Short Documentary

Day of the fight

Editor’s Note: We don’t need a reason to find Kubrick “topical,” but the release of Room 237 definitely doesn’t hurt when it comes to excuses for re-posting this valuable bit of film history. Why Watch? It’s Stanley Kubrick‘s first movie. This newsreel short is swelling with history because of the iconic heights its creator would go on to. Perhaps someone smarter than I can “see” Kubrick somewhere in the style here, but it’s hard for me to see the future master within the confines of the 1950s information short confines that seemed director-less. Of course, fighting would become a major subject for Kubrick, but as far as the visuals, I could have watched this without ever knowing how directed it. As a bonus, Open Culture featured this and two other short documentaries alongside the full story of Kubrick’s early career. It’s a must-read (and must-see). What will it cost? Only 16 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Every year, Tropfest circles the entire globe with short films, launching careers and introducing new filmmaking talents. It’s a uniquely global film festival, and the most recent New York City edition announced Josh Leake‘s documentary Emptys as its winner. It’s easy to see why. The movie followers street canners, men and women who make a living solely by collecting empty recyclables. The subject matter is compelling, but the stories shine beyond the obvious, surface-level appeal. Leake is a strong, fresh voice who deserves to be heard. What will it cost? Only 7 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch?  Someone had to play the hands of Bill Bixby just before turning into The Hulk. That man was Steve Hershon, a remarkably prolific hand insert model. This documentary is joyous in its trivia and complete in how cool and unexpected finding a Hollywood career can be. It’s also bittersweet, showing how fragile a perfect set up can be. Watch as, like all things, Hershon’s hand job comes to an end. What will it cost? Only 8 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films Hat tip to /film for featuring this.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? In the opening seconds of IRL, a young man starts to list his World of Warcraft character’s achievements. It’s impressive at first, until the audio editing transforms the accolades into an overwhelming mess, descending into a confusing spiral that sets up the tone for this light, yet serious look at the very real inability to disconnect from a game online. The young man is writer/director Anthony Rosner who delivers a fantastic short documentary told primarily with imagery from the game and from pictures of his personal life. It’s sweet and sad at the same time. All that money spent, all that time dedicated to something that failed to make him friends or advance him in the outside world. It also makes sense – accurately explaining how the allure of praise and adulation in the online world can keep someone in a basement even when there’s a beautiful country out there to explore. What will it cost? Only 7 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Jay Cheel (Beauty Day, How to Build a Time Machine) has an incredibly fresh eye for documentaries. Not content to keep things dry, he hunts down compelling subjects and attacks them with nimble creativity, cool camera work and strong storytelling flair. In The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends (which, yes, sounds like a Community episode title), he almost-satirically points out the ridiculousness of high intensity, low stakes game-playing by taking it seriously. Specifically, he breaks down the dynamic between four friends bellying up to the table to play Settlers of Catan. This is a board game movie we can get behind. What will it cost? Only 10 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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Why Watch? This one is already making the rounds, and rightfully so because it’s a truly remarkable short movie. Caine is a bright young kid in East L.A. who went to work with his father at an auto parts store. To pass the time, this huge fan of arcades decided to build his own. Prepare to smile for 10 minutes straight and then smile the rest of the day. Then prepare to desperately want a Fun Pass. What will it cost? Only 10 wondrous minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? To make his latest short, Joseph Ernst took a camera onto a London street. What makes it special, is the camera – a hand-cranked wooden beast that’s rocking 18 frames per second and coming up on its 100th birthday. What he captures is a kind of temperal confusion that seems gimmicky, but still speaks loudly to the films of the past. What we all wouldn’t give for a hi-def camera to take back to the 1920s to see what real life looked like back then. All too often, watching a movie from another era means seeing a time through the lens limitations and imagining things in their sepia-toned saturation instead of how they looked through everyday eyes. Ernst has done the reverse here, and it’s fascinating and funny. What will it cost? Only 1 minute. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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