Many filmmakers have hidden metaphors about the challenges and struggles as a filmmaker in their work. Loop is a clever little horror short film made by Mali Elfman, daughter of composer Danny Elfman, who has been making movies for the past few years - primarily for the site Fun Size Horror. Her latest film is a metaphorical tale about her own experiences trying to become a filmmaker. It will all make sense when you watch it. Nothing groundbreaking, but it is a intriguing short that does say more when you understand the metaphorical angst being expressed. This also features some great music composed by Matt Glass. Enjoy.
Time to drive. The newest full-length BMW Film has been released online. Titled The Escape, this one is directed by filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9, Elysium, Chappie), and stars Clive Owen as "The Driver" along with Jon Bernthal and Dakota Fanning. This marks the return of the acclaimed action series launched by BMW in 2001, a short film series featuring BMW cars made by talented directors. The Escape features the All-New 2017 BMW 5 Series - as well as some kick ass action. In the behind-the-scenes they talk about how it was important for "realism, above all else." I like the way they work in extra mystery with the characters this time, especially with Fanning's background. Hopefully this series will continue with more films from more filmmakers, because I really don't want this to be the end. For now, fire it up & enjoy.
"Starting over is a fantasy most of us can only dream of." This is technically a commercial for a car, but it's also an intriguing short film made by a good filmmaker. Le Fantôme is the latest short made by director Jake Scott, who some may remember as director of Welcome to the Rileys with Kristen Stewart (premiered at Sundance in 2010). The short stars Mads Mikkelsen as an assassin, who is assigned to take out a married couple, but things get complicated. As much as I usually dislike such blatant car marketing like this, it's fun to see Mikkelsen doing this and the short has a mysterious edge to it - almost like a James Bond film.
"Not tonight…" With the release of Marvel's Doctor Strange a few weeks away, check out this short film written by C. Robert Cargill, one of the writers on Doctor Strange as well. As They Continue To Fall is a story about an aging homeless man (as played by John Henry Whitaker) who hunts fallen angels in a dystopian society filled with crime and corruption. Director Nikhil Bhagat says he wanted to create a film that felt "as grounded and realistic as possible." There's some impressive cinematography in this, and some moody music, which help achieve Bhagat's goal of making it feel real. Take a minute to check this out below.
"I am here as your servant. I can perform any simple task." With the new "Westworld" show on everyone's minds, it's a perfect time to feature this new short film titled Judy. This first premiered at Fantastic Fest this year, and I owe Tim League thanks for the tip on its online debut. Judy is set in the near future and is about a guy who randomly receives an android assistant at his door one day. It starts out amusing, gets a bit raunchy, then ends on a very twisted note. I won't spoil it - you just need to be aware this may not play out the way you want. It's also a cautionary tale about how emotionless we can/will get with more technology.
"I'd love to talk a little, we haven't done that very much." Another intriguing and well-made short film to feature this month. The Best of Intentions, also known as Han som ville henne så väl in Swedish, is a Swedish suspense thriller short film directed by actor Emil Jonsson - who also stars in this film. Famous Swedish actor Per Ragnar, seen in Light the Right One In, co-stars as a father of a disabled woman who comes to confront one of the workers at the care home where she lives. It's described as a thriller "in the vein of old Twilight Zone episodes" and definitely has that feel. The two lead performances are outstanding, and the tension building is impressive. It's a thought-provoking thriller cleverly addressing moral dilemmas.
This is a wonderful, heartbreaking short film that everyone needs to see. Borrowed Time is an animated short film from directors Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj. It's about an aging Sheriff going back to retrace the steps of the location where an accident took place years ago that he can never forget. Coats and Hamou-Lhadj explain in the making of video that they wanted to tell a more "adult" story with animation that "contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically." The bigger theme of forgiveness is very potent in this, but there is also a focus on the emotions of overcoming hardship and letting go of your past. I've been thinking about this short every day since I first watched it. Don't miss this.
"Life happens. And it sweeps you up, and then you die. That's it. Stupid really…" Need a good laugh? Watch this short. Curmudgeons is a comedic short film directed by Danny DeVito, starring Danny DeVito and his longtime friend David Margulies as two old "curmudgeons" who meet up again at an assisted living home. The cast includes Danny DeVito's daughter Lucy DeVito, as well as Sarah Nina Hayon and Kett Turton. It's a wonderful mix of hilariously crude humor and life lessons being imparted to youngsters, with a sweet side to it that comes out in just the right way. I'm really impressed by this - it's the kind of film you should watch if you're feeling sad and need a reminder of what happiness is. Take a few minutes and watch.
"If the wickedness pleases you, let the window become a door…" Here's yet another excellent horror short film to watch. Givertaker, a "Dead Kids Club Story", is directed by Paul Gandersman, and written by Peter S. Hall, a movie writer who many cinephiles probably know already. In the film, Nell Kessler plays Sarah, a high schooler who decides to get revenge on the people who have been bullying her by asking for help from a mysterious wishing well. This is an impressive horror short that relies more on storytelling and strong performances than any special effects. Though I do really like the look of swirling smoke in the wishing well. There's also a fantastic old school poster for this short (made by artist Stephen Andrade) seen below. Enjoy.
"Be careful, Izzy… People are fragile." Another intriguing sci-fi short to watch. This one is titled Memory Box, directed by filmmaking team Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell. Sadly, Aaron Aites passed away from cancer and this is his last film as a director. Ewell is keeping his memory alive and has started an Indiegogo for extra funding to release this short (beyond the internet). It first premiered at Fantastic Fest last month and is now out online. Described as a "psycho-sexual sci-fi tinged short film", Mackenzie Davis (from The Martian, Breathe In, "Halt & Catch Fire") stars a young mother who works at a memory-recreation facility where actors recreate clients' memories. Fellow sci-fi filmmaker Shane Carruth also stars. Love the score.
"I don't know, I guess we've been drifting apart for a while… I'm more of a homebody, and my other half's more outdoorsy…" Framestore Pictures has released an amusing short film called Otherhalf, from writer & director Ben West, who usually does commercials work for Framestore. Starring Eric Normington and Jayme Lynn Evans, the short is about a man who breaks up with the "other half" of his body, but through his experience finds out more about what makes him whole. Aside from being funny, this is actually kind of a charming short with an honest side. And it's completely original - I've never seen anything like this. Enjoy.
Another good short film to feature during October, to keep you in mood for more horror. We'll be posting more horror shorts all month when we come across any worth sharing. This one is titled simply Eve, a short film about a woman trying to survive alone in a post-apocalyptic London wasteland. This has a very simple premise, and there's not much dialogue, but I admire their attempt to tell a story on a very limited budget without much being said. Eve is directed by Annie Power. It's admittedly not the best short you'll see, but if you think you can do better then get out there and actually make a short. It's not that easy. Enjoy the film.