"Burning in a hopeless dream, hold me when you go to sleep." With Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opening soon in theaters soon, there's a new credits song that is launching with it. Rihanna wrote a new track called "Lift Me Up" just for the Marvel sequel, which is paying tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman and also continuing the Black Panther / T'Challa storyline following so many other events. Her new music video for the track has been released online to watch. It's directed by cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw, who also was the DP on Mainstream and shot Wakanda Forever with director Ryan Coogler. It's edited by Andrew Hegele, and produced by Whitney Jackson. I think most critics are expecting this track to end up with a Best Song Oscar nomination next year, but only time will tell. "It was an honor to get to work with Rihanna on this project and extend the emotion in our film’s visuals, with her captivating performance, beauty, and strength," director Durald Arkapaw stated. We're not usually into music videos that much, but this one is made for the movie's release and even features footage from Wakanda Forever spliced in. Enjoy.
"She realized what she really wanted, ever since she was a faceless little girl, was to belong." Are you ready to finally get your face? Check out this fun horror short film titled We Want Faces So Bad, made by actor / filmmaker Matthew Van Gessel. This one recently played at the Fantasia Film Festival and is now online to watch thanks to Short of the Week. Alexx must 'face' the reality of her overnight transformation when she joins her faceless friends in their nightly manifesting faces ritual. It's set entirely in one room and is a quick and easy watch. This stars Jasmine Kimiko, Cricket Brown, Meagan Kimberly Smith, and Rebecca Brinkley. This is a clever short about obsession with identity and vanity, and how we try to hide our faces. I wish there was a bit more to it, following these faceless girls outside of this evening. But still worth a watch.
"Why, why we all had to die… no one really cares." Why did they all have to die?! Whyyyyyy?? This wacky fun horror short is made by Swedish filmmaker Gustav Egerstedt and is now available online to watch - just in time for Halloween. Live Forever is a 3-minute musical tribute to horror film victims. It's poking fun at all the random people who get killed in horror movies for no good reason. Poor people, they didn't deserve to die. Live Forever is "a musical love letter and tribute to the poor victims in horror films that didn't make it to the sequel." In an anthemic song the dead unite across genres and time. Starring Sarah Giercksky, Fille Angele, Lilja Li Gille, Julia Dehnisch, Xindian Yan, Tomio Araki, and Laurence Zaccheus. This already won a bunch of awards at film festivals around the world, originally premiering in 2020. Most of the deaths in this film are specific references to actual horror films. Just makes me want to watch more horror! Enjoy below.
"Of all the hazards in golf, fear is the worst." Have you ever wondered - what if a frog was a samurai? What would that look like, and how might he fight? Well, we have some answers. Time to meet a badass warrior!! Samurai Frog Golf is a fantastic 4-minute animated short film made by the Japanese animation studio known as Marza Animation Planet (they also worked on the anime Lupin III: The First). A retired frog samurai wants to spend his remaining years in peace on the golf course. But when he becomes the protector of a baby turtle he must draw his club for one more round. An animated amphibious adventure for golfers of all ages. It's dialogue free and features some radical fight scenes, which is all that you need to know before watching. This premiered at the SIGGRAPH conference, and is available to watch online for free. If this was a proof of pitch for a new anime series, I'd greenlit it right away! He seems like such a cool frog. View below.
"I just never thought I was professional enough… I've made some mistakes over the years that eventually caught up with me. Jail damaged my spirit." This outstanding short documentary film is absolutely worth a watch. Joe Buffalo premiered last year via The New Yorker, playing at the SXSW, Tribeca, and DOC NYC Film Festivals. Thanks to a reminder from our friends at Short of the Week, it's available online. It's a very humble, honest portrait of a skateboarder. Telling the story of a boarding school survivor who overcomes his past (and inner demons) to become an Indigenous skate legend. Directed by Amar Chebib, and executive produced by Tony Hawk, skater Joe Buffalo talks about how he had to overcome addiction and trauma stemming from his years in Canada's Church-run school system. It's quite tragic and sad, but also strangely uplifting and inspiring when he really gets into the ups & downs of his story. Fiercely intimate filmmaking.
"Is this what he's into? There's always something about him I never liked…" Time to move out!! Daddy's Girl is a short film that first premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, now available online to watch. Written & directed by filmmaker Lena Hudson, Daddy's Girl is an award-winning short film about a father/daughter relationship gone awry and the limits of our self-deceit - about a young woman whose charming but overbearing father helps her move out of her wealthy, older boyfriend's apartment. Starring Tedra Millan and Peter Friedman, plus Rhett Rossi. The two lead performances are what this film work, otherwise it might be a bit too cringe. But there's an awkardness that keeps it afloat, as it's a story about a woman who should rethink her choices (much like Shiva Baby which is similar to this). View below.
"And she saw radiations and gases and rocks, and dripping volcanoes and oceans of lava…" Who's ready for a two minute voyage through time & space, into our souls and beyond? This mesmerizing short film is an experience unlike any - and it's just barely 120 seconds. Generation is a remarkable short film made by filmmaker Riccardo Fusetti. He shot a live-action dance performance then fed each individual frame into an Artificial Intelligence generator to create a stunning film. "A brief journey through the human experience as seen by the eyes of an A.I." Featuring a dance performance by and choreography by Evie Webzell. With narration by Paul Thomson. Riccardo explains more about the A.I. process: "It wasn't too dissimilar than working with a human illustrator, where I would make a rough pass of what I had in mind and then ask them to work on each frame and make it better and more detailed." The result is something that feels quite profound, an exhilarating experience. I hope you also feel the power coming through the screen in this one.
Who doesn't love pudding?! So soft and cuddly and – wait, what?? This amusing animated short film from the Netherlands is now available to watch online after its festival run. A Film About Pudding is directed by filmmaker Roel Van Beek, and it's about a city being overtaken. After Ronin neglects to clear up her dropped groceries, they start to mix and bubble, transforming into a small pudding. Whilst this seems odd, for Ronin, it is easily ignorable. Over the next few days, the pudding grows bigger and bigger. As it threatens to engulf the entire city how far will she, and the other inhabitants of her city, go to continue ignoring it? With the voice of Eleanor Anwen as Ronin. The stick figure style reminds me of Don Hertzfeldt's films, but this gives us something else wacky and tasty with the story. Is it about procrastination? Is it about what happens when we don't stop something bad from taking over? Maybe it's all the above? Either way, dive in.
"She is like me; as palms become fists and back again, we hold each other with more than words." Focus Features has revealed a short film created as a companion to the new film The Silent Twins. Directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska, the film was released in limited theaters last weekend after premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. It's based on the true story of two Barbados twin sisters living in the UK, played by Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance, who don't speak to anyone aside from themselves. This short film is titled simply Kiin and it features a poem by both Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance spoken as voiceover, along with a choreographed intimate dance session and other bits of footage spliced in. It's a very dynamic, artistic experience that explores the deeper themes and connection between these two - bonds that go deeper than just words or embraces. The short is directed by Fenn O'Meally, and features a lovely jazz score. It would be nice if they could play this before showings of The Silent Twins. Watch below.
"If everyone was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes." This is the story of an unlikely hero, someone that saved another person's life, and how rare and unlikely that actually is. Somebody's Hero is a short documentary film made by a creative agency in Maine called P3. It uses archival footage, interviews, and animation recreations to retell the story of how a lonely man from a small town helped save the lives of people in a trailer fire. "A struggling loner from Otis, Maine must contend with his inner demons to make a life and death decision. This is a study of heroism at its most elemental; how and why are some people, against all odds, able to confront the ultimate fear and put their lives at risk for a complete stranger?" A very good question. There's also some commentary in this about heroism, and how it's actually not as common as we think. An inspirational true story told with great care in this terrific short doc from Maine. Watch below.
What happens when heartbreak and pizza collide? If you let the loneliness grow too much, it will become a Pizza Monster! Hungry for nothing but tomatoes and cheese and tasty toppings. Pizza Monster is a dark comedy short film made by Dutch filmmaker Kurt Platvoet. It premiered back in 2018 at the Imagine Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, and is now available online to watch. From the tears of his failed relationship and a pile of pizza leftovers, a monster is born giving a once rejected man a new lease on life and a chance at love again. What will be the fate of this monster? The short film stars Benjamin Moen as Leon, and Sallie Harmsen as the Pizza Monster. This has some fun moments in it, but I wish there was more with the Pizza Monster before she begins to lose all of our delicious ingredients. She seems cool! And the poor guy never seems to have learned his lesson! He'll be haunted by various kinds of pizza monsters for the rest of his life.
"The stone was initially his parents." Are there any wizards in that Harry Potter book? Find out in this book review of the classic novel. A creative collective agency called Reunion has created this amusing short film featuring images and some animation made by an artificial intelligence engine. These A.I. generators have become popular online recently as you can input almost anything and end up with some extra crazy results, especially when this software creates artwork and mashes up whatever weird images it can find online. This Hairy Pouter short film is based around an audio interview with Lillian, a 98-year-old woman who has only just read the initial Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book for her first time. She gives her review of it and answers some questions about characters and what's going on with the plot. Her responses have been input into the A.I. engine resulting in this funky and funny video to watch. Some of the images in this are quite clever, and would make for some fun book covers. It's an enjoyable 2-minute A.I. experiment.