Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with this week's spectacular festival of damn fine films for your very own viewing pleasures with films submitted by AICN readers like you and me. I've realized I've been a tad bit more horror/sci-fi heavy over the last few weeks, so in order to shift gears - this week it's back to a mixture of all sorts of genres, no real theme other than "This is good stuff." Below you will find flicks from all over, both the world and the genre spectrum, so I'm 100% certain you'll be able to find something you like and might not have seen otherwise. Since I picked them, you know I dig them all, but how about you fine folks? Shoot your thoughts off in the Talkbacks below!
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:
I SHOT JFK
And to start this week off with a bang, let's check out Jon Kovel's wonderfully awkward short that tiptoes on the line of "I shouldn't be laughing, but I am. I just can't help it." (There's a reaction shot of the kids that pretty much sums the movie up for me.) With a title that most people (myself included) have a knee jerk reaction to, you better be able to deliver something special and Kovel absolutely does. He manages to get the tone just right, like a comedian who's hit that sweet spot where social taboos are no longer off limits. " A joyful birthday celebration is ruined when a grandfather decides to get a few things off his chest."
(Drama / "Mixed Bag")
Up next is an interesting dip into the world of having OCD. From director Adam Khamis we have a film that I'd like to describe as "quarky," but I'm not really sure that fits. (I know, "Muldoon- you make no sense, you fool!") It's got a surreal vibe with a unique whimsical style that caught me off gaurd when I went into it assuming it was your standard dramatic fare. I really, really dig where Khamis took this story, visually and otherwise. "A man who has to write lists for everything he does otherwise he cannot function. He lives by a set of rules but a controlling mother and some teenage bullies upset his world which has its consequences."
TEN THOUSAND DAYS
Michael Duignan. If this film is a true example of his talent, rest assured we will all be seeing plenty more of him. His film, TEN THOUSAND DAYS, knows its tone and sticks religiously to it. This film is a hearty meal of quality comedy, not just dessert after dessert. The cuts, the consistant color grading, the use of rear view projection (be it Green Screen or in camera) never feel off - they just click. (Can you tell I really like this one?) "It's a absurd dark comedy about love, death and magpies."
(Animation / Comedy)
I want to see this as a series, be it web or otherwise. From Matt Lee (creator of PINHEAD) we get a fun film we can all relate to: calling in sick for a day of relaxation, when all of a sudde: ZOMBIES! I can't state enough how enjoyable this movie is. It's colorful, funny, short, and delivers surprise after surprise with twists and turns that never let up. Matt's packed a lot of fun in this shorts 5 minute run time.
"SICK DAY centers on a construction worker named Nathan who decides to fake illness to escape the rat race/daily grind. He's about to get what he wants in the worst way possible."
"The idea came to me while I was watching a rerun of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and then I flipped the channel and "I Am Legend" was playing. I thought it would be funny if I took the basics of a little white lie and had it grow and make things worse for the main character (as lies tend to do)."
Twisted. To wrap up this week's selection we have Dennis Brucks closing us out with his film BOLERO. "An abused boy breaks free from his miserable life after meeting a mysterious girl who lives beyond a vent in the wall, set to Ravel's "Bolero." Now I really like this film. I think Dennis did a superb job and definitely think you folks should check it out - my one tiny critique: it feels a little slow. I clearly like it (otherwise it wouldn't be here), but watching it felt less like a short film and more like an art installation. With that adjustment on my end, it totally works. Had the film not been set to "Bolero," it could have been told in half the time, but that's the key: it is set to that specific song and that's what's cool about it, that it was a clear and deliberate decision to adjust the pacing to go with the song (not the other way around.) Dark stuff here. Keep it coming, Dennis!
I don't know about you, but I very much enjoyed this week's selection and sincerely hope you did as well. I'll see you folks next week! Check out the ever growing list of past columns, each filled with good stuff. (The list is getting ridiculous, so if anyone's got an idea of how to better present them or maintain its library-esque vibe: I'm all ears!)
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. The more info you send my way, the more info there is to put with your short.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.
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?
BY THE WAY: If you've had a short featured here, that means that I personally am a fan of your work, so feel free to shoot me any kind of news on new projects/films/whatever. I can't say I'll be able to help or in what capactiy, but I'm interested in your work and am always down to see more! (Keep making cool stuff, everyone!)
- Mike McCutchen