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Short Film

Ride the rails with Buster one last time. Beloved American actor / comedian Buster Keaton lived to be 70 years old when he passed away in 1966. His very last silent film was actually made in 1964 and released in 1965 – in full color. It’s called The Railrodder, and it’s actually a sort-of-promo for Canada and the the Canadian National Railway. Produced by the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada, The Railrodder follows Buster around as he rides the rails seeing the sights making his way across Canada. “True to Keaton’s genre, the film is full of sight gags as our protagonist putt-putts his way to British Columbia.” The NFB also made a documentary about the filming of this one, entirely in B&W, and added in lots of extra footage and released it as Buster Keaton Rides Again (also embedded below to watch them back-to-back). But the purity and beauty of The Railrodder makes it stand out, especially because it …

“Is a sticky substance usually spread on branches or feeding areas to trap wild birds intended for export or trade?” Yet another wonderful stop-motion animated short film to watch now that it’s available online. This one is titled Birdlime, and it first premiered at film festivals back in 2017 including at SXSW and the Hamptons, Cleveland, Columbus, Melbourne, Vancouver, and Ottawa Film Festivals. Made by stop-motion filmmaker Evan Derushie, the short film is about an exotic bird that is captured and stuck in a cage. It’s a sad story about the exotic bird-trade industry, and how we should just leave all these animals to live in their own environment. There’s no dialogue, but there is some nice music by Bram Gielen. I adore the character design this, funky yet quite cute. Most importantly, it’s a reminder that wild animals should never be caged. Thanks to Short of the Week for debuting this one line. Official description from YouTube: “A bird in …

“It is always very exciting to be invited to think outside the box and wrestle with stimulating ideas.” Yep. There’s a new film by the great Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos premiering this month! But it’s just a short film, not a new feature (he’s already working on an adaptation of Pop. 1280 next). Following the ten Academy Awards nominations (and one win!) for The Favourite, Lanthimos made this short titled Nimic. It’s premiering at the Locarno Film Festival this month and it will hopefully get a release soon. Matt Dillon plays a professional cellist who has an encounter with a stranger on the subway, which has unexpected and far-reaching ramifications on his life. The cast includes Daphné Patakia, Susan Elle, Sara Lee, Eugena Lee, Rowan Kay, Anvo Kyle, Lizzy Ceniceros, Florencia Mariotti, and Jeffrey Raines. The short runs 12 minutes and was produced by Rekorder Berlin. The film is described as “a small but effective thriller in an aseptic and …

“My friends are different from other kids. They’ve got stains.” Another uplifting short film to watch. The Stained Club is an award-winning animated film made by a group of students from the renowned French animation school Supinfocom Rubika. “Dealing with the effects of abuse both physical and emotional, it is both a stirring tribute to childhood, and a warning to not overlook the inherent vulnerability of kids.” The film is credited to six different young directors, who all worked together to bring this story to life through animation. It’s about a group of kids who call themselves “The Stained Club”, which seems to be a reference to bruises and scars. The filmmakers wanted to make a film that could “help audience’s take more seriously children’s psychological pain.” Featuring the voices of Lucas Lopez & Lily Carton. View the short below. Thanks to SOTW for debuting this short. Description from YouTube: “Finn has stains on his body. One day he meets a …

What secrets are you hiding under the covers? There’s always room for more stop-motion animated short films! Under Covers is film made by a “hand-made animation” studio in NYC called Mighty Oak, and it’s written & directed by animator / filmmaker Michaela Olsen (who works as the creative director at Mighty Oak). This short originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is now available online, and it’s delightfully twisted and amusing and creative as heck. Under Covers gives the audience a “God’s-eye-view” into the bedrooms of seemingly sweet characters hiding a secret or two under their blankets. The film has no dialogue, which I like – keeps the focus on the characters and the visuals. It’s guaranteed to make you smile. Thanks to Vimeo Staff Picks for premiering this. Original description from Vimeo: “On the night of a lunar eclipse, we uncover the sweet, salacious, and spooky secrets of a small town. From a pigtailed psychopath to naughty nuns and …

“We started when I was little… I’d roll up socks. Then, he’d put me in the suitcase.” We always enjoy stop-motion films. Negative Space is stop-motion animated short that was one of the five nominees for Best Animated Short Film Oscar in 2018. The film depicts a father–son relationship through the art of packing a suitcase, showing techniques to pack it perfectly that the son learned from his father growing up. It’s co-directed by animation filmmakers Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, made in France. Featuring the voice of Albert Birney as Sam. This has lovely music, and best of all some gorgeous production design, color, and lighting design. It’s a simple, sweet story to tell, and they make it all the more moving with its distinct style. Thanks to Short of the Week for debuting this one. Original description from YouTube: “Even though Sam’s father is hardly ever home because he is often away on business trips, he is able to …

“Do you have any clue what your son did to my daughter?” Wow. This short film will stir something up inside of you, and stick with you for days and weeks after. Light My Fire is a short film written & directed by filmmaker Bobb Barito, which first premiered at the Austin Film Festival last year. The indie film is about a father who goes to over to confront his daughter’s violent boyfriend on the Fourth of July. But as we know, expectations are different from reality. The short stars Ed Moran, Colin Walker, Rosie Benton, Dante Palminteri, and Lizzy DeClement. This film takes on toxic masculinity head on, and as SOTW so perfectly says, it shows that “rage is easy, but comforting is hard.” Indeed. It’s such a powerful, provocative, upsetting short but that’s what makes it superb. So much is conveyed in a glance, just a look. A must watch. Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip …

It all starts with a cube. A person pushing a cube in the desert. Then what? What is this cube? Where are they pushing it? M52 is a creative, innovative short film experiment made by filmmaker Yves Paradis. He spent one full year making this improvised short, animating it one week at a time. Each week he would think of where to go, what to do, and follow that along taking us deep into the mesmerizing realms of space and time. This is kind of amazing, and really goes to some seriously trippy places. I also love the music in this – by composer Alexander Hohaus (here’s his SoundCloud). There’s really so much going on in this short, it’s hard to make sense of all of it. Perhaps some hallucinogens might help? That’s up to you. Enjoy this film. Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip on this. Description from Vimeo: “What if you made an improvised animated film …

“Do you smell something yucky?” Oh now this is a good one. NYET! A Brexit UK Border Farce is a new short film made by London-based filmmakers Alex Helfrecht & Jörg Tittel. This satire mocking the crazy times in the UK is about two immigrants crossing the border who are stopped for bringing contraband over the border. But they’re stopped for all the wrong reasons. The short stars Olivia Williams, Beatie Edney, Garry Mountaine, and introducing Gabriella Moran and Dimitri Gripari. For those outside of the UK who don’t get this, it’s about how Brexit is limiting contraband like cheese and foreign food because it’s from the EU. There’s a nice twist in this; it’s deliciously clever short film storytelling. “Is any of this reasonable?” Thanks to Jörg for the tip on this. Original description from Vimeo: “When Boris and Olga arrive at the port of Dover with precious cargo, the border authorities, headed by the formidable Mrs. Pyke (Olivia Williams), …

“Who’s up for a round of space beers?” “Space beer! Space beer!” Here’s another funky, fun new sci-fi short film from filmmaker Michael Lukk Litwak. We previously featured his other funky sci-fi short The Life & Death of Tommy Chaos & Stacey Danger in 2014, and he’s back again with another cool short film. Alpha Squadron is about a group of fighter pilot friends who start to fall apart after one of them leaves to go to grad school. Sound familiar? That same ol’ story of friends growing up and growing apart. Starring Sunita Mani, Griffin Newman, Jordan Carlos, Will Dagger, and Sebastian Conelli. Most of the spaceships are miniatures which is why this is so clunky, but also why it’s so cool. Always enjoy this kind of unique vibe. Thanks to Short of the Week for the tip on this. Brief description: “The story of a fighter pilot trying to keep his group of friends together as they grow apart.” …