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It's a bird. It's a plane. It's SATURDAY SHORTS.

Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with four shorts that will have you moon-walking naked across a busy street they're so good. (If that does happen, I'm not liable.) In all seriousness we have four wonderful shorts today for your viewing pleasure here at the good old SATURDAY SHORTS screening room. This week's selection is more thriller/drama centric than we've had in the past with some brilliant pieces of work I think you folks might enjoy as much as I do. On that note, I've had these shorts since around the end of February, so if you've sent in a short film of your own and beat the keyboard with extreme malice every time if doesn't appear on SATURDAY SHORTS, (first off - "chill") don't worry - I could be saving them for a themed program or could screen it next week (or the week after that). In the mean time, check out the fine work of your fellow Ain't It Cool readers. *Next week is an all out balls to the wall genre fest that I can't wait to show you guys and gals.*

So let's get this screening going. Go grab yourself some popcorn, lock your kids in a closet, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here. (Cue projector sound)




Up first is Kal-El Bogdanove's film, TRAPS. "It is an intense dramatic short about two young fishermen - best friends - who come to impassable conflict, alone, aboard a twenty-foot lobster boat, miles out to sea."

"Traps was shot on a total shoestring on Monhegan Island, Maine, where I grew up. The island is a famed retreat and obsession of some of America's greatest painters, including Rockwell Kent and N.C., Andrew, and James Wyeth. It offers a painterly look at the arresting, often unforgiving beauty of life in one of New England's last real fishing villages." - Bogdanove

Here we are with an Oscar nominated short from Luke Doolan and Blue Tongue Films. With this short, the less you know going in - the better.
(Comedy / Drama)
Up next is Jim Page's Self Help. "A lonely oddball, crippled by insecurity, attends a motivational seminar given by the mythical 'John Power', in the hopes of changing his isolated life."

"This is my first short film. ‘Self Help’ was partly inspired by my own struggle to be comfortable in their own skins, and the mask that many people wear to hide their real selves. It's a bit weird, but i like to think it has a bit of heart! It's been screened at over 20 international festivals including the New York Film Festival and London Short Film Festival." - Page

(Adventure / Drama)
Filmmaker Brett Cramer gives us a nostaglic smack to the back of the head with CHARLIE, a film that makes me want to go play outside. "Three friends caught in a tense combat situation must choose between what is easy and what is right."

CHARLIE should've helped to toss us out on a high note and all, but what's that? You want to keep this shorts watching shindig going strong? Awesome! Here's list of previous columns: 











If you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in, please do send it in - I'd love to see what you've put together. I've already seen hundreds of fresh new filmmakers' shorts and like any good addict, I need more!

Shoot me an email at ""

In the subject line include:

“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”

Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need or would want published.

Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.  I swear to each of you I truly check every email I get, and sending the same short a few times just makes it a bit messier.

Remember, the filmmakers might still be in the audience, so feel free to share your thoughts in Talkbacks below. (Just don't be a dick) I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? What are your thoughts?



- Mike McCutchen



Readers Talkback
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  • April 7, 2012, noon CST

    No first for you

    by edwardpenishands

  • April 7, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I refuse to watch them on my phone

    by T 1000 xp professional

    Can't wait to check them out. Muchas gracias for the Saturday delight, Muldoon

  • April 7, 2012, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Saturday shorts — aka — Quatre épices!

    by justmyluck

    TRAPS Quickly establishes the isolation and emotional confinement of a coastal macrocosm. I started to wonder if this might be BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN with lobsters instead of sheep. Well written (by the son of Jor-El, no less!), though the title TRAPS too on the nose, leaving the endeavor feeling lightly arty (including late-focused shots of the wife was a skilled touch). Could have been sent home more effectively by converting the St. Brendan's medallion bit, which felt like forecasting, to the fisherman's dream before waking up in the hospital. Pared down situational drama like this is what the short film platform is for. MIRACLE FISH Agile and unobtrusive camera movement. Great crowd control with the kids. Difficulty here building the required suspense, and wanting for tension, being paced and scored *dreamily* while the boy is alone. This suggests the boy is having a dream while in sickbay, or awaiting some birthday-surprise-to-be from his father (Fincher's THE GAME). Nice edit on the hand prints, and well-written psychotic ramblings. Like TRAPS (above) involves forecasting with a symbolic token, and a sufferer of childhood taunts going over the edge — contrivances undo impact. SELF HELP Solid actor in the lead. Difficulty ascertaining whether playing two persons or the same character, which could be clarified with further editing/trimming. I'll just assume this was about a self-help guru who can't grasp his own advice. The sexual innuendo implies comedic ambitions, while the ending tries to be heartwarming. If a lead character is conflicted, the plotting around them can't be. Certainly has some quirky/funny moments, and remains watchable due to lead thesp's full-on commitment. CHARLIE Childrens' role-playing, and its black-or-white decision-making, reflected as warfare. Message sent home far too many times with the dual action cross-cutting. Like SELF HELP (above), difficult to ascertain whether watching the same characters as children and adults, or a child's state of mind. Consider letting bits of a child's dialog start slipping out from an adult soldier (as if he's becoming shell-shocked), then doing the switch to the kids. And staying there, since the ending (with the kids shirking personal responsibility in a military-like manner) works well as ironic critique. ----- This week = enjoyable!

  • April 8, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by Industrious Angel

    Thanks again for a nice selection! I liked "Miracle Fish" and "Traps" most. "Self help" is very much a gimmick film and as such a bit too slow in driving home the pointe imho - nice idea though. "Miracle Fish" is a bit gimmicky too but plays very cleverly with the "alone on the planet"-fantasy most bullied kids should know. "Traps" had, apart from the good editing, very good photography - especially for a shoestring-budget, well done!

  • April 8, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Keep it up Muldoon

    by Fish Tank

    Love short films as much as I love short stories... Which is a lot. Miracle Fish is brilliant, and Charlie... Way to end it :-(

  • April 8, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    My god, Kal-El is this old already?

    by Wonderboys

    I remember when I read about the great Jon Bogdanove naming his newborn son as if it was yesterday... I'm too old for this shit.