"Look at their faces! Tell me you want to continue…?!" Another gorgeous animated short film to watch. Le Mans 1955 is a short film directed by Belgian animation filmmaker Quentin Baillieux. It first premiered last year and played at a number of prestigious film festivals worldwide, now it's available to watch online. The 3D animated short is about the infamous Le Mans 1955 race in France, during which 80 people were killed when one of the cars flew off the track and into the stands where audiences were watching. "And yet, the race goes on." The next day it continues - nothing can stop the race. This features a beautiful geometric animation style that is unlike anything I've seen, which makes it all the more mesmerizing to behold. The flames are especially stunning. And with Le Mans 66 (also known as Ford v Ferrari) in theaters now, this is a perfect follow-up to that. Featuring the voices of Nathan Willcocks, Joe Sheridan, & Nicholas Mead.
"Fate does funny things sometimes…" A fascinating mix of hand-drawn animation and doc storytelling, this award-winning short film is now available to watch online. The Driver is Red is a short doc film made by animation filmmaker Randall Christopher, and after picking up awards at major festivals all throughout 2018, it's now available for everyone to see. Set in Argentina 1960, this true crime documentary film follows secret agent Zvi Aharoni as he searches for a mysterious man named Ricardo Klement. What he discovered in the remote outskirts of Buenos Aires would send shock waves around the world. Featuring Mark Pinter as the voice of Zvi Aharoni. I appreciate how unique, and how detailed, the sketch-style animation is in this.
"Excuse me, sir? Are you okay?" In addition to Sam Mendes' long-take 1917 movie coming up this fall, we have another thrilling one-long-take film to watch right now. Whiteout is an 10-minute short film directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Lance Edmands, and it's a single-take drama set on a snowy road. When a young couple encounters a strange old man wandering in a snowstorm, they must decide if he needs help, or if he has more sinister intentions. Starring David Call and Sarah Tihany, with Patrick M. Walsh. It's a seriously suspenseful thriller that will turn your stomach. Edmands states that is intentions are to ask tough questions: "But what happens when we let our fear overwhelm our empathy?" It's a very provocative short that makes you confront your own feelings in a situation like this, a bit like Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure.
This is a must watch short film - drop what you're doing and fire it up. The Fall is the latest creation from acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Glazer, director of the feature films Sexy Beast, Birth, & Under the Skin. This short just showed up out of nowhere in the UK on BBC a few months ago, now it's available to watch in the US online from A24. Thankfully it's not a sponsored promo for a clothing company or something else flashy like that, it's a thrilling short film that acts as biting, brutal social commentary. We're introduced to a masked mob going after a lone masked man. That's all the context here, but there's so much to think about, and so much more going on than what's on the surface. There's a simple but vital hint of a score from Mica Levi, who originally collaborated with Glazer on her breakout score for Under the Skin. More of this, please.
Watch out below! How about something funny to end the week, maybe brighten up your day with a bit of animated skiing humor. Hors Piste is an award-winning short film made by talented four students at École des Nouvelles Images in Avignon, France. A few are also involved in MegaComputer animation collective. This short is an amusing 6-minute comedy about two ski patrol rescuers who head to a mountain top to pick up a crashed skier. However, their journey down doesn't go as planned and things fall apart fast. The two guys are named Salami and Parmesan, which might be a bit too much but it's okay. This has an impressive amount of expressive animation which is important at making it at universally funny as it is. Jump right in.
"Today, I want to tell you about my little sister." Always happy to feature stop-motion animation - shorts or features. This award-winning, wonderful stop-motion short is a very personal film from Chinese animator Siqi Song and it's worth just a few minutes of your time to watch. 妹妹 Sister is a stop-motion film about a man who thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently? The voice is provided by Bingyang Liu, with Siqi Song doing most of the animation herself. This won the Jury Award for Animated Short at the Austin Film Festival and Best Animated Short at the competitive Hollyshorts Film Festival. Not only is it an emotional story, but the animation itself is lovely. I hope we'll see more fantastic films from Siqi Song soon.
"You have to stand up for yourself. They'll step all over you." This outstanding, empathetic, moving short film has already been picking up plenty of awards and is now thankfully available to watch online. Green is a short film written & directed by Suzanne Andrews Correa, set in New York. An undocumented Turkish pedicab driver named Green unwittingly draws police attention, endangering his brother, his community, and himself. It won the U.S. Fiction Short Film Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and it certainly deserves it. Green stars Aziz Çapkurt and Erol Afsin - each with a stellar performance, making this even more gripping to see. This short is worth your attention, take just a few minutes to watch.
"It's just strange how one person can make you feel so happy and utterly content when they're around." This isn't exactly a horror short, but it does have a character who can talk to the dead. Formaldehyde is a short film directed by David Swinburne, and it's a powerful story in really subtle ways. A deputy coroner lacking any human connection finds solace in the company of the recently deceased. One young woman he meets after her death connects with him in a deep way. Starring John Reynolds and Kathryn Prescott. Part of what makes this short so strong are the performances, especially Reynolds as Drew. You can feel his loneliness and the kindness in his glances, and every word his says and every movement he makes speaks volumes about this particular story and what he's trying to convey; the lessons he's trying to teach all of us.
This might be the most beautiful animated film of the year. My Moon is an animated short running only 8 minutes, made by the very talented animator Eusong Lee. It is a lovely film about a relationship between three celestial bodies; a romance between Earth, Moon, and Sun. Presented by King of Pine in collaboration with Chromosphere, an animation studio in LA. Eusong Lee won the Silver Medal Student Academy Award in 2013 for his short Will, and follows up with this gem. It's beyond gorgeous, with a heart-melting score by David Kamp to go along with all the stunning visuals. There isn't much dialogue in this, but the voices we do hear sound natural, almost as if they were recorded right out in public which makes this short all the more authentic. I love everything about this stellar film, totally entranced by it from the moment it begins. Enjoy.
"She has been staring at me for hours… Do you see her?" Can a painting be haunted? I guess we found out the answer to that question with Ghostbusters II (all hail Vigo, right?). Mermaid is a new horror short film by filmmaker Wilfredo "Wil" Manzano - we already featured his other horror short The Fitting last year. His latest is an under-five-minutes short about a woman who thinks a painting on her wall is haunted. But is it really? Starring Shelby Hightower & Kerry Murphy. This is a simple but stirring little short, relying on all the typical filmmaking tricks to build up an uneasiness as the story plays out. It's worth a quick watch.
"For the protection of the audience." Don't speak the cursed words, and you may live through the night. Or just grab a pint, and enjoy as everyone else goes mad. Cursed Words is the latest horror short film made by the Staszkiewicz Bros, British filmmakers named Joe & Lloyd Stas. These are the same guys who made the fantastic Spooky Club horror short a few years ago. Set in a small British pub, all hell breaks loose when a man reads three words from a mysterious, bloodstained letter. This stars Ryan Lane, Olivia Newton, Michael Muyunda, Martin Valentine, Ben Galler, Helen Booden, Tom Stas, and Lilou Stas, with Chewie the dog. As violent & bloody as it is, this falls into the category of "fun" horror more than anything.
"Lay down your weapons. It is futile." Another creepy new horror short to feature this week just in time for Halloween. Wandering Soul is the latest short film made by filmmaker Josh Tanner, based in Australia, along with writer/producer Jade van der Lei. The same team that made the other very successful short films The Landing and The Rizzle and Reverse (from last year). Their new one is a Vietnam War set supernatural horror that is inspired by creepy, true events. Starring Lap Phan, Henry Vo, and Cuong Nguyen. This short relies heavily on intricate sound design and intensely creepy atmospherics to unsettle you. Tanner's shorts are always on a whole other level when it comes to quality and execution, and this one is just as good.