Short films ‘Zombies In Shorts’
Posted on July 19, 2012 by LiteMoteef
Some Aussie kids only know short films from Tropfest, or rather, from the Tropfest DVD the blessed SMH gives out for free every year.
Yet short films aren’t just where the big blokes kick off their careers, or amateurs dally about – the short film is much bigger than that. A valid form within itself.
Take Clermont-Ferrand, home to the world’s first international film festival, which attracts 1000s and 1000s of people every year.
Instead of telling filmmakers to ‘include a lightbulb’ and making their audiences stare at the words SONY or QANTAS for hours prior the start, complemented by poor entertainment and a bunch of drunken teens screaming because OMG it’s started to sprinkle, Clermont-Ferrand’s actually celebrates the art of short films. In France they - Wait, ranting about France isn’t gonna make you wanna look up short films. It’ll probably put you off them. SO, let me convince you of their worthiness with a few of my favourites…
First off is a funny, clever, dark Danish film that got the Oscar in 2010. THE NEW TENANTS. The director is a guy called Joachim Back, who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, but who the hell cares. The performances are top – hands down to Vincent D’Onofrio – and the script jumps like a bit of theatre, Tarantino-like, but without the gangster lingo… Dropped the first part of it below, you can find the second on your own.
* * *
If you can afford it, a mere couple of bucks I think, buy ‘The New Tenants’ online – the director isn’t a big shot (yet) and unlike some features which I’d encourage you to pirate – *cough*AVATAR*cough* – this is one that deserves purchase.
Next on the plate is a zombie short set in an Australian suburb, or rather a young guy’s first love, who has problems with her father. I LOVE SARAH JANE.
I’ve been a fan of zombies since ‘Shaun of the Dead’ – so long as it does something different and smacking heads off the undead isn’t the primary focus, and it has good writing.
It’s directed by Spencer Susser (he did the feature film Hesher), and one of the writers happens to be our own David Michôd – y’know, the guy who did the crime thriller, ‘Animal Kingdom’? – and is a Blue Tongue Film – think the Edgerton brothers (yes, like Joel).
* * *
Quick note on Blue Tongue Films – they’ve got a lotta films on their YouTube channel.
Actually below is another of their films, SPIDER, which I imagine a number of Primo readers have seen. It’s not in my top 5, it’s a punch line flick (never been a fan), but it’s clever. We think we know the pace, but go on and watch it and you make the judgement. In my opinion, they’ve outstepped the viewer and successfully played predictability – couple of steps ahead.
* * *
Other than typing ‘short film’ into YouTube or trawling through the hit and miss selection on iTunes, check out the selection on Shorts Bay. I’d say some are a little… strange, and some both strange and boring, but there’s some really wicked shorts inc. THE HELPLESS CREATURE (An Créatúr), which has Robert Sheehan in it (the dude from Misfits).
Oh, and P.S., just because Tropfest is now in New York, doesn’t make it a high brow film festival.
And P.P.S. I’d like to note that some of the Blue Tongue’s crew have entered Tropfest, and it is still a fun night out, if you like drinking in a park and sort of watching films.