Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Series of Short Films

The web with its video sharing capabilities now throw up countless of short films out there that anyone with an internet connection can partake in a guilty pleasure scouring the net for some of the best. Perhaps the following may pique your interest enough to want to catch them on your own!

Over Coffee

Leave That To Me

Hands up anyone who has gone through some lengths to get a cup of coffee for a beautiful girl. I'm sure we have our similar moments, and in 15 minutes, this short film by Sean Meehan covered plenty of ground, from character introductions, to the goal in mind, followed by the challenges that stand in the way, and finishing it all off with slight comedy.

The writing here is breezy though it could have done without some subplots such as a fellow co-worker who's a potential challenger for the affections of the secretary Carla (Jocelyn DeBoer). Picking up an opportunity to become the knight in shining armour for his damsel in distress, Andrew (Erik Potempka) volunteers to get their boss' morning cuppa on her behalf, since I suppose anyone would lend a helping hand to their infatuation, which in Carla's case, is quite able to manipulate people through her good looks, even if she knows it or not.

But some of the best scenes come from Andrew's quest at the coffeeshop, where Murphy's Law decided to throw a spanner and mess everything up for him, from having others take his coffee to a very rigid counter staff. I suppose we all have our run ins with these at one point in time or another, and certainly can identify with his dilemma and frustrations. However this film is not sulky in mood, and is actually fun and light hearted to remind us all on the crazy little things we do for love, or rather, to impress someone before picking up the courage to leap into the next step.

You can watch Over Coffee here, or visit the Official Movie Webpage.

Just About Famous

Elvis Is In The Building

A short film documentary, see if you can identify the stars that are featured, or are they? From Elvis to Britney, two former US Presidents, talk show host Oprah Winfrey to comedian Robin Williams, impersonators have a field day when they gather under one roof at the Sunburst Convention in Orlando, Florida, and I suppose anyone around the vicinity will do a double take!

Containing very candid opinion pieces through interviews with these just about famous stars, directors Jason Kovacsev and Matt Mamula brings up up close to these mini-celebrities in their own right as they share what's it like to almost always be mistaken for their famous bona fide counterparts given their looks, although some in my opinion would have let the cat out of the bag should they open their mouths and kill the illusion. For those curious about celebrity impersonators, this brilliant short film is something to watch out for as it does its festival rounds, and you'd certainly wish there was more to it in a feature film rather than a short. Leaves you begging for more most definitely, and let's see if you can spot all the celebrities being impersonated here!

You can take a look at the trailer from the official movie website here

Smoke / Dym

I won't pretend to know what this film by Polish director Grzegorz Cisiecki is about, but his Dym (Polish for Smoke) is a surreal piece of cinema sans dialogue, preferring that you soak up its eerie atmosphere complemented by a creepy soundtrack and filled with thick imagery to interpret it as you will, since it's sans any active, ongoing narrative. It's an extremely moody, atmospheric piece that employs plenty of art house sensibilities, fusing dreams, imagination and the juxtaposing of characters and their perspectives very fluidly. Fans of Kubrick or Lynch may find this right up your alley, with some not so subtle homage scenes identified.

As the synopsis stated and I thought aptly warned, this is for those who dare venture into being a captive of surrealistic madness, and you can have a look at Dym here.


Stressed Out

Written and directed by Richard Powell, Worm is a film that's spot on about the meanness that we're actually all capable of, those innermost private thoughts that we indulge in, and one can imagine sometimes how high fantasy is just a thread close to becoming reality if we act on the imagined impulses that grow louder by the minute.

At the center of the story is the high school teacher Geoffrey Dodd (Robert Nolan) who on the outside is your mild mannered educator, but who can read the true intent of what anyone is thinking about. We listen in on his thought process, which is nothing short of being mean-spirited about every individual in his school, be it fellow teachers or his class of students, standing on a moral high ground and condemning all and sundry before him as lesser mortals. I'm sure I will be freaked out to know if any of my past teachers harbour similar degrading thoughts about her class and my peers.

Robert Nolan aces this hypocritical role of pretense and portraying to the contrary of what he's thinking, and brings out this dilemma and struggle with his inner voice really well. While the introductory scenes may be of dark humour and you may just crack up at some of his politically incorrect insults thrown around in his head, it develops so creepily that you'll find yourself losing that smile in the face of such a negative state of mind. Like a cocked gun ready to be triggered by any small incident that got on his nerves, we listen in to his thoughts and we discover he's indeed a sick, sick man who needs urgent psychiatric help, pronto!

Powell's story builds this day to day episode of Dodd's life into a crescendo which leaves you on the edge of your seat whether Dodd will explode into a violent rage, or not, and I thought the suspenseful build up was excellent. You wonder if Dodd's behaviour is cyclic in nature, and for what he's been demonstrating, is quite the tough nut to discover that he harbours such disturbing bottled thoughts inside, and probably for all the grave misdemeanours teachers abroad and even local that we read about, it asks the question whether we know what's going on inside their heads, about their mental state of mind before they can get to shape the young minds under their charge.

You can check out the movie's website here.

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