Listing all posts tagged shorts

Vemödalen (the fear that everything has already been done) from John Koenig’s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows  Studio Daily

While too many forces — most of all family and advertising — try to pass the idea each one of us is special or different and that we should 'express ourselves' or something, it’s always worth reminding that we are not so special. Nobody is; and there is a very real sense of safety in numbers in embracing the possibility of being trite and the clichéd, and in recognizing people similar to us most certainly had the same ideas. This seems like a recipe for conformity, but therein lies the real challenge: not in expressing our (not so) unique selves, but in maintaining critical freedom from the twin desires of fitting in and of being unique.

While we’re on the subject, here’s an amusing scientific paper titled The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look the same (PDF). And so it may be asked, why shouldn’t anticonformists look the same? And why should we care — as long as the anticonformists are true anticonformists?  Boing Boing

Synesthesia by Terry Timley (2009). A wonderfully surreal short film.

Basil Wright and Harry Watt’s influential 1936 documentary Night Mail.

Tomorrow the first public showing of Damião* will take place at 6:30pm in the Teatro Nacional S. João, here in Porto. The short film is a ‘mockumentary’ about the watchman at an abandoned shopping mall. It is an adaptation of the play Damião das Chaves by Pedro Estorninho, who also plays the title character.

I’ve just finished a trailer. The song is Dandy by Carlos Gardel, and, despite what YouTube’s bot police tells me, it is very much in the public domain.

* If you don’t speak portuguese, do us a favor and please pronounce it ‘Damien’.

Now these are short films: A bundle of twenty 5-second films. Many are indeed funny and poignant. But come on: how much ADD do you expect of you viewers to rush things like this?

Joel and Ethan Coen’s World Cinema is the duo’s contribution to Chacun Son Cinema, an omnibus movie made in 2007 to celebrate the 60th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. I saw the whole thing recently and somehow this short was missing — according to Slashfilm the same happens in the DVD release (perhaps some rights issue got this short pulled after the first screenings?). Anyway, it’s good, so watch it.

Since we’re on the subject of Chacun Son Cinema, I thought most shorts were kind of meh-ish, but there were quite a few wild extremes of quality in there. Youssef Chahine’s and Gus Van Sant’s were embrassingly bad (both great directors signing stuff that I’d be hard pressed to tolerate from 18-year old film students), while Amos Gitai’s, David Lynch’s and Atom Egoyan’s were ‘just’ really bad shorts. On the other hand, there were positively great moments from Nanni Moretti, Lars von Trier, Takeshi Kitano, Elia Suleiman and perhaps my favourite, Aki Kaurismaki’s portrayal of an after-hours cinema at a foundry. Add the Coens to this later lot.