"They're everywhere! Don't you see." Dive back into the mind of sci-fi filmmaker Ruairi Robinson, who just released his latest short film online. Corporate Monster is the latest film by Irish filmmaker Ruairi Robinson, who we are big fans of here at FS. Over the years we've featured his other sci-fi shorts including Blinky and The Leviathan. Inspired by the current state of the world, which Robinson rather aptly describes as "f*cked", Corporate Monster tells the story of a man who loses his job and "starts to believe that parasitic creatures are controlling the world." It's basically They Live remade by Neill Blomkamp, filtered through Robinson's mind. The short film stars Kett Turton and Jenna Coleman. This gets a bit too real half-way through, but that's the point. To reflect society, and make us think. Maybe there really are aliens out there?
How can two brothers growing up in a quiet suburb in the same home, take such different paths? Another excellent animated short film worth watching. Substance is a short film written and directed by Jamaal Bradley, who is now working at Valve after working at DreamWorks Animation. He made this short in his own spare time, and it's beautiful in quite a few unique ways. Substance is about two brothers who end up in a fight when "different means of living" threatens their family, but it will be a young girl who reminds them of their bond. It's co-written by Michael Yates, who was also the Lead Story Artist. I love that you can't hear any of the dialogue in this, only the music which brings greater emotional depth to the film. See below.
"Where is everyone?" FX and NBC have released the surprise new short film titled Battle at Big Rock, following up the most recent Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, who is currently working on Jurassic World 3, the short just debuted on FX and is now available to watch online. Trevorrow explains the setup continuing directly after the end of FK: "You have these animals loose in an unfamiliar environment, they’re disoriented, struggling to adapt. The first people they run into are bound to be camping. I wanted to see that." He adds that, "it's a celebration of everything we love about the franchise" and a movie that they've always wanted to make. Battle at Big Rock stars André Holland, Melody Hurd, Natalie Martinez, and Pierson Salvador, and runs only 8 minutes. "There have been a few sightings, but this is the first major confrontation between dinosaurs and humans." This gets intense! Watch it below.
"My home, sweet, home. Where I feel free. You beautiful castle with a wooden dome…" Meet the fearless, brave Mr. Hedgehog. We highly recommend this lovely short film titled Hedgehog's Home, a stop-motion animated short film made by Montreal-based filmmaker Eva Cvijanovic. The short is about, as you might have guessed, a hedgehog living in a forest who is made fun of by a sly fox, a greedy bear, a wicked wolf, and a muddy wild boar. Cvijanovic creates her shorts using felt and cloth, which gives them an especially cuddly look and feel. Featuring the voice of Kenneth Welsh as the narrator, delivering a sweet little poem based on the the classic story by Branko Ćopić. Featuring twangy, funky music by Darko Rundek. It's a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to the feeling of comfort we all have being at home, and what a home means. Watch below.
"Do you know what photography means?" "When you break it down, it really means drawing with light." An official trailer has debuted for a short film called A Million Eyes, the latest made by British filmmaker Richard Raymond (Desert Dancer). This first premiered at the HollyShorts Film Festival and is stopping by the Raindance Film Festival in the UK next this month. The short is about a gifted young photographer, grappling with his mother's alcoholism, who sets out to capture something he loves. This stars Elijah M. Cooper as Leroy, with Joe Morton and Katie Lowes. As a photographer myself, I adore this trailer and the way it speaks so lovingly about photographer and the power it has to capture "something you love". Hopefully this short will end up online soon, as I'd love for everyone to take just a moment and watch this.
"I'm-- so-- hungryyyy--!!" This new short film from the creator of DOMU is super adorable and makes my stomach growl for tasty food. Mogu & Perol is a story about two friends living on an island where delicious food can be found everywhere. As the title says, it's about Mogu: "A young Big Foot boy who loves nothing more than cooking a delicious meal." And Perol: "A spoiled little girl with a BIG appetite who doesn't know the first thing about cooking." Dwarf Studios' website lists this short film as an "episode", so perhaps they're going to make more of these to release online featuring Mogu & Perol cooking things up. All the food in this looks so incredibly delicious, don't watch on an empty stomach or only watch with some food to munch on.
"Oh! I just want to be a good boy." This animated short film isn't for kids. Put them to bed, and then give this a watch. The Wrong End of the Stick is the graduation project of filmmaker Terri Matthews, who studied at The National Film and Television School UK. The film is about a man named Malcom Fletcher, a neurotic, middle-aged teacher lost in a dull marriage with his wife. Facing an identity crisis and breakdown, he begins to explore a deep, hidden sexual desire. Featuring the voices of Nick Ball and Mandy Dassa. The short film is a look at pup play, a sexual kink that involves dressing up and acting like animals. It's a clever and thoughtful take on this subject and embraces the idea with positivity. I like the mix of traditional 2D animation and practical / real-life sets. And I like the pervasive awkwardness throughout, it sets a tone but also helps nudge the story. It's refreshing to see such a unexpected, kinky animated short. Watch below.
How cool is this?! We don't usually feature videos like this, but this time we have to make an exception and share it anyway. Andy Bailey (aka "Andymation") is a stop-motion animator at the indie studio Laika, who makes his own flipbooks in his spare time. Flipbooks are small paper books with illustrations on each page, so when you "flip" through them quickly the images come alive. It's an old school animation technique and it's very cool to see. He went all out this time and created a massive 658-page flipbook titled The Return of Grumpy Cloud. There's a plot and characters and lots of colors. The other great thing about this video is before he flips through the little book, he explains how he made it and gives a look at his creative process.
"Humans have always had a complex relationship with water." I guess that's true…? Believe it or not, there is a "mermaid community" out there. People who love mermaids so much (or wish to be one) that they get fully dressed up, fish tail and all, and play around in the water as if they are mermaids. In Persia Beheshti's new documentary film Wetlands, she uses surrealism to spotlight an American subculture rarely explored on film. Narrated by Mermaid Undine (yeah, for real), this short experimental doc film allows outsiders to become privy to the sometimes mythological, sometimes metaphysical ocean inspirations that awaken this mermaid community. She found this group in Virginia and has befriended them, making another short film about them before this. It's just a quick 3 minutes and it's more mesmerizing than informative. Dive in.
Ride the rails with Buster one last time. Beloved American actor / comedian Buster Keaton lived to be 70 years old when he passed away in 1966. His very last silent film was actually made in 1964 and released in 1965 – in full color. It's called The Railrodder, and it's actually a sort-of-promo for Canada and the the Canadian National Railway. Produced by the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada, The Railrodder follows Buster around as he rides the rails seeing the sights making his way across Canada. "True to Keaton's genre, the film is full of sight gags as our protagonist putt-putts his way to British Columbia." The NFB also made a documentary about the filming of this one, entirely in B&W, and added in lots of extra footage and released it as Buster Keaton Rides Again (also embedded below to watch them back-to-back). But the purity and beauty of The Railrodder makes it stand out, especially because it cements his iconic legacy in film history.
"Is a sticky substance usually spread on branches or feeding areas to trap wild birds intended for export or trade?" Yet another wonderful stop-motion animated short film to watch now that it's available online. This one is titled Birdlime, and it first premiered at film festivals back in 2017 including at SXSW and the Hamptons, Cleveland, Columbus, Melbourne, Vancouver, and Ottawa Film Festivals. Made by stop-motion filmmaker Evan Derushie, the short film is about an exotic bird that is captured and stuck in a cage. It's a sad story about the exotic bird-trade industry, and how we should just leave all these animals to live in their own environment. There's no dialogue, but there is some nice music by Bram Gielen. I adore the character design this, funky yet quite cute. Most importantly, it's a reminder that wild animals should never be caged.
"It is always very exciting to be invited to think outside the box and wrestle with stimulating ideas." Yep. There's a new film by the great Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos premiering this month! But it's just a short film, not a new feature (he's already working on an adaptation of Pop. 1280 next). Following the ten Academy Awards nominations (and one win!) for The Favourite, Lanthimos made this short titled Nimic. It's premiering at the Locarno Film Festival this month and it will hopefully get a release soon. Matt Dillon plays a professional cellist who has an encounter with a stranger on the subway, which has unexpected and far-reaching ramifications on his life. The cast includes Daphné Patakia, Susan Elle, Sara Lee, Eugena Lee, Rowan Kay, Anvo Kyle, Lizzy Ceniceros, Florencia Mariotti, and Jeffrey Raines. The short runs 12 minutes and was produced by Rekorder Berlin. The film is described as "a small but effective thriller in an aseptic and simple setting with, as usual, an intriguing formal structure." Get a first taste of it below.