Features Film

Short Film Watch #1

FORGET Netflix, there is a goldmine of creative short films to be found (for free) elsewhere on the web. This new ‘Short Film Watch’ series will seek to uncover, share and discuss the best of this work in a concise and insightful manner. Enjoy.

NAILBITER

ANYONE who regularly commutes on the London Underground (or any equivalent) will understand the horror of being crammed into a stuffy, jostling tube carriage with a bunch of strangers. Even a two-stop journey from Covent Garden to Leicester Square can feel like five minutes spent in Dante’s Inferno.

Laura Hodkin’s animation, Nailbiter, captures this traumatic underground experience in a uniquely relatable and psychedelic fashion. We follow an anxious individual as she boards the train, her fuchsia colour soon heating up to a distressed cerise as beads of sweat drip from her forehead.

Hodkin draws the other passengers like grimy, sooty ghouls who quickly turn our nailbiting protagonist into a melty mess. The frantic fluidity of the animation is mirrored by a tremendous original jazz score by Johnny Moutzouris.

Stay tuned for another relatable moment of public anxiety at the end of the short. This is exceptional work from Hodkin and co, as part of her 2017 graduation film at Edinburgh College of Art.

Credits: Laura Hodkin (animation), Johnny Moutzouris (music), Suhrud Banhatti (sound design)

Click to watch (runtime – 3:26)

Rating: 8/10

nailbiter

CONCUSSION PROTOCOL

WE are just a few days removed from the extravagant pyrotechnics and ballyhoo of Super Bowl 52. It is a vivid reminder of the pull, passion and money attached to America’s biggest and favourite sport.

But a storm has been brewing on and off the field for some time now. One that throws into question the physical nature of the sport – and other sports like it. Issues of concussions and CTE damage are now inescapable.

Josh Begley’s short, Concussion Protocol, compiles every concussion from the 2017-18 season. Played in slow-motion and reverse, the images make for devastating viewing. Helmets are sent flying and muscular athletes reduced to hapless, crumpled individuals.

The hits, usually cheered on by rowdy crowds, are transformed completely when the brutal outcome is shown first. A stark reminder that an athlete’s welcome-being should come before a brief moment of sporting thrill.

Concussion Protocol is the latest documentary short to come from the impressive Field of Vision documentary unit – run by expert filmmaking minds such as Laura Poitras (Risk, The Oath, Citizenfour).

Credits: Josh Begley (director), Laura Poitras (producer), Samora Pinderhughes (music)

Click to watch (runtime – 5:39)

Rating: 7/10

concussion p

SPINNERS

SPINNERS is a stylish short from 2014 featuring Oscar nominated Timothy Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name).

Chalamet plays a sign spinner trying to get by in a small desert town. His dry surroundings are typical of an economically barren climate, one which has resulted in a mother (Kristin Slaysman) living out of her car with her young daughter. Chalamet and Slaysman cross paths when the former seeks violent revenge on an obnoxious group of locals .

The enjoyment of this short lies in aesthetics rather than narrative. The images of economic desolation are beautifully shot and interwoven with the sign spinning.

Phil Manley’s synthy music adds another layer of ‘cool.’ But above all else, this makes for fun viewing, watching Chalamet in action before his big-screen breakout performances.

Credits: Timothy Chalamet (cast), Kristin Slaysman (cast), Ify Nwadiwe (cast), Erik L Barnes (director), Cami Delavigne (writer)

Click here to watch (runtime – 13:16)

Rating: 7/10

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