Political Issues

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? It’s fairly obvious what The Flower is all about, so the text at the end seems completely unnecessary, but the short itself is a whimsical, animated argument for why marijuana should be legalized. That synth-scored joyousness makes the impending darkness even harsher, and even though this is a grand simplification of a political point, it’s still clever in more ways than one.   What will it cost? Only 4 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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In October of 2011, Representative Lamar S. Smith (of the great state of Texas) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act to Congress. The bill’s aim was to bolster copyright holders in fights against those that infringe upon them, and that’s an important task. Intellectual property theft can be incredibly injurious to the victim. In fact, FSR had to cut through red tape in the fall of last year to stop a Chinese-based website from stealing its content and republishing it wholesale. Plagiarism is despicable, and stealing the hard creative work of others is too. However, SOPA is tantamount to drinking drain cleaner because your nose itches. The bill is unduly generic – granting massive powers to the government and entities who would wield it like a plaything to shut down websites for spurious reasons and to keep them down throughout what would inevitably be a drawn-out legal process. In short, for an accusation with no meat on it, some of your favorite sites could be shut down on a whim, creating both temporary and possibly permanent damage. As you can see from our masthead today, we’re in full support of the protest against SOPA (and PIPA, it’s cousin in the Senate). While we don’t know how powerful the SOPA blackout might be, we genuinely wish we could go dark as well, but it’s just not feasible for a site like ours that operates on a smile and a shoestring. Losing a day of revenue is just too much of a […]

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As most of you probably know, there are a bunch of people hanging around Wall Street these days. Making signs, waving them, voting to see what they do next. It’s a growing movement that’s recently been joined by Anonymous threatening to remove the New York Stock Exchange from the internet on October 10th. Normally in a situation like this, the whole world would watch as it plays out before hearing that some studio has optioned the rights to tell the story fictionally, but in this case, independent documentary filmmakers are banding together to make sure that the event is showed in its purest form. A Kickstarter campaign was started for 99% – The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film by Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites (the filmmaking team beyond the Black Metal doc Until the Light Takes Us). Other filmmakers involved include Tyler Brodie (executive producer for Another Earth and Pi), Michael Galinsky (Battle for Brooklyn), Ava DuVernay (publicist and writer/director of I Will Follow), and to illustrate how quickly this thing is moving forward, Bob Ray (the Austin-based writer/director behind Total Badass) joined while I was writing this post.

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I can’t be sure, but they may have condensed at least half of Jean-Luc Godard‘s latest film into this minute-long trailer. The images flash by in typically enigmatic form, but at least we know what he was up to while he was snubbing Honorary Oscars. Since the trailer itself does little to explain what the movie’s about (and that lovely young woman staring at cats online isn’t helping either), let’s turn with pleading eyes to the official synopsis: “Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard returns to the screen with Film Socialisme, a magisterial essay on the decline of European Civilization. As a garish cruise ship travels the Mediterranean (with Patti Smith among its guests), Godard embarks on a state of the EU address in a vibrant collage of philosophical quotes, historical revelations and pure cinematographic beauty.” Oh, now it all makes sense:

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Explore the mind of a man who would defraud the Native Americans, help keep sweatshops open and cuddle up nice and close to politicians while showing how his actions played a role in the collapse of the housing market.

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From the director of An Inconvenient Truth comes an inconvenient truth about our school system.

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DarfurHeader

Step one to being taken seriously: Make a socially conscious film. Step two: Have a typo in the trailer.

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The news of the multi-governmental rescue of former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and fourteen hostages from the hands of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) hasn’t quite faded from newsprint yet, but Vertigo Entertainment already has plans to bring the story to life.

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