoned journalist facing execution contemplates a desperate escape attempt in order to return to his wife and newborn child." [Via]
Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
MAGNESIUM is the graduation film of Dutch filmmaker Sam de Jong about a young gymnast in the days before a major competition.
Mr. Hublot, 2014 Best Animated Short Film
As a thank you gift for his work on "Star Wars", George Lucas gave art director Roger Christian 25,000 pounds in 1979 to make a short film. Christian used the money to shoot a 25 minute medieval fantasy titled "Black Angel". Lucas liked the film so much that he had it precede theatrical showings of "Empire Strikes Back" in the UK, Australia and Scandinavia. In the intervening years, the film was thought lost until a negative was discovered at Universal Studios in 2011. The film was restored and given a premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County last October. It will be shown again later this month at the Glasgow Film Festival and will eventually find its way to a streaming services like Netflix later this year. The BBC recently talked to Christian about the film and its rediscovery.
Columbite Tantalite is a short film written and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, part of the Young Vic Theatre's short films series.
I went through a pretty rough break up this year and it was not great. I wrote and made this in the midst of all that. It's a tombstone and love letter and I hope you enjoy it.
Howardcantour.com is a short film about an online film critic, directed by Shia LaBeouf and starring Jim Gaffigan. [via]
Forward March (YouTube) is a silly little animated film, featuring four formal British military men and a furry fellow who emerges from the sewer. This short is one of the graduation pieces (Google auto-translate; original link) from the French arts school, ESMA (official French site). You can find more short animations on their YouTube and Vimeo accounts.
Wes Anderson's The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders Last night Ed Norton hosted Saturday Night Live, and this short film trailer parody was the standout. [more inside]
Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend is a new Disney short, featuring the reanimated corpse of Goofy. With this information, you might get the idea that this is not what you might expect from modern Disney cartoons, and you'd be right. It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount. [more inside]
Subway by Omid Singh, Winner of the Audience Award, 2013 No Budget Film Festival, interview with Omid
Inspired by silent film screen tests of the 1920's, 27 SECONDS is an ongoing video collaboration by BEAUTY IS BORING and THE NEW TOUGH. Working within a set of restrictions (chest to the top of the head, white background, limited time and no sound), the 27 SECONDS series is a moving exploration of the vintage Polaroid format used to create the images for BEAUTY IS BORING.
Community's Gillian Jacobs would really appreciate it if you would chew with your mouth closed. [SLYT] [PG-13, Possibly NSFW]
Pitch Black Heist. A short film directed by John Maclean and starring Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham as two safe crackers who have to open a safe in a pitch black room.
Requiem for Romance is a short animated film about a difficult phone call. It comes from artist and animator Jonathan Ng.
Rubix by University of Greenwich student Chris Kelly - an Escher-like surrealist film which mixes and rotates urban landscapes like a Rubik's Cube, created for his thesis "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space: The Possibilities of Utilising Virtual[ly Impossible] Environments in Architecture." (via)
While at Cal Arts, before blogs and websites freely shared content, as animation students we would watch short films in a dark cage like room called the Palace. Projected onto the wall we screened “rare” short films, on bulky ¾ inch video cassettes or on mystical DVDs that a teacher had brought in. Of all the shorts we watched in the dingy palace there was one that was etched in my brain as both brilliant and completely insane. It was called “The Big Story,” and it starred three stop motion versions of Kirk Douglas: one as the young up and coming hero, another as the star in his prime, and the third the wise but curmudgie old man. [more inside]
For several years now, Tom Scott, a young man in Britain, has mostly done silly, entertaining things on YouTube, things like, "Two Drums and a Cymbal Fall off a Cliff," "The Matt Gray High Five Face Off," "Robocoaster Challenge: Reciting Shakespeare while attached to a giant robot arm," "Google Glasses: A New Way to Hurt Yourself," and "Welcome to Life: the singularity, ruined by lawyers" (previously). But recently, he's done a series of videos that are interesting more than they're silly: eight videos which introduce linguistic concepts like phonotactics, clusivity & evidentiality, and the contrast between descriptivism and prescriptivism (he's decidedly the former, fyi).
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]
"Adrift is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge."