Short Film Saturday: The Butcher

Another short film to keep the momentum up and bring a little brightness to your Saturday. It’s funny and has some sound effects. Enjoy!

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Short Film Saturday: Bedfellows

Introduction

No, Short Film Saturday is not over. When scheduling in advance I had horror films slated for the 61 Days of Halloween slot, and wasn’t watching many other shorts so there was a hiatus. When I watch some more I’ll keep the schedule filled. Enjoy. 

Bedfellows

At this point it’s likely you’ve discovered this film. However, one of the issues that the Internet presents is that “If it’s not new, it’s not worth it” seems to be the mantra. This is a highly effective, creepy short worth your few minutes.

Short Film Saturday: A-D-Something Something

The Following Heart series will be back with part three next weekend. I previously featured Zachary Maxwell on Short Film Saturday for both his guerilla doc on school lunches and his farewell letter to Santa.

Here he discusses ADHD. As the title indicates many do not even know it stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder much less any actual information about how its diagnosed, and that it’s not a “trend” or a medicate-it-and-forget-it condition.

Taking a personal approach at learning about it, and what makes ADHD different than “that’s just how kids are” make it resonate more and illustrates there is a concrete foundation for those treating and managing the condition.

A-D-Something-Something from Maxwell Project on Vimeo.

Short Film Saturday: Stapler

I think SNL even aired this once, then it popped up again online not too long ago. Mike Judge’s development of Office Space is not unlike a lot of other works inasmuch as it took a few forms. These shorts were all about Milton. In an animated short, an awkward, oppressed doormat can be the focus. Less so in a feature. So there Milton was a piece of the puzzle but not the centerpiece. It’s still really funny and at the core the same kind of humor that has given the feature its longevity.

61 Days of Halloween: The Dead Father (1985)

Introduction

For an introduction to the concept of 61 Days of Halloween and a list of previously featured titles please go here.

The Dead Father (1985)

I have covered the films of Guy Maddin on a few occasions here. However, even with all that coverage there are a few of his films I had not seen. One such film was Tales from the Gimli Hospital, his first feature.

On the DVD of that film, one whose horror qualifications are disputable, there was the short film The Dead Father. This is one that is more obviously a horror tale. It’s one in which death is a transient experience. One misapprehension I recall from my days in film school is that writing “homey” or family-based tales was us students playing it safe, sticking far too close to writing what we know. However, it’s not the motif or the milieu you work with, but rather how you use it. Much of Maddin’s works, this one included, are family portraits but you could not confuse Maddin with any other filmmaker because of how he tells his stories in narrative, visual and editorial senses.

Even with it poetical use of voice over and sparse use of dialogue there are still silent film tropes all about this film starting with the introductory photo title cards of the characters. Maddin’s style is embossed on this film, and though he has experimented with different kinds of tales; he has created his own approach and that really started here.

While short films are a starting point for most, if not all filmmakers, few modern auteurs can be referred to as short film artists and Maddin is most certainly that. He continues to make many shorts and he tells tales that are as long as they have to be and is not only making features but made a short as recently as last year in an anthology, and one due out next year.

This is a film that sets its tone with weird off-kilter photo albums immediately and continues to its creepy, gross finale with occasional humor and persistent oddities throughout. Unlike many of his shorts, this film is not available online but instead is on the Kino edition of Tales from the Gimli Hospital it is definitely recommended viewing if you’re looking for something a bit different.

Short Film Saturday: Sweet Love

Roundabout early January, when the new year hasn’t really kicked in yet, and there’s nothing good coming out, I starting searching around for what many BAM nominees would be up to this year. Turns out Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role winner, Rick Lens, was in this film.

Sweet Love is a romantic comedy, told with an all kid cast, that is set in a fictional town where a bizarro version of Willy Wonka, the town’s Burgemeester (Read: burgomaster played by Lens), has everyone under his thumb. His girlfriend, Roos (Pippa Allen), falls for a doorman, Saba (Luciano Hiwat), but is with the Burgemeester, and the drama ensues from there.

Sweet Love (2012, Family Affair Films)

What’s most interesting to note is not just the juvenile cast but the fact that this film is also a musical. Now as opposed to being a sung-thru musical (the only other thing of this length I’ve seen that’s a musical and live action would be the “Influenza” episode of Even Stevens) this film places a song strategically in each act at the right time. Another interesting aspect is that the IMDb listed this film as having aired on TV, which for a short is rare here save for specialty channels.

This is a very humorous, quirky and charming tale that’s masterfully produced with some really great cinematography throughout. It is certainly a film that already has me thinking about possibly breaking out special jury prizes at the end of the year.

I’ve not been able to locate this film online, but if/when it is available I’ll update this post.

Short Film Saturday: Cataplexy

Typically, in a short film one is looking for an idea that fits the form and tells a complete story. It’s hard to find a better example than this film. Not to mention that the film does allude to the possibility of a larger story, but for the fragment it decides to tackle it handles it fairly perfectly.

Follow the link below to view the film.

Cataplexy (2010)