Man, there's so much to get to today -- I don't even know where to begin. How about: Hello, my name is Erik Davis and welcome to Eat My Shorts. For those of you who are new here, Eat My Shorts is a weekly feature in which I travel around the internet in search of a bunch of short films for you to watch and discuss. Why? Well, quite simply, shorts are cool.
This week, my goal was to find shorts that were different from anything we've watched thus far. Wanna know if this dude Neill Blomkamp has what it takes to direct Halo? Ever wonder what it would be like if network executives were played by your favorite night lights? Do you dig Scottish folktales? What about porn? Or perhaps you'd be interested in a short documentary about undocumented citizens? All different. All unique. And they're all featured in this week's edition of Eat My Shorts.
Also, I'd like to remind you to keep sending in those short films folks. Your help is greatly appreciated. Consider your next imaginary drink on me. Remember, all tips, links and suggestions can be sent to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. Okay, let's go watch some shorts ...
Every now and then, indie filmmakers will contact Cinematical asking us to help promote their film. As it's hard to shell out props to thousands of little flicks, unfortunately, we have to be selective. After the following two short films were sent to me, I felt it was important to showcase them here for reasons I will explain below:
- For his short, Night Light Theater, director Jeff Greenspan collected an assortment of 'character' night lights and paired them up with some of New York's best improvisational talent. The result? One hilarious short film that depicts the night lights as executives from the FOX network who go to war with a head-writer over the "creative integrity" of one of their shows. Night Light Theater is currently part of the Huffington Post's Contagious Festival, in which a film's ranking depends solely on how many visits this link receives. Yeah, so help the dude out -- his film is pretty funny.
- Out of the hundreds of short films I watch each week, never have I seen a recently produced black and white silent flick. Yes, they are extremely rare these days. Inspired by the Celtic ballad Tam Lin, The Unhappy Medium is a precursor to director Chelsea Spear's upcoming feature The Ballad of Burd Janet, in which she is currently seeking additional funding. Pic is a re-telling of the Scottish folktale about "a young woman who rescues her love interest from fairies." That's right, she rescues him! Praised by filmmaker Guy Maddin for her shorts, Spears' work has been screened at various locations across the country.
One of the biggest movie news stories to hit last week was that of Neill Blomkamp's signing on to direct the big-screen adaptation of the popular video game Halo. While folks were hesitant in welcoming Blomkamp into their hearts, a bunch of folks pointed out a terrific short film the dude directed not long ago. And speaking of said short film ...
- Alive in Joburg is, in two words, quite brilliant. Pic is sort of a mockumentary (though it's far from comedic) and revolves around a "fictional world where extraterrestrials have become refugees in South Africa. With some dazzling special effects, those of you doubting Blomhamp's ability to helm Halo should definitely check out Alive in Joburg before jumping to conclusions.
When Brian Liloia (from our sister site, DV Guru) sent in a tip regarding the Journal of Short Film, I was pleasantly surprised to see he directed a short film of his own. What is the Journal of Short Film? Well, according to their website, it's "a quarterly DVD journal containing 90-120 minutes of independent short film per volume." We're talking non-corporate, ad-free shorts for a reasonable price ($10/vol., $36/subscription). It seems like a pretty cool set up and submissions are free. That's right, you can submit your own short film for a chance to be included in future volumes. Unfortunately, the deadline for Volume 5 is today, but you still have a few months for Volume 6, as its deadline is November 15. Get involved people!
- Oh, and about Brian's short: Si, Se Puedre! (Yes, We Can!) marks the first short documentary to be featured on Eat My Shorts. Liloia focuses on two undocumented citizens trying to find work in the United States, while attempting to provide a better life for themselves and their families. Shot over the course of two months this past spring, pic "makes clear the desires of undocumented workers and the conditions they face in trying to achieve their goals."
For those of you interested in exploring this topic further, check out Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days which opened up its second season by airing a very powerful episode on this same topic.
And on a completely different note: Did someone say porn? Oh yes, I told you things would be different this week ...
- (Note: The following short film is definitely NSFW) Rarely will I highlight a short film that's NSFW because, well, part of my intentions with this feature is to give you folks something to watch while at work ... on your lunch break, of course. However, this little devil really cracked me up. It's kind of hard to describe Who Makes Movies, but let's just say it's a short mockumentary that entertains viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at the porn industry, focusing on one man's interesting occupation. Pic runs close to five minutes and was directed by Chris Luccy.
As always, feel free to send all tips, links and suggestions regarding Eat My Shorts to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. Cheers!