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."
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]
"On an average weekday the TTC collects 1,582,000 fares. 180 are collected at Bessarian Station": Finding Bessarion, a short film about exploring the unknown (subway station).thanks to AM for the link
Short documentary film (SLNYT) about 91 year old George Weedon, former Olympic gymnast. Free posture advice included.
"The natural ice from Chimborazo is the best ice. The tastiest and sweetest. Full of vitamins for your bones. But nobody wants natural ice from Chimborazo anymore. They have factory ice. My father taught me and my brothers how to work in the ice mines. My name is Baltazar Ushca Tenesaca. Now I'm the only ice merchant of Chimborazo." El Último Hielero (The Last Ice Merchant), is a short documentary. [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]
Studio Ghibli presents Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo, a short tokusatsu film. (In Japanese, no subtitles.)
A man, a woman, a monster costume, gun-toting villagers ... The Elaborate End of Robert Ebb. [more inside]
In my experience, news like this is best served with pie.
Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? A short film directed by Miguel Arteta, written by Miranda July, starring John C. Reilly, July, Mike White, and cinematographer Chuy Chávez.
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.
Disney's Oscar-nominated animated short Paperman has just been made available for your viewing delight on the official Walt Disney Animation Studios YouTube channel! [more inside]
Voice Over [SLVimeo]
The Snipist - a post-apocalyptic nightmare set in a post-rabies Britain (warning: absolutely bleak). A Gun For George - a short film about crime-writer Terry Finch, author of the 70s Kentish fiction masterpieces The Reprisalizer. [more inside]
High maintenance: a nameless cannabis delivery guy delivers his much-needed medication to stressed-out New Yorkers in this character-driven web series.