Category Archives: Shorts

SATURDAY SHORT: SULTANA MEADOWS

“Sultana Meadows” is a fine example of the delightful, under appreciated shorts by Spike McKenzie.  The unsettling images throughout this video are quite reminiscent of David Lynch, and paint a very weird and wonderful picture.

Relationships tend to slowly draw away our good side, and expose the bad.  Mayhap you’ll have much in common with this journey into the bizarre.

For more of Spike visit his YouTube account. I strongly recommend his mock kids show, “Wonderbang Island”.

SATURDAY SHORT: HENRI

Another Saturday brings another short film for our readers.

This week was exceptionally difficult, but with some help I selected another short film, “Henri” directed by Will Braden. Henri is a feline who is going to show us a different view on the seemingly carefree life of a house cat. Although this clip is not very weird, it is quite amusing, and certainly worth viewing. Give it a shot. Henri enjoys the attention.

SATURDAY SHORT: RED HOT DROPS

Today’s Saturday Short is a music video made by Chad Vangaalen.   Chad is a musician and artist from Canada who rarely leaves his basement, where he is constantly working.  Besides his passion for music and the visual arts, Chad also has a passion for skateboarding.

In the video you’ll see that Chad’s music style is a combination of indie, folk, pop, and experimental.   He has created a few stop motion videos to advertise his latest album, “Soft Airplane,” but in his other videos he uses computer animation.

Originally, I wanted to use the music video to “Molten Light.”  I find the animation as well as the music to be much better, but this video is a little too graphic for our site.  There are sequences of strong comic violence and nudity throughout.  If that content doesn’t bother you click here.

If you enjoy the music be sure to look up Chad’s alias, “Black Mold,” as well.  He just released an album under the name.

SATURDAY SHORT: NACHTMAHR GEISTERGANG

This week’s short, Nachtmahr: Geistergang, (Nightmare: Ghost Trail) was written by another fan of ours, Kacper Radecki.   This is visually and aurally one of the stranger shorts I’ve come across.  Each scene is quite unique. There’s a creature (which took an entire week to make the costume for) dancing in the forest, a series of ruins, a pipe scene, and a bug trying to escape a jar. All of which, along with the whispers and screams in the background, make it true to it’s title; a nightmare.

Kacper is a self-taught photographer and director who plans to study film in the United States in 2010. Our best wishes go out to him in furthering his passion for film.

For a look at Kacper’s photography visit this link.

366 EXCLUSIVE: “9″

We are pleased to debut Alfred Eaker and Robbin Panet’s short film film “9” on the web.  This is the movie they made for the 2009 48 Hour Film Festival.  The rules of the contest festival are simple: every team has only 48 hours to complete the film, and each must incorporate three elements given by the festival : a character name, a line of dialogue, and a prop.  Look for a character named “Professor Sherman Kane,” a ball, and the line “I’m not talking to you.”

Rather than making a straightforward short that looked like everyone else, “9” takes an experimental approach, becoming a sepia-hued exploration of domestic abuse through the generations, in a Western setting.  The bizarre free-association poetry of John M. Bennet replaces traditional narration.  It runs approximately seven and a half minutes.

Alfred’s description of the making of the film can be read in his Reflections on the 48 Hour Film Festival and the “9” Diary.

9

[Our license to display “9” has expired.  We will inform you if this film is released, on DVD or otherwise, in the future.]

At the producers’ request, this film will not be released to YouTube or other video hosting sites, and will be available here for one month only.  UPDATE: Because this film was reviewed and linked from Rogue Cinema, we are leaving the film up for another week, until October 12, 2009.

SATURDAY SHORT: BETTY BOOP IN SNOW-WHITE (1933)

Firstly, I’d like to thank Ayla (of Twisted Celluloid) for the idea of this week’s short, “Betty Boop in Snow-White”.  The change over the past seventy-five years has been a big one, and it is very evident in this cartoon.  In this short you will find some very out of the ordinary dancing and singing (featuring Cab Calloway), a brief mention of alcohol, and no morals to end on. Enjoy!

SATURDAY SHORT: “ONE PILL” 8/29

Our second Saturday Short installment is from a fan of our site, Sean McHenry, director and editor of Deep Blue Edit. Unlike my last post, “One Pill” is much more what you’d expect a short film to be; quiet, yet profound.  I believe Sean’s caption says it best:

“If One Pill could repair a broken memory…
No matter how tragic and painful…
Would you take it?”

Much more from Sean is available at his site Deep Blue Edit (look for the blue navigation box to the left.)  One brief tour was all it took, and I was completely ensnared.  If you like what you see, be sure to message him.  He’ll be glad to know his work is well appreciated.

Filmmakers: if you have a short you’d like to see featured in this space, please contact us using the contact form.

SATURDAY SHORT: “CROOKED (ORCUS) ROT”

“Saturday Short” (suggestions on a better title are welcome) is a new feature where we’ll be featuring a new (to us), full-length, weird short every Saturday.  Shorts are selected by our new “shorts editor” Cameron Jorgensen.

This stop-motion animation by David Firth is just over a year old.  David found a lot of the props he uses in this animation in his own backyard.  Beware, most of his shorts are very creepy, and “Crooked (Orcus) Rot” is no exception.  A lot of his work can be defined as dark humor while this would better fit under experimental.  Musical score written by Marcus Fjellstrom.

For more of Firth’s work be sure to visit his site:  http://www.fat-pie.com/

Filmmakers: if you have a short you’d like to see featured in this space, please contact us using the contact form.

MAYA DEREN: AT LAND (1944)

Maya Deren’s At Land (1944) opens with a scene of fearsome waves crashing against a desolate shore.  It could almost be described as Debussian, save for the unsettling dead and total silence that continues, unabated, throughout the film.

Maya Deren's At LandThe exotic Deren appears, emerging from a sleep, like a mermaid spit ashore from the crashing waves.

Deren begins slowly climbing a massive, twisted, dead tree trunk; the figure of Deren/Eros embarking on her great existential journey.

The nymph (her face adorned with child-like innocence) slithers on her stomach across a dining room table, populated with faceless corporates.  They do not take notice of her, preoccupied with idle chatter and many cigarettes.  Her eyes focus on a solitary figure, playing chess at the table’s end.  By the time she reaches that end (there are brief, repeated, struggled, exploratory diversions through a mass of shrubbery) she finds the player has just left and, as she gazes at the board, the rest of the room’s occupants are also leaving.

Telekinetically, she moves the chess pieces, until the pawn (one of eight) falls through a hole in the table.  She attempts to retrieve it and finds herself  back on the shore, then on a country road, walking and talking with a young man (represented by five different men).

She cannot keep up with the man and he leaves her behind as he disappears into a cabin, shutting the foreboding door behind him.

Determined not to be abandoned, she crawls under the log cabin but emerges in a contemporary, nearly abandoned home, laden with furniture, covered in white sheets.

It is not the young man she finds, but an older, bedridden man (figure number six), under a white bed sheet.  They silently stare at each other, identify Continue reading MAYA DEREN: AT LAND (1944)

SHORT: THE THREATENED ONE (1999)

threehalfstar

DIRECTED BY:  Signe Baumane

PLOT: An impressionistic interpretation of a Jorge Luis Borges poem featurning a bunny rabbit, a fox, a man and a woman.

The Threatened One: Rated PG-13 for cartoon bosoms and symbolic sex


WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD:  The dreamlike imagery, especially the flower that ejaculates flowers.

COMMENTS:  Baumane worked with Bill Plympton (who gets a thank you shout in The Threatened One‘s credits) on I Married a Strange Person! The two animators seem to be kindred spirits: they share a “squiggly” style of animation, where even the still frames move and breathe, as well as an absurd sense of visual humor.  The Threatened One adopts a drawing style reminiscent of a children’s book (only with a sea of blood and topless scenes) to illustrate Borge’s bittersweet poem about the consuming power of love.  Love is depicted as a predator, a toothy fox, but having your fleshed ripped by it’s fangs doesn’t seem like such a horrible fate in the end. The short is witty and whimsical, and David Rovin’s music punctuates the atmosphere perfectly. The only slight complaint is that the narrator’s reading, while competent, isn’t as inspired as the rest of the production.

The Threatened One is available on the collection Ten Animated Films by Signe Baumane. More information can be found on Signe Baumane’s website.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“For Borges and Baumane, love triggers the death of the individual.”-Chris Robinson, Unsung Heroes of Animation