The Man Who Never Cried

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? A clown stands over the body of his dead father and sticks out his giant foam hand to accept a tissue from a doctor. With that, the laughter and the tears of this truly outstanding short film begin. Ralph Winston (Keir O’Donnell, the manically gay younger brother from Wedding Crashers) has never cried. Not once in his entire life. Now, with his father gone, he becomes resolute that he’ll produce his first tears somehow before the funeral. A surprisingly bright, dark comedy, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between the humor and the tragedy here. It’s a mark of the layered writing skill and presentation of a humane story featuring a man who can’t do something everyone else can (but who’s very good at something most aren’t). Writer/director Bradley Jackson has proven himself to be a nuanced, insightful young filmmaker who should be given lots of money and a feature film project immediately. This movie is a genuine triumph that’s hilarious and heartfelt. What does it cost? Just 23 minutes of your time. Check out The Man Who Never Cried for yourself:

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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