Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here on this fine Saturday afternoon. Fingers crossed, you've had a kickass week and are excited about the Oscars (though, come on... JURASSIC WORLD's snub has me still scratching my head.) Whatever movies you hope get their hands on that elusive golden man (or if you could truly care less and think it, like most award shows, are PR fluff created to sell ad space to egos) hopefully you've had a chance to see the films that were nominated. I'll be honest, I can certainly appreciate a solid "film," but I enjoy my popcorn "flicks" just the same. I just want to be transported into a fun story each and every time I sit in that dark theater or press play on a given device. There are thousands of insanely talented folks out there that consistently push this medium forward, folks not necessarily recognized by silly magazines at the check out counter or have paparazzi snapping photos of them eating lunch in the hopes of poking at them publicly to turn a buck, but normal folks who have followed their passions and created something of their own. At every level, making movies isn't easy. There's a sweet spot of budget to vision that rarely pops up, but on one extreme you've got a no budget filmmaker busting their butt shooting like permit ninjas with "non-actors" to get their stories told - or - you've got a studio behind you supplying you with millions and one of your leads is a diva who needs to be coaxed out of their trailer... (Or a hurricane decides to disrupt your location shoot.) The point is, it's the folks who can navigate these limitations that end up making a film and not an excuse. The folks below have navigated some rough terrains (some more than others), but ultimately have something to show for it - something I think is pretty cool. So let's jump on in and see what we've got this week. Hopefully you see something here that blows you away, or puts a smile on your face.
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:
To smack us into this week's lineup, we've got a fantastic surrealist drama from Milos Mitrovic, Markus Henkel, Ian Bawa, and Fabian Velasco. The film's played numerous festivals, nabbed a "Staff Pick" on vimeo, and has a wonderful write up from the A.V. Club, and all with good reason - the film's incredible. "A former boxing champion sits on death row. He has accepted the inevitable, but is nonetheless determined to ensure that no one will ever lay claim to his championship belt. An exceedingly odd and idiosyncratic parable of ego and futility." If you dig THE CHAMP, then think about checking out their other short, UNDER THE NEON LIGHTS!
Maverick Moore has our next film, a slightly NSFW (explosive) movie that rocked my world. Moore describes the film as "French New Wave Short Film Outta Texas" and he's spot on, but adds his own flavor which is full of Grindhouse fun. I'll be honest, French New Wave isn't really my thing - but somehow I love the hell out of SHOTGUN. "SHOTGUN follows three rebellious girls as they burn rubber and leave no survivors on an inexplicably wild and wicked ride that mixes French New Wave pastiche with pulpy, postmodern stylization. Inspired by the playful approach to story and structure of Jean-Luc Godard’s early masterworks, we wanted to make a film that broke every rule—a film that was coolly simple, mischievously self-aware, and delightfully fun." While the movie's screened at roughly 40 film fests, it's great to have it on the net for us to screen. If you like what you see, then hitch a ride over to SHOTGUN's Facebook Page!
BIG GUY: WEEK ONE
Ah, LA - the magical land of cinema, a town where everyone's got a script, a dream, and that sweet sweet level of absurdity. Bleach blonde hair, fashion, boho lifestyles, leased luxury cars to give the idea of success, a city where dreams come true and more dreams come to die. Still, "if you want to be taken seriously - you need to move to LA." (Just ignore Atlanta, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Austin, and anywhere you can gather friends to make something.) Derek Milton's created a super quick short that highlights the reality of the city vs what you see on TMZ. "Naive boy moves to the big city." The film's quirky, short, and sweet.
SPACE-MISSIONARIES - HOLY SH*T
Next up is an episode from a Webseries, one that's pretty interesting. If you're into science fiction, satire, and animation - then Writer/Director M.R. Horhager has a series for you. "SPACE-MISSIONARIES is a series about a pair of spiritual astronauts and their crew of cosmic crusaders as they travel to distant planets and exotic worlds - looking to convert the savage alien inhabitants to the righteous ways of their church." If you enjoy SPACE-MISSIONARIES, then check out the Mondo Beyondo Youtube Page.
Next up is a film that wasn't submitted by the filmmakers, but suggested by our own "cjohnston." (Thanks, Chris!) It's an incredible film from Jason Wingrove. "A young girl discovers the secrets of her new home." The short features some PERFECT camera work and a whimsical score that just fits. Be sure to check out Jason's website and Vimeo Page for more great works!
THE LORD OF CATAN - TRAILER
To wrap us out is a trailer for a short I was able to catch, but just became available on iTunes. Writer/Director Stuart C. Paul has built a wildly entertaining short featuring fun performances from Amy Acker and Fran Kranz. As mentioned above, the movie is available on iTunes, as well as on BluRay over on its website. "A husband and wife are plunged into an epic struggle for dominance when their friendly game night escalates into cut-throat competition. Old grudges and hidden wounds rise to the surface, propelling them towards their final reckoning, for there can be only one… Lord of Catan." Check out the film's website and/or Stuart's website if the trailer grabs your attention!
That's it for this week's lineup, folks! Hopefuly a film or two (or all of them actually) tickled your fancy. I'll catch you all back here a week from now with another selection of shorts! In the mean time, feel free to check out past articles to see more fantastic shorts!
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 capacity, but I'm interested in your work and am always down to see more! (Keep making cool stuff, everyone!)
- Mike McCutchen