Oscar Winner

The Shore

Watch Part 2 Why Watch? Last year, The Shore won the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film, and after seeing Terry George‘s work, it’s easy to see why. The Hotel Rwanda director, here returning to his usual tilt toward the Troubles in Northern Ireland, creates a fragile layer of drama where an ocean of familial tension lies frozen and threatening underneath. It’s heady, tough work, but it’s also surprisingly easy to watch because of the clean character portraits being created. Cirian Hinds and Conleth Hill (who fans of Game of Thrones will be happy to see) shine in stony roles as two childhood friends now grown who are reunited after a falling out during the Troubles sent them on separate journeys. Fortunately, everyone involved is wise enough to add some smiles into the sweet pain of alienation to remind us all what doing the difficult task is really worth. By the time Rio Bravo-style music paints the climactic near-silly chase through the mud, it’s clear that this short is a masterful blend of laughter and tears. What will it cost? Around 30 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.


Aaron Sorkin Syracuse

Aaron Sorkin gave us a counter-programmed President, and now he’s trying to imagine what the world of the press should have looked like over the past two years. Perhaps most known for creating TV shows like The West Wing and Sports Night, he’s also an Oscar winner who’s written 6 excellent films, starting with A Few Good Men. His resume is one thing, but even it can’t really encapsulate why he’s an important figure in filmmaking. That’s more ephemeral, the kind of thing that comes with making a distinctive name for yourself through a particular style. There’s no denying that Sorkin’s writing can be picked out of a line up, and that’s one of the major reasons he’s become such an intractable part of popular culture even while rising above its lower regions. Here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a man who can handle the truth.


Susanne Bier‘s In a Better World made me, for the very first time, question my enjoyment of kids beating the hell out of each other on film. As someone that takes my fandom of kids kicking ass on film quite seriously, Bier stumped me. In a Better World is a film about violence, and the effects that it has. One of the two story-lines involves children, very nerd-like feeble children, striking back. Most of you dear readers would most likely sympathize with these kids, like I did, but they end up going to the extremes that make you question their choices. Bier is a director that is known for exploring the extreme sides of humanity, and she continues that trend in a poignant and unique manner with In A Better World. I spoke to Bier at SXSW where we discussed — starting with some small talk, of course — the grey areas of the film, the story’s structure, and finding realism in script and performance:

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published: 12.19.2014
published: 12.18.2014
published: 12.17.2014
published: 12.15.2014

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