Portal: No Escape

Over the course of the year, curating the Short Film of the Day feature has given me a deep and affecting appreciation of the art form. Before, I hadn’t given much thought to the little bastards, but the truth is that they are incredibly versatile and representative of the boundaries that film can break. They can be jokes told well or human dramas driven home. They can be a perfect bite or demand to be expanded into a full meal. They can feel classic or break out into the long, strange realm of experimentation. They are so much more than movies with short runtimes. There’s one difficulty in judging them, though. With such variation, pinpointing how one can be better than another gets to be tricky. So, no matter the order, the one constant is that all the movies listed here are outstanding at what they do. The other (small) problem is that sometimes short films spend a long time touring festivals and otherwise being unavailable online. Thus, eligibility here is based solely on when a movie hit the web for us to digest. In that way, it’s the best short films from 2010-2011, but I have a feeling that that trivia won’t matter once you sit glued to the screen at the talent on display here.

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Why Watch? This short film is a lie. Dan Trachtenberg set the internet on fire yesterday and auditioned for a slot as the director of a “Portal” film (if they ever make one) with a crisp little film that highlights camera work and a bit of action. In full disclosure, Dan has been a guest on Reject Radio, and we’re friendly acquaintances, but the work here speaks for itself. If you’re unfamiliar with the video game, it mainly involves using a gun that shoots an entry and exit hole into walls and other obstacles, and here it’s put to great use with a charismatically silent leading lady. If you’re familiar with the game, there’s nothing else left to do but fall in love. What does it cost? Just 6 minutes of your time. Check out Portal: No Escape for yourself:

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