Film fans may know Patton Oswalt as the voice of Remy the rat in Ratatouille, the lead in the indie Big Fan or the loveable townie in Young Adult, but the comedian has an amazing career as a stand-up comic, not to mention countless guest star appearances on TV. Now a cool 10-minute documentary from The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia director Julien Nitzberg turns the lens on Oswalt. Using a contrast between excited fans and the dull routine Oswalt has before his shows, the short gives a glimpse into how Oswalt crafts his stand-up material, which is some of the most brilliant comedy today. Watch it!
Five nominees. Five animated shorts. Who will win the Oscar in a few weeks? Now you get to decide. Thanks to a tip from our friends at Bleeding Cool via The Film Stage, we've collected the complete set of all five 2013 Oscar nominated animated short films for your viewing pleasure. Around this time of year, with the Academy Award nominations getting lots of attention, the short film noms usually end up getting shown in theaters (live-action or doc) or screened online (animated), which is the case again this year. Now they're available to view, in full, online and I can certainly say—without a doubt—all five shorts are worth watching.
Since we spend most of our time checking out feature length films at the Sundance Film Festival, there's plenty of short films that we don't get to see or call attention to very often. However, throughout the festival, there are some shorts that end up attached to some of the feature films, and deserve a bigger audience. One such film from 2011 is Bear from director Nash Edgerton (brother of Warrior and Zero Dark Thirty star Joel Edgerton), which features Australian actress Teresa Palmer in the story of a guy (Edgerton) who goes above and beyond the call of duty to surprise his girlfriend (Palmer) with amusing results. Watch it below!
Aside from the fact that Wreck-It Ralph was one of the best animated feature length films from 2012 (it was nominated for the Best Animated Film Academy Award), the theatrical release also had a nice treat playing before the video game centric movie. Tangled and Ratatouille animator John Kahrs made his directorial debut with the hybrid hand-drawn and computer animated short Paperman, which has been nominated for both an Oscar and an Annie Award. Now Disney has made the entire charming short available to watch online, and you should definitely take six-minutes to watch it and try not to smile. Watch the short below!
Well, this isn't what I was expecting, but it's pretty cool anyway. A sci-fi short film we've been tracking for some time now called C has finally debuted entirely online. The short in full is called C 299,792 km/s and is about Lieutenant Commander Malleck's mutiny on a futuristic spaceship called Kestros IV. As much as I admire the filmmaking here and attempts to make a fun short, it looks like it was shot at a laser tag arena, has a rather funky soundtrack, and features some questionable acting. But it's still an interesting concept and they do play with sci-fi elements like gravity. Most importantly - no CGI or greenscreen was used in the making of the film, all the sets and props were built by hand and filmed in-camera. Which explains the look.
"Initializing Motivation Protocol." Whoa. We've featured many weird and fascinating sci-fi shorts over the years, but nothing like this. Since debuting a few days ago, I've received numerous emails alerting me to this "amazing" new short titled R´ha, written & directed & created by 22-year-old Kaleb Lechowski. Part of the reason it's so brilliant is it has nothing to do with humans. It's about an alien being interrogated, dare I say
tortured motivated by a robot trying to acquire coordinates. It's chilling, but impressively well-made and plays like a great opener to a full feature film. No question Hollywood will be interested. Get it while it's hot!
"Tell me who you are!" There is a worth watching short film going around the web called Logan, that is indeed inspired by a certain comic book character of the same name. It's made by two Swedish filmmakers named André Hedetoft and Andreas Climent, a regular reader of FS who has been emailing about it as well. The short is out in full via Vimeo and stars Tobias Nilsson as "Logan", plus Kola Krauze ("Wallander") and Deepak Tara. This is described simply as "a dark Scandinavian spin on the origin of Wolverine." Obviously it gets a bit bloody, but beyond that it's just a well-made short film. And it's all in English. Enjoy!
It looks completely adorable already! In addition to teasing some concept art for their upcoming projects, Pixar has also decided to unveil their new short film playing in front of Monsters University this summer (out June 21st). It's called The Blue Umbrella and the first introduction includes mention of the rather interesting director, Saschka Unseld, who pitched his way up from the technical artists section of Pixar, where the specialties range from lighting to clothing-simulation software, not usually where directors come from but he has some obvious talent. The reveal includes a quick clip from the new short film, see it below.
"And so he became the last soul. Scavenging his own creation... as it withers away around him." As we get excited for the many indies playing at Sundance later this month, lest not forget the many others that have played at countless other festivals, including this one. The short is called Overture, written and directed by Dan Sachar, a haunting sort of post-apocalyptic sci-fi about a man struggling "to connect pieces from his daily scavenging routine and bits from his repressed memory." It has a very mesmerizing feel like The Road or something from Lars von Trier, with very minimal dialogue. Described as "poetic sci-fi at its very best."
The time between January and the end of April is usually riddled with all the studio films that weren't good enough for summer or awards season. That means that a lot of horror films get dumped in that time. Texas Chainsaw 3D is coming early in January, but a couple weeks later, the Guillermo del Toro produced horror Mama starring Jessica Chastain will arrive. It looks plenty creepy (watch the trailer), but we're cautiously optimistic since Don't Be Afraid of the Dark wasn't anything to write home about. Now del Toro has taken the time to introduce the short film that inspired him to get involved with the feature film. Watch!
Because life isn't simple. Another intriguing, well-made sci-fi short film to feature today, this one I like quite a bit. It's called Paraphernalia and is a 12-minute short about a boy and his robot, but there's a bit more to it than that. I won't give away the final reveal but it's worth it after spending so much time with these two characters. There's an awesome "Kill All Robots" throwback video game segment halfway through, but overall this is just an outstanding short to enjoy. No wonder it won Best Drama at the LA Shorts Fest. It was directed by John Williams - no relation to the composer. Watch it below. "You don't even have guns!"
There's no better time to promote a short film when the star is getting ready to hit the big screen in one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. Martin Freeman stars in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (and the forthcoming two sequels) as Bilbo Baggins, but we're going to highlight a more quiet, but no less adventurous performance from the British actor. Director Tim Bunn landed Freeman to star in his short film The Girl is Mime, which he made for the 48 Hour Film Contest. The six-minute film follows Freeman as a mime who is being interrogated by the police as the top suspect for the murder of his wife. Watch it!
Even more! Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with 44 days left until Sundance 2013 kicks off on January 17th, Sundance has officially announced their line-up of short films accepted to the festival. This compliments the complete feature line-up announced over the last week: In-Competition Dramas & Docs, Midnight & Spotlight Films and Premieres + Docs yesterday. The short selection this year includes more from Nash Edgerton (Crossbow, Spider, Bear) plus Kat Candler's film Black Metal and Riley Stearns' film The Cub, among roughly 62 other films of various length. Full 2013 shorts lists below.
"You'll be alright if I say you'll be alright." Here's another intriguing sci-fi short to take a look at. This one is called Noon and it's some hard, futuristic social sci-fi from director Kasra Farahani, an Art Director making his debut after working on Thor, Men in Black III and Star Trek Into Darkness. Welcome to Noon - Home of the Sun. In a bitter and polarized world, a coyote struggles to salvage what humanity still exists within him when profit is pitted against morality. I like the minimal effects in this and acting is a bit better, it has strong potential and I'm looking forward to seeing the full short. It was shot in 2 days by "Mad Men" DP Chris Manley. And I know, the guards look straight out of Half-Life 2, but it still looks damn good.