Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with this week's selection of solid short films I can't seem to get enough of. While I try to ensure each SATURDAY SHORTS column packs its own unique punch, this week's films are sure to knock you off of your feet, leaving you with some sort of concussion of quality cinema circling your noggin. Below you'll find yourself six shorts, five of which were submitted by the respective filmmakers and one which features one of my all time favorite actors doing her thing - kicking ass and taking names. Whatever your weekend plans might be, mowing the lawn, outrunning Hurricane Harvey, working the weekend shift... hopefully you're able to unwind and watch these incredible shorts at your leisure. It's like our own little online film festival, one where no one really minds if you're sitting in your boxers munching on garlic knots as you enjoy each tale. It's pretty damn hard to make a film, and even more difficult to make a good one, so hats off to the filmmakers featured this week and to all of the filmmakers in the audience (even the ones working feverishly on their first screenplay!). Who knows what cool future movies we all have to look forward to, perhaps some future classics from the folks 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!
Our first film of the week is nothing short of epic. Master Key Film's Rajeev Dassani and Elan Dassani have created a wildly imaginative tale that leaves you wanting more. Literally, truly, genuinely - I want to see more of this world that the Dassani brothers have created. The brothers have a history of visual effects, likely tackling shots you've seen in your favorite shows. This film isn't your standard "Get a few friends together and shoot a short in your backyard," not by any means (and there's nothing wrong with doing that, by the way!). This film was shot across the Middle East and China, in Arabic, Mandarin and English, and ultimately comes together beautifully. "An Arab refugee woman tries to find her way to safety in the aftermath of a massive war. That war was with our Machine Creations, and she discovered she is a suicide sleeper bomb embedded in the human population without knowledge of what she actually is. He soldier husband must now help her get to the Machine Homeland before its too late." Not to dote on Master Key too much, but their website is incredibly well thought out and offers everything you'd want in a website about a film! Kickass film guys... I really can't wait to see what you do next!
THE SPIRIT MACHINE
"Oh funk yeah." Our next short is jus pure bliss, with fun visuals and interesting characters packed into a tale that doesn't even hit the twenty minute mark (as it doesn't need to!). Writer/Director Timothy Plain brings us his science fiction/fantasy/adventure film inspired by the best films of the 80's. The short hit the internet last week and has already made rumbles across the web, rumbles which might have started here had I seen his email in time for last week! Regardless, here's yet another kickass film that's utterly exciting. "After discovering the final resting place of Thomas Edison's last invention, a desperate, out of touch father and his teenage daughter must work together to solve a series of traps built to prevent them from reaching a secret chamber." Check out more of Plain's work over on his Spindry Productions site!
EMBERS AND DUST
Next up is a film from Patrick Biesemans, sent my way via the lead actor's proud father. "As the radio broadcast of War of The Worlds travels across the airwaves, a young boy's imagination is sparked, sending him on his own kind of vision quest, deep into the neighboring forest." This is some high quality work here, like visual poetry I can get behind, with a solid design in regards to sets/props/costumes. Bieseman did himself the solid of casting such a talented kiddo, one I'm sure we'll be seeing more and more of. Check out the film's website, Facebook Page, or Director's Vimeo Page!
THE LUCID ENGINE
Bruce Branit has our next short, a freaky science fiction film that knows exactly what it is and has fun within those boundaries! "The Lucid Engine is a short film about a dreamworld and a machine that appears within a man's dreams each night that might be more than just in his mind. It is an ambiguous narrative about searching for a loved one and a future that might be real and unavoidable." There's certainly a love for horror classics that have come before here, ergh... Better way to describe that is it's obvious Branit is a super fan of the horror genre and has found subtle ways to pay his respect to the films he respects so much. I had a great time with THE LUCID ENGINE and am very much a fan of what Branit does. Check out his website for more info on the filmmaker!
Next up is a solid drama from Director Kyle Reaume. It's a nicely shot short that perfectly intertwines two different experiences. It's like chewing grapbe bubblegum and the same time as cherry. (Wildly terrible analogy, I'm aware.) Ultimately, this is a solid short that does an excelent job at communicating emotions and feelings without the use of a single word. "He would do anything to be touched by his former lover once more. Ecstasy is an arthouse drama that explores and challenges the relationship between love and violence." Do yourself the solid of clicking over to Reaume's website and seeing what else the man's got going on!
THE GOOD TIME GIRLS
Holy sweet baby Jesus is our last short of the week something awesome. Go figure a guy calling himself "Muldoon" on AICN wouldn't be a complete sucker for anything involving Laura Dern... I'll admit it, her involvement is what had me initially clicking "play," but holy hell did Courtney Hoffman's storytelling keep my glued. "A group of women band together as they go to war against a pack of men who have done them wrong at every turn." The short is part of Refinery29's Shattebox series wherein they give the keys to the castle to twelve females in the hopes of proving it's not just a man's world. Regardless of where you stand on that, what I am totally down for is simple: giving talented individuals the ability to make some truly kickass films! I hope to see more from the series and from Hoffman! (Clearly... I'll continue to perk up when anyone involved with the JURASSIC franchices crosses my desk!) Check out Courtney's website and the Vimeo Page for Refinery29!
KAPOW! I hope you folks enjoyed today's selection of films from across the internet. Ideally you were able to check out a film that you simply wouldn't have seen otherwise... I mean that's the only goal of the column: to showcase talents you might not be aware of *yet. I'm clearly a fan of the filmmakers above and hope to see more from them, but hey if you've got a film of yours that you feel belongs on SATURDAY SHORTS, hit me up! I'll see you folks next week with another selection of solid 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