It's practically impossible for me to sit here and list the top ten short films from 2006. Not only are there thousands of shorts to sift through, but the majority of them are not available online. So, how does Erik go about putting together a list of the best short films from 2006? Will he randomly spew out names and titles for films you'll never be able to see unless you just happen to show up at a specific festival on a specific day at a specific time?
Of course not. What I've actually done is comb through all the previous Eat My Shorts and chosen my ten favorite short films that I've written about this year. Most (if not all) of them are not from 2006, but they are available online and all of them are wonderful, fantastic and definitely deserve your attention. This has been an amazing year for short films, and I like to think (in my own bizarre fantasy world) that Eat My Shorts truly helped spread the word -- that it helped bring more attention to an art form that desperately needs to be back in front of a mass audience. Oh, and thanks to you for being a part of the revolution. Viva la Shorts!
A few things to look out for in 2007:
- The Sundance Film Festival will be streaming 50 of their 71 shorts online beginning January 18 and running through April 18. NYFF did something similar back in September through New Yorker magazine. If this proves successful, look for other major film festivals to begin streaming their shorts online as well.
- Short films have officially arrived at 35,000 feet. Keep an eye out for that Delta Airlines/Gen Art competition, and I'm pretty sure you can still vote for your favorite short film.
- Disney will once again create animated short films to play before their features, and will kick things off by bringing back everyone's favorite bumbling dog, Goofy.
- Magnolia Pictures has once again teamed up with Shorts International to distribute those short films nominated for an Academy Award in theaters throughout 20 cities across the country beginning on February 16, 2007 -- one week before the Oscar ceremony.
- Last but certainly not least, stay tuned to Cinematical and Eat My Shorts for a whole new crop of short films in in the coming year. As always, please continue to email us tips, links and suggestions to shorts AT cinematical DOT com.
And now, here are Erik's top ten favorite shorts from 2006 (in no particular order):
Between You and Me -- Shot entirely with a still camera utilizing the burst mode -- in which a series of stills are taken in rapid succession -- Between You and Me was the first short featured on Eat My Shorts. Pic has already won a series of awards and has been featured in a number of festivals -- its story revolves around a chance encounter between a man and a woman on the streets of New York City, and how tragedy helps bring them back together.
Consent -- Before Thank You for Smoking made him a household name, director Jason Reitman was helming hilarious short films. In Consent, two young kids are just about ready to have sex with one another for the first time. However, they'd like to have their attorneys present to draw up a contract just so everyone's ass is covered ... literally. Truly one of the funniest short films I watched all year.
Circle of Freaks -- If there's one lesson learned after watching Circle of Freaks, it's never to wander into a circus freak show alone with no one else around. You wouldn't want to wind up trapped and part of the show you originally intended to watch, now would you? Freaks makes it onto the list simply because I loved the old school claymation, trippy characters and the way its fairly basic story unfolds in front of our eyes.
50% Grey -- Nominated for an Oscar back in 2002, I first stumbled across this mind-boggling short this year. Directed by Ruairi Robinson, Grey follows a man who has died and found himself stuck somewhere between heaven and hell with no idea why he's there, how he got there or whether or not there's a logical way to escape. Brilliant stuff, and definitely a filmmaker to keep an eye out for.
Still Life -- This is the third time I'm writing about Still Life, but even though I've been shoving it down your throats, there's no way I could leave it off this list. The film is brilliant in so many ways, and really makes you think twice about those really long road trips -- you know, the ones where absurd amounts of coffee replace the sleep your body desperately needs.
Dick Fiction -- Because I had to throw one fan film into the mix. Dick Fiction re-creates that famous scene from Pulp Fiction where John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson must make a brief stop over at Quentin Tarantino's house after they accidentally shoot a kid in the backseat of their car. Not only do they recreate the scene, but they insert their own plot (remember the one about Dick Chaney's itchy trigger finger?). Very fun stuff, but do keep in mind that there's plenty of foul language included within.
Alive in Joburg -- Perhaps one of the coolest shorts you'll ever watch, Alive in Joburg was directed by Neill Blomkamp (aka the guy who was supposed to direct the big screen version of Halo) and features some amazing special effects for a short film. Pic is shot as if it were a documentary and it follows a group of people who are attempting to co-exist with aliens in South Africa. There's a reason why they wanted Blomkamp to helm Halo, and that reason was because of this short.
They Came to Attack Us -- Hey, after watching The Battle of Shaker Heights, who knew Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle were actually decent filmmakers? Sure, Shaker Heights was, perhaps, the worst possible script to give to these two fans of horror-comedy, but nevertheless a few of their very funny shorts can be found online. In They Came to Attack Us, one man is placed in charge of a magical orb and asked to save the world from invading aliens.
Scare to Remember -- We first talked about this short during Halloween, but it stuck with me for its simplicity and its imaginative characters. Eric Ehemann directs, and the story revolves around one ugly dude and how stumbling into a seedy bar might help him meet the girl of his dreams.
Dragon -- This film is part of the Delta Airlines/Gen Art short film contest and, quite simply, blew me away with its dark, disturbing charm. In Dragon, director Troy Morgan brings us a story about a little girl who loses her parents in a fire, gets hauled off to an orphanage and likes to draw. That's all I'll say -- make sure you check it out now, if you haven't already.
See you in 2007! Cheers!