Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with this week's picks for SATURDAY SHORTS, your very own screening room here in the heart of AICN. The column is filled with interesting shorts from all over the globe and submitted by the filmmakers themselves (with the exception of one this week). With numerous film festivals going on this weekend, LAFF and Mammoth Lakes Film Fest for example, it's cool to remember that every day a new film is coming out, or a new filmmaker is premiering their work. While it's next to impossible to attend every fest out there, SATURDAY SHORTS is here to be watched at your leisure, a weekly film fest that's sole purpose is to show off cool shorts created by passionate individuals. There are no tickets and no one is going to tap you on the shoulder if you're watching them in your underwear (which can't be said about LAFF, as I've found myself...). We are all here for the same reason; we love watching movies. Hopefully you find a film or two below that really knocks your socks off, potentially getting you hooked on a filmmaker (who before now) you've not known. Remember to crank the volume up, full screen each film, and leave your expectations at the door. Let's get this show on the road!
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!
Let's start this week off with something a bit awkward and morbid, a romantic comedy from Danny Ezra Gonzalez Levy. Levy's no stranger to these parts as I had the pleasure of screening HANGIN' here a few years back. One thing is for sure with Danny, he loves the creepy stuff - and I love what the guy does. THE GROUP is a perfect blend of "awe" and "ah!""An innocent flirt between two timid attendees at a support group for the all but innocent." I absolutely suggest checking out what else Danny's got going on over on his website. (The guy can even make a milk commercial interesting!)
Next up is a fun horror/science fiction/comedy from Dick Grunert. "THE TRAP is about a man who invites his friend over one night to show off his latest invention: a trap for catching aliens." Gah... I really don't want to say anything beyond that leading in. This film's played numerous festivals and for good reason. Everything from the acting (Curtiss Frisle & Tony Janning), to the visual effects, to the "beep" "boop" noises with the machine... just perfect. (Grunert, I'm a fan - when are you shooting a feature version on this or of anything for that matter?) Check out more of Grunert's work on his Vimeo Page!
THE ECHO OF SMALL THINGS
Next up is a weird one, a horror film created by Marc Rogerson. Rogerson "wrote, acted, filmed, directed, did the makeup, composed and played the music and edited" the film, so it's a real passion project. It's a rather dark film and includes some interesting choices as far as coverage, editing, and just plain storytelling. I enjoyed the film and hope others do as well. It's absolutely a slow burn (filled with blood), but when that twenty-eight minutes was up, I was left still wanting more. Check out more of Marc's work on his Vimeo Page!
ALISON BLAIRE - "THE SIGHT OF THE SOUND"
In the mood for a Dazzler X-Men Music Video? Good! Because that's what Arvin Bautista of Greasy Pig Studios has in store. With the latest X MEN film just around the corner, here's a healthy serving of pop fun that might make for a good pairing. This music video would make Cyndi Lauper proud, as well as X-Men/Dazzler/New Mutants creators Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Fabian Nicieza. To see more of Arvin's work, dazzle on over to his Greasy Pig Studios website and see what else he's got!
Our next film is a movie I was made aware of by Talkbacker "cjohnston." "JAMES is about a boy growing up with a disability and the world he creates around it to heal his fractured family and face his tormentors at school." The film was created by Kyle McCauley and features an incredible performance by the young Elliott James Thomas Moore, as well as includes some impressive visual effects. If you enjoyed the film and want to see how they went about creating it, they posted a rather interesting "making of" online that you might want to check out. Be sure to check out Kyle's website.
BAM! That's it for this week, ladies and gents. I'll catch you all a week from now with another handful of films I think are pretty cool. Hopefully you found a film above that blew you away or told you a story you weren't expecting. If you're in the mood for more shorts, click any of the links below to see past SATURDAY SHORTS articles.
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