This week's SATURDAY SHORTS are out of this world with Sci-Fi goodness!
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this weeks barrage of short film badassness, this time with twice the Sci-Fi and half the fat. In case my incredibly witty word play with the headline didn't tip you off, below are a handful of some great science fiction goodies hand selected by yours truly. Heads up - the majority of these films aren't your standard out of this world, robot filled, dudes with laser guns kind of Sci-Fi, they're more of a nice contemporary TWILIGHT ZONE vibe all packed to the brim with a quality and an authenticness that's rather apparant. As I went through the science fiction shorts that have accumulated lately, I realized a rather hefty amount I've gotten have come from a 48 hour film competition out of London. Something must be in the water over there, becuase I've really dug quite a few of them and think you guys will too. So let's do this thing, eh? And as always, remember the directors could be floating around in the Talk Backs below. If you've got any comments/questions/anything really, by all means shoot them out. And on that note, my hopes are you dig the films screening today, but if you don't - that's totally cool, I just like them and think they're damn neat - no need to go out of your way to bring the troll rage out and bring the party down.
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:
First up is Dan Sollis's crazy sci-fi fun film based on a book by Zack Parsons. It is 1874 and Gideon Long is dying. Wandering the savage desert of the New Mexico Territory, he craves a last drink before he bleeds out. On the brink of madness, he discovers a place best left forgotten and makes an insidious bargain: escape his fate and incur a debt too great for one man. His country will pay the price over the twisting course of more than a century and Gideon will learn there are worse things to bargain with than the devil.
Here we are with a rather original and visually interesting film from Richard Alexander. "Noumena" follows the journey of a prisoner, who is taken into a facility and tested, against her will, in dream and temporal experiments, where she discovers an alternate universe and its keeper, The Guardian.Mariah Bonner takes the title role of the prisoner and Charlotte Van Kemmel portrays the ethereal Guardian. Dallas Munger and Curtis Nelson portray The Guards with Wayne Hellstrom as The Experimenter."Noumena" is written & directed by Richard M. Alexander and produced by Ryan Ramirez. Among the creative behind-the-scenes team are director of photography Tobias Deml, production designer Marco Diaz, storyboard artist & conceptualist Wade Wilson, composer Giuseppe Vasapolli, sound designer Bronic Bednarek, and make-up artist Kristen Calderon. Casting and Wardrobe managed by Simonique Amirian. Check out the film's Facebook page HERE.
Up next is a film that was written, shot, and chopped all within the span of 48 hours for a film competition. To me, it goes to show how if you have the right group of talented people - you can still pump out a damn high quality film regardless of budget. Will McGregor and his team knock it out of the park with this one, a simple well told and visually interesting story - what more could you want?
6 MINUTE JUMP
Leo Payne sent in his London 48 hour film as well and again, holy shit - those English seem to know what's up with science fiction and hitting the ground running. It's another excellent film and is nothing at all like ERADICATE above. This one's definitely one of those films where the more you watch it, the richer it becomes - there's some meat to it for you to chew on.
BAM! So there we have it, this week's last film of the evening. I hope you guys and gals enjoyed these shorts as much as I did. Now it's back to the jungles for Muldoon! I'll see you fine folks next week with some... Actually, what genre of film are you guys feeling like? Horror? Comedy? Drama? Action? Ask and you shall receive, but in the mean time - if you're new to SATURDAY SHORTS and want to check out some other really cool shorts that have screened here, here's an evergrowing list of filmic fun:
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 "Mike@aintitcool.com"
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 AN ASSHOLE). I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? How'd you like 'em?
- Mike McCutchen
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June 16, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST
June 16, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST
Do you feature anything that isn't done by Americans or English-speaking types ? Not a single Asian film in your section. Much less foreign ones. Damn.
June 16, 2012, 7:34 p.m. CST
Just an observation. Don't take it wrongly.
June 16, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST
nicely shot too. slick.
June 16, 2012, 7:59 p.m. CST
I'm not at all against showcasing non-English shorts. It's true I've only shown a few, but to be blunt - I'm not getting sent many (like possibly 20/25 maybe in total I've been sent). I think because I specifically do want AICN reader submitted material only and the simple fact that this site is written in English - that might come into play. And the hollywood look you're picking up on I think is just quality plain and simple. At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I've seen my fair share of less than stellar shorts and I'm not going to post something here unless it can stand on its own two feet regardless of context. -It wouldn't look so bad had I had a budget of XYZ...- Nope, lo siento. Despite what it may seem like - I make movies myself and I know one thing is universal, you will never have enough money and nothing will ever go as planned, it's how you adapt. I can only like what I like and hope you folks dig it too - outside of that, if anyone doesn't dig the same stuff I do - I can't really comment on that. Thanks for reading/watching though! Maybe you'll be more at ease with next week's selection.
June 16, 2012, 8:10 p.m. CST
So apparently this super hero horror comedy is too offensive for Saturday Shorts; if you are not squimish, offended by language, violence or philosophical content, you should probably check this out (if you have the testicular fortitude): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ83SEWw9n8
June 16, 2012, 8:22 p.m. CST
by Darth Valinorean
Really good. Definitely warrants repeat viewing - there is a lot to digest and take in there.
June 16, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST
by John Ary
I would love to see the first place winner from the Sci Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge!
June 16, 2012, 9:09 p.m. CST
Hadn't seen it yet, but I get it - *... says it's too offensive for...* - standard way to market something and stir curiosity/make it seem like you've got something *too hot for tv* on your hands. The testicular fortitude subtle semi-jab is gold too! Good luck with the short and thanks for reading/watching!
June 16, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
as mojination said, beatifully shot... especially the first man's painful trek through the hills -- felt like I was watching an episode of Breaking Bad for a second. on the downside, this short was difficult for me to follow; I had no idea what they were talking about or what was going on in their lives, despite the headlines
June 16, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Great editing on this one. Very cool to see a story told with no dialogue whatsoever. Soldiers were taken straight from HALF-LIFE 2's playbook, which is definitely not a complaint. I wish I could have watched this with Pierce Hawthorne, if only to hear him yell, "Lesbians!"
June 16, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
The black & white with the high contrast works really well for this one. I like the idea behind the brother and his machines, although the short raises more questions than it answers.
June 16, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
Very cool. I like the pace in which they reveal the details of his plan, all the way up to the tallies at the end. I also like the open ending -- what will younger man do to adjust to his new home in the future?
June 17, 2012, 2:06 a.m. CST
LIMINAL STATES Interesting poem on the individual's push and pull with their environment; role, place in time; and declarations of autonomy. Combined with natural light photography, resembles Terrence Malick in spots. As with a soliloquies or a musical, breaking into speech or song can violate dramatic space — the dialogue being overdubbed as thoughts or prayers might have sanded the edges. Striking, if only for not worrying about appearing arty. NOUMENA Prisoners, their freedom McGuffin and, as the title suggests, possible realities. This seemed to also be a statement on femininity vs. male control painted in bold Sci-Fi strokes; which was fine in a small dose. Sound design & music were strong, acting as a well-balanced substitute for dialog. One prisoner looked a bit glam in her laboratory scene. Fluent editing kept this under ten minutes, maintaining suspense. ERADICATE Liked the combo of future sci-tech surrounded by decay, reflecting the degenerative nature of reinvigorating the dead. While it feels like a commercial and a PSA hitched together, banging something like this out in 48hrs is commendable. A dramatic concept like this could definitely be explored further. 6 MINUTE JUMP Seemed to have borrowed from THE TERMINATOR, SOMEWHERE IN TIME and MOON (when the *old copy* starts bleeding out). Lead thesp was solid. Wise to divide the future scenes as cyan-tinted, and the past & present scenes as natural and warmly lit — supported the by ambient bass sound in the time travel bits. As above, 48hr production span is admirable. Overall this week = Astral projection!
June 17, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST
But the others were also visually great.
June 17, 2012, 2:33 a.m. CST
June 17, 2012, 2:52 a.m. CST
by Bradley porter
Hey Muldoon!! I'm the Bradley Porter who emailed you with Eradicate and some of the other sci Fi shorts. ERADICATE wasnt one of mine, it was made by my good friend Will McGregor and his team. He will be chuffed to see his film on here, over the moon even... But probably not with my name on it? Is it possible to change it? Sorry to be a pain. For reference (proof) the short I directed that I sent was called THE MEETING PLACE. Thanks!! Bradley
June 17, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST
by Bradley porter
Hey!! The winner of the SCI FI 48HR challenge is called FUTURE INC directed by Martin Stirling. You can find it on VIMEO and maybe YOUTUBE. It's brilliant. Funny and dark.
June 17, 2012, 4:54 a.m. CST
by Darnell Brown
The production value of both was really good! Loved seeing films like this that challenge the notion that you need a ton of money to tell a great story visually. Awesome job on both!
June 17, 2012, 4:58 a.m. CST
by Darnell Brown
But I was wondering if you got a chance to check out my short I sent you a while back, "Sex Love Revenge"? Would just love to get your thoughts. Just looking to become better storytellers and appreciate reviews and inputs from everyone. The link's below if you haven't gotten a chance to check it out. Thanks for posting great films every week. It's like going to a film festival....in my living room. LOL! Keep doing your thing! Link to "Sex Love Revenge": https://vimeo.com/35550286
June 17, 2012, 6:20 a.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
Thanks again Muldoon, this week was a real feast, I liked all 4 dishes. "Liminal States" was visually striking (as Justmyluck I was reminded of Malick) and obviously just consists of sketches from the story; the film was good enough to get me interested in the novel, I read a synopsis and watched it again. btw, I've never been to a desert but always imagined them as rather flat; as can be seen here and in "Thor" the desert is quite angled, that's propably why there's no water there, must've drained away offscreen. "Noumena" was more fantasy than SF but nothing wrong with that. I would have liked more insight into the experiment and the (mad?) scientist's motivations; his smile at the end hints at a hidden story yet to be told. "Eradicate" and "6 Minute Jump": Both incredibly good for 48h-shots, building great atmosphere on very little. 6-Minute-Jump reminded me of Alfred Bester who I think did a similar story once.
June 17, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST
Sorry about that - should be A-okay now.
June 17, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST
Thanks, Muldoon! As a hard science fiction fan without much tolerance for less-than-compelling material, written or cinematic, I enjoyed all four films! The beginning of "Liminal States," with the shred-tech, "beware the water" voiceover definitely got my attention. That was creepy. The rest of the film was well-acted and well-shot too. I'll probably have to see it again to more fully grasp the larger context (s). "Noumena" was also nicely shot and acted, I thought, and worked well as an oddly manufactured first-contact scenario. That's what I thought it was, anyway. The woman she meets on the beach arriving because of whatever crazy, multiple-worlds technology the experimenter invented. And they save each other, thus preserving a very significant link. What I most liked about "Eradicate" was the look of the dead brother. His dead black eyes unblinking like Frankenstein, almost. Nice work there by the filmmakers. Even though the film runs short, it leaves you with an unsettling feeling in your stomach. "6 Minute Jump" was also excellent, I thought. For a film to show you so little in so little time, yet open up such breathless questions as "Why?" and "Would I do that in a similar scenario?" is quite an accomplishment. And the story was well-shot too. I tip my cap to all the filmmakers and actors who made these films! Would actually like to see what any or all of them will do in the future...
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