PLOT: A young girl finds a magical dancing idol when she cuts open a rabbit.
COMMENTS: Run Wrake’s Rabbit is a beautifully frightening, and award-winning, parable about greed that taps into the ancient, grim fairy tale tradition of placing children in harm’s way to illustrate a cautionary point. Rabbit, however, turns that motif on it’s head by making the children the villains. With it’s storybook graphics and text labels hovering over background objects as if it were an animated reading primer, Rabbit creates an eight-minute universe we’ve never seen before, one which is so unflinchingly original it can never be recreated. Like a talking fish out of Grimm’s fairy tales, the golden idol is one of those mysterious folklore creatures with it’s own weird rules and a slow-boiling intolerance for human folly that inevitably leads to tragedy for those unwise enough to abuse its patience. The irony of using innocent looking but thoroughly rapacious children in this sordid scenario isn’t done for shock value alone—although it is shocking, delightfully so—but rather speaks to our deepest suspicions about human nature: that we’re corrupt from birth, and must unlearn our instinctive childish badness.
Although it’s no Saw VI, Rabbit contains some quick and absurd violence and gore. If you find any depiction of darling little boys and girls with ponytails and ruddy cheeks slaughtering innocent woodland creatures for personal gain disturbing, no matter how tastefully done,then you’ll probably want to stay away from this one!
Although Mike McKown and Jim Towns did not make the list with their film, Prometheus Triumphant: A Fugue in the Key of Flesh, their short, The Sleep of Reason, certainly deserves our recognition. This eerie tale of a weird romance between a doctor and a mental patient is just what we’re looking for.
Josh Gottsegen delivers a mysterious work of art in the underappreciated short, “Royal Game.” This short features a chess match between two mystical beings. Perhaps the strangest part of this short is its musical arrangement by Marc Lipari.
We celebrate the season a little bit differently around these parts. Please enjoy this disturbing tribute to the holidays from I Can See You‘s Graham Reznick. It features a creepy doll with perpetually downturned eyes, graphics and sound that are reminiscent of a “Sesame Street” segment, and irrational Satanic rituals.
This short, along with Voltaire’s X-Mess Detritus, was part of Beck Underwood’s “Creepy Christmas” project. There’s plenty more where these came from, so please visit the Creepy Christmas site to see all 25 films!
Voltaire gives his audience a different perspective on Christmas in his short, “X-Mas Detritus.” Like many of the shorts posted here, “Detritus” contains some frightening images. So, even though this short contains some great insight into the impact of this holiday season on our world, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is very squeamish.
Directed by Michael Langan, “Doxology” is an experimental head trip beginning and ending with verses from “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” or “The Common Doxology”. This short contains floating carrots, dancing cars, and a tennis ball crashing into the moon. What more could you ask for?
The music video is the one form where directors can be weird and experimental without fear of being shunned by the world at large. Made for the band N.A.S.A.’s album “The Spirit of Apollo,” where the concept was to pair unlikely musicians, “Spacious Thoughts” mixes the smooth rap of Kool Keith with the grumblings of ever-weird Tom Waits. Director Fluorescent Hill animates Keith as a black sphere wearing cowboy boots who breathes out Tom as an angry cloud.
Give Zach Galifianakis a late night show, and this is what you’ll get: sketch comedy that’s too absurd for TV. This is the first of seven episodes of Zach’s web series, “Between Two Ferns”. In it Zach interviews Michael Cera about acting in the comedy film Superbad (2007).