Wandering around the internet like some modern-day epic Homerian hero, I often come across people who, out of the kindness of their hearts, or more likely to secure funding for bigger projects, put up some really quite superb short movies. Whether they’re animated or live action, the standard of some is so incredibly high, I thought I’d share a few with you. If you like the idea, let me know and I’ll do a regular feature. It’s either that, or you’ll have to listen to James wetting his pants over the latest Bond movie, so it’s up to you.
Moving quickly on from that potentially terrifying scenario, I’ll open with another. This one, I stumbled across in one of my news feeds. At first, I thought ‘two minutes long – that’s not going to eat into my schedule too much’. Then I thought ‘two minutes long – what can be done in that to impress?’ To find out took only, er, two minutes. This grainy homage to the most favourite of all Picturenose’s horror genres, the zombie flick, is superbly shot, well acted and well cut. A real pro job, in fact. It had me guessing all the way up to the kicker at the end. Worth two minutes of anyone’s time.
I created myself an account on Vimeo recently and immediately my productivity dropped by about 60%. The wealth of upcoming film talent on there is amazing. Sound, graphics, animations, matte, direction…you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across a Michael Bay film. No, only joking. This stuff is, as I believe the young people are saying these days, ‘the shit’. One example – and a damned good one at that – is Ruin. Brought to you in glorious HD and widescreen (really), Ruin is an 8-minute action short set in a post-apocalyptic world. The animation is as clean and sharp as any you’ll see in big-budget spectaculars. It has a console-game feel to it, but to say this is not a slight, as for me at least it gives an other-wordly feel to the piece. I really can’t recommend this highly enough. In case you missed the small link earlier watch it here now. You will not be disappointed.
To wrap up, something a bit sinister. Entirely different from the previous two offerings, Szél (Wind) by Marcell Iványi is a multi-award-winning Hungarian film that packs an enormous punch in its brief, bleak seven minute run-time. Director students in the Hungarian Academy of Drama & Film were shown a painting (below) by the Jewish photographer Lucien Hervé and asked to create a short film based on it.
The photo has the unsurprising title of Three Women. Evocative and gritty as it is, the students of the Academy made it into so much more – the entire seven minutes is done in a complete ‘long take’ format – one shot and the camera keeps rolling. This provides a fantastic sense of momentum and also one of culpability and helplessness as the camera through which we are taking in the scene that unfolds just keep on relentlessly. It would be foolish to spoil what is one of the most atmospheric shorts I have seen in many a year, so I leave it to you. Click through here to see it and do yourself a favour and make it full screen. Creepy.