Experimental

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Finnish filmmaker Juuso Mettälä heads under a frozen lake to get all of his shots for a gravity-defying short film that toys around with fluid motion and perspective to beautiful results. What will it cost? Only 4 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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Why Watch? This is what it might look like if Ken Burns ever made a horror film. This experimental, animated work focuses on a mysterious photograph from the 1930s, and as the camera ducks and dives and expands our view, we find a lot of hidden elements that help solve the puzzle of what’s going on. Gorgeously done with an antique sensibility, it’s a Fantastic Fest alum that might not be for everyone, but if it hits you the right way, it’s delightfully peculiar. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out the trailer for The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow for yourself:

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Why Watch? Because inspiration comes to those who…hold on, someone’s at the door. As the title might suggest, this short film is an absurd boundary-pusher that smashes together two pieces of culture in the messiest way possible. Richard E. Grant (who most will remember from Withnail and I) stars here as Kafka as he stands (or sits) at the precipice of writing his masterpiece. Fate doesn’t seem to be a fan. If some humor can be called dry, the deliver here is downright arid. It’s both maddeningly calm and humorously inviting, and the visual work is meant to confound at almost all times. It’s no wonder it won the BAFTA and tied for the Oscar. Questioning what the hell you just saw is perfectly fine both during the short and after it’s finished. What does it cost? Just 23 minutes of your time. Check out Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life for yourself:

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Why Watch? Because. There’s probably only one man on the planet that knows what’s going on in this short which stars (although you wouldn’t know it) Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Scott Coffey, and Rebekah Del Rio as humanoids with rabbit heads going about a very quiet evening at home. It’s interspersed with a laugh track, a few lines of enigmatic dialogue, and it’s absolutely not for those with short attention spans. Rabbits blends the strange with the pedestrian in a way Lynch fans might find familiar and a way non-fans might find infuriating. Is it brilliant or just bizarre? What does it cost? Just 9 minutes of your time. Check out Rabbits for yourself:

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Why Watch? Because the camera is a memorycatcher. It’s not easy to tell how this film was put together because the images don’t always follow in a distinguishable pattern – nor do they need to. This absolutely stunning short from Graham Burns seems to take found footage from a personal collection and edit it into a new narrative. The story focuses on a man returning from WWII only to find he’s still affected by what he’s seen and done. The structure is taken apart in hauntingly sweet segments that ultimately devolve into a projectionist’s flicker as Burns toys with the mechanisms of filmmaking and watching, exposing a part of the exposure we don’t usually get to see. All of it is backed by a thoughtful score by Radical Face that squeezes even more life out of every moment. What does it cost? Just 6 minutes of your time. Check out The Train Home for yourself:

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Why Watch? Because the format needs challenging. This short film from Tatiana Plakhova consists of two things. One, the music of Philip Glass. Two, the music of Philip Glass expressed as mathematically created art. It’s experimental to be sure, but the effect is a stirring one that is sure to either create an emotional response, or at least a nod of approval for the beauty of its combination. Or, like all art, maybe it won’t do anything for you at all. But finding out should be fun. What Will It Cost? Just 3 minutes of your time. Check out Music Portraits for yourself:

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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