Every so often I come across a short film that I will silently pass on to my fellow film loving friends. Key word: silently. I don’t need to try to sale the film or wax poetic about this or that, over using filmic language with my signature heavy-handed verbosity. No, sometimes I come across a true gem that doesn’t require my word vomit explanations. It takes just a simple: “Watch this. Trust me.” This is exactly what I did after watching Anna Eijsbouts’ stop-motion cut out animation “Hate for Sale”. Created for the 2017 Visible Poetry Project using an original poem by Neil Gaiman, this short manages to sum up the world we live in, in just under 3 minutes. Eijsbouts’ chaotic, multi-colored style mixed with Gaiman’s honest text creates sheer, gorgeous magic. It’s cruel, unique, and brutally true. It’s beautiful and arresting. The harsh words about the state of society and our sadly inherent lust for hatefulness in contrast with narrator Peter Kenny’s theatrical yet comforting voice and the film's visual puppet master controlled carnival-esque world is pretty much perfect in a way you have to watch to totally grasp. Just a few days before discovering this film, I spent a morning at a puppet theater. It was like disappearing into a totally different world, full of strings and illusions. Like the 20+ other 3-year-old audience members, I was entranced, fooled even. Now, after a few viewings of “Hate for Sale”, I feel like I finally get it. I see the control that societal expectations have over us. It took a 2.5 min short and a Park Slope puppet theater to truly open my eyes. We all need to cut some strings. So, yes, it seems I’ve run away again with my words! Neil Gaiman himself tweeted that he watched and “was floored”. And that’s enough for me. Just: Watch this. Trust me.
The story of a woman looking to escape her problems at the bottom of a Vodka bottle, Samuel Aaron Bennett’s Baby is a contemplative short that centres around themes of parenthood and responsibility. Premiering earlier this year at SXSW, Bennett’s film cleverly mixes dark-humour with some heavy subject matter to create a film which is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
The Paris/Montreal filmmaker collective DentDeCuir is known for some pretty outlandish, creative material. She’s Bad would be right up there at the top with the best of them. The story, special effects, and stylized look of the film, coupled with the electronic sounds of the DyE feat. Egyptian Lover soundtrack, make this film fall within its own unique genre. It’s part music video, part video art, part romantic drama and thriller. Using animalistic imagery, vibes, and movements, we see predator and prey told through the lens of woman meets man. Every action and thought uses special effects to project how closely innate human feelings resemble the actions of animals going off of instinct. It’s like watching a Nat Geo nature show, on drugs, projected onto the skin of these two lustful individuals. There’s really nothing else out there like it.Loads of street creds to Dent De Cuir for being borderline innapropriate, and over the line innovative!
Here's a short documentary portrait on a innovative designer who has created a low cost solution to landmine clearance, captured by director Callum Cooper. Massoud Hassani's Mine Kafon is a wind-propelled sphere made from bamboo and biodegradable plastic that can be used to clear landmines. When designer Massoud Hassani was growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan, there were several wars raging on nearby. He and his brother would play on the deserted fields making their own rolling toys with scarp materials but sometimes the objects would roll dangerously close to the landmines. This intense childhood experience inspired Hassani's design work, and the Mine Kafon is the result. This lifesaving design has been shortlisted as a finalist in for the 2013 INDEX: Award. This short documentary finished in one of the top spots for the GE FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition.
This beautiful video takes a tender look at one soul’s attempt to bargain with death before finally succumbing. The animated short, by And Maps And Plans, a small Dublin-based studio, has raked in loads of awards and was even shortlisted for the 87th annual Academy Awards. Its title, ‘Coda,’ is fitting for a video about our ultimate end. Take a look!
Dogs of Life explores the line between passivity and consideration. It explores human nature using surreal and subliminal messages. It tells the tale of a retired bounty hunter who goes above and beyond the appropriate call of duty to help his neighbor, who is like a stranger to him.
One of our definitions of Innovation is to create while looking at the world from different perspective. The fun loving, hungry filmmaking team of Jack Tew & Sorcha Anglim have a real knack for story telling from a wonderfully alternative angle.
Filmmaker Shaka King quotes the Urban Dictionary definition of 'mulignan,' (pronounced moo-lin-yan), as "Italian-American slang for a black man. Derived from the Italian dialect word for eggplant." King says the short film "Mulignans" is "a racial experiment, an experiment on you, the viewer." He says his experiment will succeed if he achieves in placing the audience in total discomfort with racial humor in between laughs.
This is more of a commercial short series than it is independent, but the concept behind the series is what really raises eyebrows. Academy Award Winning Writer Geoffrey Fletcher wrote an outline script in which 5 writer/directors adapted into their own short films (Exit Log is from Chris Cornwell). In their own unique way, each film proves there is no easy way to escape your own fears, they must be faced in order to free yourself. Great job from Bombay Sapphire on putting the series together. Gin and the arts just go hand and hand don't they?