Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's edition of SATURDAY SHORTS, your weekly short film festival with films by AICN readers like you and me! This week we have some rather intriguing pieces that are sure to rock your world. The visuals alone in this week's lineup are something to watch as we have five shorts each with their own unique style. It's my hope, as always, that you're able to lock yourself in a room far away from any outside distractions, ideally turn off that cell phone (though that's a mighty request), full screen each film, and ultimately - just relax and check out some quality films from some incredible filmmakers. Chances are there just might be a filmmaker or two in the audience below (Talkbacks), so if you've got any questions about any film in particular - ask it and hopefully the creator will be able to shoot you an answer. At any rate, just enjoy the films - that's what they're here for!
Go grab yourself some popcorn, lock your kids in a closet, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here:
Smack! Right out of the gate let's get hit with an aluminum bat of pure sexiness. Director Taylor Engel nails the concept of a modern noir right smack dab on the head. Can anything top films like KISS ME DEADLY, THE THIRD MAN, or TOUCH OF EVIL? Nope, but Engel's not trying to emulate that style or time - he's simply been incredibly inspired by it and what we get is something that just feels right. It's a comic book of a movie and when I first saw it a few days about, it blew me away and I genuinely "knew" I had to share it with the AICN audience. I'm genuinely curious as to what he's got up his sleeve and want to see more! "THE PAVEMENT is a 3 minute noir where more of the story is gradually revealed as moments are looped and shown at different speeds and focal lengths."
Ready for a scare or two? How about three or four? Well Co-writer/Producer Simon Allen and director Toby Meakins completely bring it with this 5 minutes of palm sweating fun. "A ghost story about a girl you can only see when you hold your breath." The film's played at quite a few festivals around the world and if you're as intrigued as I am with it, then let's hope these guys are able to turn it into a feature! (That's the plan). Also, given how much this film leans on its three leads - it's a pretty classy move on Toby's end to list them in the end credits above his own name. A film on this level with a director who's ego isn't through the roof... yes, you can say I'm genuinely waiting to see what's next. If you dig the short, then fly over to Toby's website to see what more he's created.
THE BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN
Matt Kollar and the gang at Space Barbarians Productions bring us our next film, an interesting style of animation. "There are many tales told of the Yukon's gold and its ghosts a'wailing and a'shouting, but the most haunting of all, in that broad arctic sprawl, is the curse of The Black Rock Mountain" 'The Black Rock Mountain' is a ghostly animated folk-tale about a brave Treasure Hunter, a Wealthy Heiress and their quest to find the "Kosonak Tonrar", the accursed treasure of the great and foreboding Black Rock Mountain, a beacon of supernatural activity in the sprawling and desolate Yukon."
Up next is a pretty slick drama written, directed, and starring Sam Jaeger of PARENTHOOD. (I'll be 100% honest with you all, I don't like PR companies hitting me up with shorts. Something about the idea of an entity getting paid to hit folks like me up to show a client's work... Ehh, I'd rather just get hit up by the filmmakers themselves, but that comes with the territory I guess.) At any rate, I do actually think the film is pretty stellar and applaud its tact when dealing with the problem of PTSD. Jaeger gives an incredible performance that feels real. "Struggling to balance his harrowing work with his home life, officer Cole has just finished a long shift when he notices a wanted suspect. When the confrontation goes awry, Cole’s faith and his will to live are tested." If you like what you see and what to get more info on the film, then head on over to the short's website.
Bam! To close out this week we've got a short from SATURDAY SHORTS alumnus Andreas Kyriacou. This time Andreas brings us a mixture of comedy, thriller, and superhero action. "In the Cyprus of the economic crises, George is a comic book employe near nervous breakdown. In his worst of moments the dream of a lifetime becomes a reality... real super-hero powers!" Keep them coming, Andreas!
There we have it, ladies and gents - your lineup for this week's SATURDAY SHORTS. I tuly hope you enjoyed each film at least half as much as I did and I hope to see you back here next week with yet another handful of great shorts I think you'll like. In the meantime, be sure to check out past articles for equally awesome shorts - or go out and make your own! (Just send it my way when you're done!) Adios! And feel free to check out my new column here on AICN called MEET THE CREW, where I have a relaxed Q&A with some of the men and women who work on our favortie movies!
If you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in, please do send it in - I'd love to see what you've put together. I've already seen hundreds of fresh new filmmakers' shorts and like any good addict, I need more!
Shoot me an email at "Mike@aintitcool.com"
In the subject line include:
“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”
Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need or would want published. The more info you send my way, the more info there is to put with your short.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.
Remember, the filmmakers might still be in the audience, so feel free to share your thoughts in Talkbacks below. (JUST DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE). I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? How'd you like 'em?
BY THE WAY: If you've had a short featured here, that means that I personally am a fan of your work, so feel free to shoot me any kind of news on new projects/films/whatever. I can't say I'll be able to help or in what capacity, but I'm interested in your work and am always down to see more! (Keep making cool stuff, everyone!)
- Mike McCutchen