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The morning’s best writing from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: The Phantom Carriage (1921) It’s New Year’s Eve and in the story of this film’s mythos it is said that the last human being to die on the stroke of midnight of the new year is to take on the responsibility of reaping the souls of the dead for the next 365 days. In the lifespan of Death a minute’s worth of the human clock is like a lifetime, filled with the torture of bearing the endless task of taking the essence of a person into the next realm of existence. They will feel the regrets until their time is done and the next will be forced to endure the suffering. On the brink of death is Edith, a woman whose last wish on her deathbed is to speak with the community’s local brigand David Holm to tell him something she has been keeping to herself since she first met him. Edith is, in every sense of the word to the local community, a saint with the purest of kind hearts. Why she wants to speak […]

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Borrowing Maurice Ravel‘s most famous work as a backdrop, writer/director Dennis Brucks tells a slow-motion fantasy about a young man living through a terrible home life and a young girl living in the wall who helps him escape. Its pace follows the methodical snare drum smack, and the visuals are bathed in sunlight no matter how golden brown they get. It’s a strong work of wordless storytelling that’s gripping but doesn’t squeeze too tight. What will it cost? Only 15 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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While hunting around in the archive, British Film Institute Silent Film Curator Bryony Dixon stumbled upon a short film called The Death of Poor Joe from director G.A. Smith which was released early in 1901 – making it the oldest movie featuring a Charles Dickens character. Smith’s career began in 1897, and he managed nearly 100 shorts in 13 years. His most famous work might be A Kiss In the Tunnel (which featured a man and woman stealing some time on a tunnel-darkened train for some romance), but the new recognition here might propel the minute-long Poor Joe to the top of the list. This is especially good timing because, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, because of this year’s celebration of Dickens’s work on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The movie itself features a small crossing sweeper child from the novel “Bleak House,” and it looks appropriately destitute.

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