Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with an exciting selection of kickass films from across the globe. This week is packed with insanity, with robots, explosions, cross country journeys, and some genuinely dark material that's isn't your typical SATURDAY SHORTS. So whatever you're in the mood for, chances are you'll find it below. As always, my singular hope is that you leave here having seen something great, something inspiring or cool that you just wouldn't have seen otherwise. This column is as much for the filmmakers as it is for the audience as making a film is a tricky beast, full of difficulties that (if you've done your job well) are hidden from the viewer once the film is complete. Blood sweat and tears go into practically every short, feature, script, etc... and why? Because we've all got love for stories. Seeing them - Telling them - Filming them. There's an enormous vault of passion here in the SATURDAY SHORTS walls, with this week and every week before, full of wild stories that take you to other worlds, times, dimensions, and beyond. All week I spend roughly 13 hours a day working on someone else's big story, then come home to spend a few hours on my own, and find the time to see the work of others, like the films below, so with regards to watching fresh filmmakers with new ideas and visions - SATURDAY SHORTS is the highlight of my week, as I get to share these stories with a handful of likeminded folks I've likely never met before. If you're a regular to this column, you know what you're in for. If you're new, then tie up your laces and prepare your world to be rocked. If you like what you see, remember there's always an archive at the bottom to go back in time with, a way to check out past SATURDAY SHORTS without needlessly clicking about in the dark. Let's have some fun and get this weekly film fest of ours 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!
Up first is a short that's rocked a few film festivals already, including winning "Best Picture" in the "Shorts with Legs Category" at Fantastic Fest 2015. Filmmaker Lawrence Klein has created somethng truly unique, a bizarre science fiction comedy that feels fresh while maintaining a sweet level of "batshit insane" throughout the 20 minutes the film runs. "Following a humiliating job search, Gabe looks set for success after answering an online recruitment ad. He soon finds himself on a bizarre cross-country odyssey filled with strange signs and symbols, seedy hotel rooms, dead prostitutes, and possibly extraterrestrial garbage men. Can Gabe put the pieces together and maintain his composure, or will he stay a victim of his own neuroses? And just who are Gabe’s seemingly otherworldly employers, and how much of his own mysterious past will affect his future?" If you're intrested in seeing more of how the film was created and learning more about Klein, then be sure to check out his acid hit of a webpage for the film as well as the film's Facebook Page.
THICK AIR is one of those shorts that sticks with you. There's simplicity here with an enormous cavern of emotion under the surface of what Writer/Director Ivy Jelisavac shows us visually. The film's two leads, Julia Taylor and Jestyn Phillips are incredible and feel real. ("Feeling real" is truly one of the best compliments I can give a performance.) Here's a story I don't typically get drawn to, but in the hands of Jelisavac, I couldn't look away. "How do you forgive someone who changed your life forever? A young woman confronts the man who abused her twelve years ago. It doesn't go the way she planned." If you're hoping to see more of Jelisavac's incredible work, then head over to her website or Vimeo Page and see what else she's created.
FIRST DATE FROM HELL
SATURDAY SHORTS Vet Thane Economou has our next short, an all too relatable film for practically everyone out there. "From the first moments of their first date, he thought she was perfect. Except for one small, tiny, little detail... Starring Mark Saul and Meg Cionni." The film is very direct, with locked off shots that lean on great perfromances rather than forced camera moves and over the top cutty-ness. Thane locked in the perfect actors for a film like this, especially with Saul who I hope to see more of in the future. It's a fun, sweet and simple, kind of film that will throw a smile on even the most hardened folks in the audience. Catch more of Thane's work on his website and his Vimeo Page!
Next up is a proof of concept from David Karlak that completely knocked me flat on my ass. I really feel like I've seen this before, though possibly only a trailer. Regardless, I hope to hell Karlak gets to bring the feature version of this to life as the guy clearly has skills. The short stars Anton Yelchin, whose passing is still sending shockwaves around the world. So much life, so much talent, so much denied from the future. This film is an excellent reminder of the projects Anton believed in and Karlak's vision, fingers crosses we get to see that vision come to fruition. Check out the film's official website and Facebook Page.
GOD, ME AND THE SALTY PEANUTS
Written and Directed by Turgay Kılıç, our next film comes to us from Russia with love. Turgay brings us an unsaturated look at something rather trippy. It's sexy. It contains some great shots. It has a narration that feels straight out of a 1940's noir (but in Russian, which is even better here). "Life always becomes a riddle and mostly complicated when you search some answers. If you do not accept what people teach you at home, at school, at work and go ahead to search, you suffer. Day by day and more and more. But, is it not worth to get answer? "God, me and the salty peanuts" is the story of man who tries to find answers for his life." Check out Turgay's Vimeo Page as well as the film's VK Page!
GRAVES - Episode 1
To close us out, let's take a look at a web series. "Muldoon! This is SATURDAY SHORTS, you can't show web series, you wildly handsome lunatic!" Yes, I can - especially if it looks like fun and soemthing I think more folks out there should have on their radars. GRAVES is a project from Terence Krey, "a lo-fi supernatural dramedy that's a "post-modern Buffy: The Vampire Slayer." Something like that." The series looks to be coming from a sincere place and is rather enjoyable. If this first epsiode hooks you, then check out the next four on their Facebook Page and website.
Whoosh! I hope you fine folks had a fun time this week. I'll catch you all seven days from now with another handful of films I think are pretty cool. Remember, if you're sitting on a film of your own that you think would play well here - shoot it over to me! I'm always looking for short films.
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