"I'm not doing too well, mum." Another outstanding short film to watch. Sometimes it's the moments you least expect when you are suddenly forced to reflect on your life choices. This short Forever After, made by writer/director Charlotte Scott-Wilson, follows a woman who wakes up after a drunken one-night stand and must take the dread "walk of shame" back home. Along the way she begins to feel the heavy emotions of reality, and has many moments of reflection that make her start questioning what she's doing. I really like this short, it's meaningful and makes you think about your own life, while keeping our attention throughout.
"In the beginning there was faith that the egg was the start of all life. Then came reason that the egg must have come from a great chicken." So what came first: the chicken or the egg? The eternal, unanswerable question finally gets addressed in this amusing, wacky short film titled Time Chicken. This claymation short was written, directed and animated by Nick Black, who made it over two years using Canon DSLRs and handmade sets from various objects he found. It's a totally wacky but incredibly enjoyable short film, that does have touches of "Robot Chicken", but still feels like something original. You just need to watch and enjoy because while it might seem odd, it's so much fun and will make you laugh. Plus it's under 6 minutes.
"The cheapest way to survive is to subsist entirely on appetizers. If you're luck enough to get access to free parties throughout the day…" We've been covering the Sundance Film Festival for 11 years, and I adore the festival, but it's not always the most inviting place especially if you don't have proper access. This year, Vimeo hired "self-described 'struggling' Staff Picked documentarian" John Wilson to make a video about his experience at the festival - without any access. Suffice it to say, he makes an amusing doc that mocks the festival and the absurdity of everything, yet also finds the good in it. "Wandering up and down Main Street, remarking on the blend of commercialism and exclusivity, he paints a pretty pallid picture of festival life and the forces that dominate it." It's worth watching for a good life and a totally different look at Sundance.
Meet Frolic. Yet another one-of-a-kind short film to feature and it's worth your time to watch. Frolic & Mae is the latest short from director Danny Madden, founder of the filmmaking collective Ornana. You may recognize his name as he made the fantastic hand-drawn short Confusion Through Sand previously. Frolic & Mae is a much more ambitious short, inspired by films like Gremlins and Lilo & Stitch, about a young girl who decides to create a cardboard monster in opposition to her cousin's friends only wanting to play with their phones. It gets lose, and turns out to be more than she can handle. Although this just premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival, they couldn't wait to release it online for everyone to watch - here it is. Catch it below.
Another one-of-a-kind animated short film to watch. Alike is an animated short film from Spain directed by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez. The short is about a father trying to teach his son how to live a unique life, only to realize how much society drains our creativity and originality. This reminds me a bit of Disney's short film Inner Workings, which played before Moana last year. What I love about this short film is the simplicity of it - there's no dialogue, it's all about these two characters, but it has so much to say, and it's easy to pick up on all of that. Most importantly, this reminds us that we should listen to our hearts.
"Lost house. Lost home. Lost island. Disappearing on the horizon." Another unique animated short film to feature this week. The Ballad of Holland Island House is a short film told from the perspective a home in the Chesapeake Bay, telling the true story of the last house on a sinking island. The animation technique is an innovative mix of claymation and traditional cel animation, utilizing a thin layer of oil-based clay that is painted/altered by hand to create the illusion of movement. It's beautiful to watch, and the story of the house being sung as a ballad makes this feel even more enchanting. This reminds me of the hand-painted film Loving Vincent, which is still due sometime this year. Very nice work from filmmaker Lynn Tomlinson.
"Hello. I'm looking for God. Is this where he lives?" This wonderfully whimsical animated short will most definitely boggle your mind, or at least make you question everything. Wednesday with Goddard is a short film made by Canadian artist/filmmaker Nicolas Ménard. It's hard to describe this film, because it's a very abstract and yet thoroughly entertaining little short featuring lovely pencil drawings and charming animation. But it's also best to just watch and try and make sense of it yourself. I'm also pretty sure the "Goddard" in the title is not a reference to filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Even if it is confusing, the moment I watched this I was in love with it and wanted to share it with everyone else, so dive right in. Enjoy this short.
"This is our night, please sit down!" Kick off the week with a fun short film that is sure to make you laugh. What happens when a marriage proposal ring ends up going to the wrong table at a restaurant? That's the premise behind this amusing short film titled Check Please, from writer/director Daniel Sorochkin. It's a simple, but enjoyable short, with great performances from the cast and some sleek cinematography. This is a great example of how short films just need a strong script, but nothing too complex or ambitious, with one good idea at the middle of it all. I'm looking forward to seeing more from Sorochkin after this. Watch below.
Whoa. This short film from filmmaker Brent Bonacorso features a giant kaiju alien creature that arrives on Earth, but it's actually a story about finding ourselves. The Narrow World is a film about an alien visitor that settles in Los Angeles, but it's completely passive and silent in response to any interaction. "The best monsters are always metaphors, either for an outside force, or for an aspect of the human condition," Brent explains. "The latter is what inspired me here. The subconscious mind that drives our actions by brute force, but that we're most often completely unaware of. Something that feels alien to us, an incredibly powerful outsider that lives within us." I dig the visuals, and admire the message in this, it's definitely worth a watch.
"She told me once that in her dreams, she would be running through this fog, like something was coming after her, chasing her. But she couldn't outrun it…" Kick off your week with this intriguing horror short film from writer/director Minhal Baig (who also directed the film 1 Night). After Sophie is a proof-of-concept film about what happens when a documentary filmmaker investigating the story discovers that the details surrounding Sophie's suicide are both disturbing and supernatural. This short film has some truly gorgeous cinematography and a mesmerizing score that pulls you into the story, making you wonder what happened without ever allowing us to interact directly with Sophie. Impressive work on this short, worth checking out.
"In each one of their faces, I see fear." Sometimes brevity is better. This new short film is only two minutes long, but there's so much to it that will take you more than two minutes to think about. Precipicio is made by filmmaker/animator Wendy Eduarte, written by (and featuring the voice of) William Eduarte. The title Precipicio translates simply to "Precipice", which will make more sense once you watch this. The short examines the daily routine of one sick man, at the end of his life. It's a poignant reminder about how short life is, and how we take so much for granted. The animation is lovely, I want to watch more stories like this.
"I would know if I was a replicant!" We're always on the lookout for good sci-fi short films. Tears In The Rain is an intriguing little short from South Africa that is clearly directly inspired by Blade Runner, set in the world of Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. This short was made on a budget of only $1500 which is crazy impressive, and it looks great. I wish there was more taking place outside on the streets, but it's still cool to see a well-made short film set in this world, and I can always appreciate some fascinating dialogue. This gets deep into the themes from the original novel about free will and whether or not our memories are real, and if we would know that we're a robot, or are just designed to think we're real.