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]
Subway by Omid Singh, Winner of the Audience Award, 2013 No Budget Film Festival, interview with Omid
Community's Gillian Jacobs would really appreciate it if you would chew with your mouth closed. [SLYT] [PG-13, Possibly NSFW]
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).
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
The Glitch [slyt]
Act Of Faith and Jimmy's End, short films by written Alan Moore and directed by Mitch Jenkins - dreamy, dark, disturbing and possibly NSFW (MLYT)
For us children, our mother's nagging can be a frustrating, constant annoyance. However, when her presence is no longer felt, these words become our strongest source of comfort and affection. It is then that we learn to hold on tightly to these warm, faint traces of memories. From Singapore, a "tribute to all the mothers of the world". [SLYT]
The Death Of Salvador Dali [18m23s] is a 2005 short film surrealistically depicting an imaginary visit to Sigmund Freud by the legendary artist. (Alternate Yahoo Video link) [more inside]
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance." So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2] -- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation. Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster. Using a blend of faux documentary footage and visual metaphor, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world. Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for. But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix, a collection of nine superb anime films in a wide variety of styles designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies. Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
Glory at Sea : "I try and think about how this storm and all these people dyin' was all a part of God's plan. But mostly, I just stare up through the water hopin' I can have one last look at them."
2008's "Glory at Sea" [.mov] [vimeo] [youtube] is an extaordinary 25-minute short film in which a group of mourners and a man spat from the depths of Hades build a boat from the debris of New Orleans to rescue their lost loved ones trapped beneath the sea. [more inside]
He invented or popularized a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects. [more inside]
Synesthesia. (SLYT, 4 minutes.)
SIGNS A very cute "simple short film about communication". (SLYT)
The Sea of Perdition - Children of the Kingdom - Black Tulips - Three short films by South African-born film director Richard Stanley. Stanley's career took off with Hardware (an unacknowledged adaptation the 2000ad story Shok!) and the apocalyptic African western/Horror movie Dust Devil, then hit the rocks with the doomed 1996 version of the Island of Doctor Moreau, from which he was fired and replaced by John Frankenheimer. Stanley hasn't directed a feature film since... though he now has two films in preproduction, Vacation and Bones of the Earth. The original script for Moreau can be read on his unofficial site, as well as the script for a sequel to Hardware. Richard Stanley's MySpace Blog is also very strange.
In 2005, Shane Acker released his student film, the atmospheric, masterfully animated "9" [10 min video], to critical acclaim. In 2006, the film toured with The Animation Show. Now, Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and a couple other familiar folks will be helping Acker bring a feature-length adaptation to theaters later this year. [more inside]
Michel Gondry Curates YouTube from Sundance; Pussy On The Mat : Ornette Coleman and Mark Kostabi: anxiety attack: Devendra Banhart - A Ribbon: Max Roach at his best: MIT sketching: game Over
How To Cope With Death. Fun, short, animated film. If only we could do this with the tax collector.
The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (youtube) is a fun stop motion short film about the same. Knowledge of the Czech language not required for enjoyment or understanding. More of artist Jan Svankmajer's work here.