More Short Stories
March 7, 2012 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Showtime has produced a second installment of Short Stories, featuring the work of independent animators and filmmakers asked simply to "tell a short story in an innovative way." *Cyriak Harris - Cobwebs* *Bill Plympton - Summer Bummer* *Simon Tofield - Simon's Cat - Lunch Break* posted by louche mustachio (21 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:50 PM on March 7, 2012

People have to learn that for themselves. The hard way.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:51 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love Cyriak SO MUCH.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:51 PM on March 7, 2012

I had seen that there was a new Plymptoon but I didn't know this series had a Simon's Cat too!
posted by immlass at 6:59 PM on March 7, 2012

YESSSSS, I love cyriak. Protip -- mute his videos and play some Turing Machine instead. Two great tastes that taste great together.
posted by spiderskull at 7:20 PM on March 7, 2012


The bitter irony of the Cyriak piece is that he's clearly toned down his work to make it appealing to a corporate sponsor. I watched it and went, "This isn't so bad, it's kind of bland and boring and done-to-death actually."

Then it dawned on me how completely broken I was as a human being, having watched all of his earlier stuff, to come to that conclusion. If you haven't seen his long animations before, you are fucking in for it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:21 PM on March 7, 2012

I also love cyriak a ton.

But he does not "tell a short story" in any way. Ever.
posted by aubilenon at 7:33 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

about half the films were NOT story based, but I don't care...

I have seen all of Cyriak's earlier stuff and this still seemed more 'nightmare fuel-ish' than usual. I think I've grown accustomed to animals morphing and growing extra limbs, but the electronic-parts spiders crawling in and out of semi-human faces? Oh, sorry... SPOILER ALERT.

Plympton's was everything I expected of him, and used his roughly-hand-drawn style to its best effect. DO NOT WATCH WITHIN SIX HOURS OF SWIMMING.

The Simon's Cat was one we-who-follow-Simon's-Cat had seen before. That was a letdown.

Juxtaposis was a good use of green-screen/blue-screen/whatever-screen to make its point about contrast, but seemed like fifteen-year-old-visual-effects technology at times, which was distracting for me. Damn you, perfect CGI and all your uncanny valleys!

Time was a good concept presented less than perfectly, unless the intent is for you not to notice the contrasting elements until more than halfway through.

CES's Guacamole was, like his other stuff, inedibly delicious. His choice of ingredient substitutions seemed even more apt than before, but the last one was way too obvious.

American Face was a fun montage of non-typical folk (way more nose piercings than the national average, nothing wrong with that but almost distractingly noticeable), that used lower-tech effects very well, because a perfect morphing effect would've been just wrong here.

I give this package of shorts 3 stars and one-and-a-half thumbs up... WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REST OF MY THUMB?!?
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:40 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Double post be damned, summore feedback -

- Bill Plympton - Trite, hackneyed, weird for weird's sake story... and you will, I can guarantee you, will look twice before swimming in a pool this summer. Master of his chosen art-form, artistically at his height.

- Simon's Cat - Kinda meh, the too-true-cat-meets-human-slapstick characterization simply isn't there. It's just a cat being a cat. Which makes it completely genius and hilarious... but it's pretty weak for Simon's Cat.

- Juxtaposis - Fantastic concept and execution ruined by a very poor choice in colors.

- Time - Hipster shoots hipster's hipster friend in super slo-mo and plays hipster music. LeBarf.

- Fresh Guacamole - Oh, this is awesome. This is genius and watchable and fun. I love this so much.

- Rick Mereki - Hire me for your commercial! Oh please, oh please! Hire me! Your commercial! Look at this, there are some people right there, and I do special effects, so hire me! Meeee!
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:41 PM on March 7, 2012

This makes me wish there was a Film Board Of America.
posted by egypturnash at 9:01 PM on March 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

Also. I feel like a better title for the Cyriak piece would have been "Hegemonizing Swarm".

(It didn't squick me. Is this because I am by nature sympathetic to robot spiders, or because I have seen enough Cyriak to know that at some point in his work I can pretty much always expect to see a hideous deformed creature made up of twitching bits Photoshopped together?)
posted by egypturnash at 9:08 PM on March 7, 2012

it looks like Fresh Guacamole by PES (not CES, I am such a typohead) is the hit of the show. I've already seen three 'major blogs' in my CSS Reader (not CES) feature that one WITH "via Metafilter" credit. Congratulations, louche, you're a viral carrier.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:22 PM on March 7, 2012

Also by PES, and in the same vein: Western Spaghetti.
posted by jiawen at 9:44 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Congratulations, louche, you're a viral carrier.


*adds "viral carrier" to resume*

Aw yeah. Lookin' gooooood.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:09 PM on March 7, 2012

I have adored Cyriak since he began posting stuff years ago, and I must say, this is his most technically masterful and intense piece yet. Stunning.
posted by dbiedny at 11:58 PM on March 7, 2012

Weirdly, the Simon's Cat video is "Private :/" for me. Is it because here in Canada the real cats have decided they don't do Simon's Cat?
posted by sneebler at 7:39 AM on March 8, 2012

Cyriak is a twisted genius.
posted by Splunge at 12:02 PM on March 8, 2012

sneebler - it is private for me, too, and I'm in states.
posted by mbatch at 12:06 PM on March 8, 2012

And private for me too, in the UK.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 5:29 PM on March 8, 2012

Huh? That's weird. It's the video Showtime put up, so it ought to be there. I wonder what the deal is?
posted by louche mustachio at 6:30 PM on March 8, 2012

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