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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Entries in short films (77)


"Beetlelink! Beetlelink! Beetlelink!"

If you say it three times, a link roundup appears from the other side!

By now you've heard that Tim Burton and Michael Keaton are prepping a sequel to the 1988 comedy classic Beetlejuice, largely because Burton has long since run out of ideas and better a sequel than another remake, right?! If they name it "Beetlejuice 2" instead of "Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice" I will be disappointed in their mundanity. I love that movie but honestly if this project does not star Winona Ryder I hope whoever deigns to see it will sit in the theater alone... *utterly* alone... because the rest of us should boycott. Noni was the best thing about the original aside from its playfully smart comic visuals including the Oscar winning makeup.

Now a few links...

E! Online reactions to the awful Parks and Recreations hiatus news
Women and Hollywood on male directors and depictions of female sexuality: Chile's awesome Gloria and France's buzzy Blue is the Warmest Color discussed 
Film School Rejects on the short film Next Floor by Denis Villeneuve. You should see it. It's so good and Villeneuve is having a prolific "moment", what with the 1-2-3 punch of Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy.


Interview: Actress Dánae Reynaud on "Club Sandwich"

Dánae ReynaudThe 51st New York Film Festival continues with Jose's interview with Dánae Reynaud, co-star of Club Sandwich

In a relatively short time, the young director Fernando Eimbcke has become one of the most original voices in Latin American cinema. With a mere three movies to his name, he's one of the few auteurs working outside the standard subjects of drug trafficking, crime and magical realism. His movies tend to focus on young people living ordinary lives and coming to terms with impending adulthood. To call them coming-of-age films wouldn't do justice to the larger truths they carry. His latest, Club Sandwich, is no exception; it deals with a single mother (María Renée Prudencio) who takes her son Hector (Lucio Giménez Cacho) to a resort during the low season.

The first part of the movie finds them bonding over sunscreen application, discussing Prince's sexiness and ordering the title meal. Things change when more guests arrive to the hotel, one of them being Jazmín (Dánae Reynaud), a sixteen year old who catches Hector's eye. Suddenly he doesn't want to be with his mom for long, he starts noticing he's growing a tiny mustache and secretly washes his underwear so that his mother won't notice the accidents he's been having at night. The film is a delight made even more special by the naturalistic performances of the three lead actors. Reynaud in particular brings a sense of mischief to a character that could've been villainized by a lesser actress. I asked the charming Dánae about working with Eimbcke and when she realized she wanted to act. You'll relate to her profound love of movies (after the jump). 

Click to read more ...


Mickey and the giant

Tim here. 2013 has proven to be a banner year for Mickey Mouse, the lovable corporate spokesman, marketing juggernaut, and justification for some of the most ruinous developments in copyright law history. I believe he has also, at some point, featured in cartoons.

To celebrate the 85th anniversary of the character, the Walt Disney Company has promoted a new series of made-for-TV shorts bringing his troublemaking side back to the fore after generations of sanding have turned him into a perfectly respectable, deeply bland mascot (I’ll confess to not liking these shorts much at all, but I’m glad they exist). Later this fall, he’ll be starring in a brand-new, old-style cartoon, Get a Horse!, set to play in front of Disney’s winter tentpole Frozen.

With so much Mickey flying around, it was impossible not to pounce at the 75th anniversary this week of one of my very favorite shorts starring the character, Brave Little Tailor.

Click to read more ...


My Baby's Got (Another) Secret

Madonna, the eternal queen goddess from whom all new pop starlets are derived, has never been totally satisfied with just being the eternal queen goddess of pop. After trying her hand at acting, she's now increasingly behind the camera as well. She's made two features (Filth & Wisdom in 2008 and W.E. in 2011) and now she's backtracking a bit with a short film. You're supposed to make the shorts first to warm up Madonna, geez. The title is the awkward secretprojectrevolution but "secret" has such a sell by date as a description, you know. Especially when your film debuts online.

Do that dance you do so well. 

The full 17 minute movie, co-directed with Steven Klein, and a few comments are after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Linking Spirit

Nostalgia Critic wonders if the film parody is dead. From Young Frankenstein to the Scary Movie movies it is a free fall plummet rather than a steady decline. Lots of clips to illustrate.
Cinema Blend The Muppet Movie is coming to BluRay for the first time
Marvel Thor The Dark World's official site is up 
Fast Design movie posters that reduce your favorite films to geometric shapes - some of these are awesome. Others I dont quite get.
"Fighting Spirits" check out this 5 minute animated short, a semifinalist for the 2012 Student Oscar, about rival ballerinas

Slate great magazine articles that inspired movies from Bling Ring to Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Coming Soon The Weinstein Co's buying spree continues unabated: Jane Got a Gun, Carol, Passengers, Suite Francaise, and The Young and Prodigious Spivet 

Off Cinema
Salon how "You are My Sunshine" became a children's classic 
i09 Joss Whedon's commencement address at Wesleyan "you are all going to die" 
Advocate an interview with Katee Sackhoff. I love her but unfortunately never see her in anything because of the very limited types of shows she appears on.
Slate engaging piece on how technology hindered Arrested Development's popularity in its first three seasons, a show ahead of its time

More Cannes?
Awards Daily two clips from the Cannes champ Blue is the Warmest Color
Ultra Culture excellent piece on the issue of "real sex" in filmmaking and how fake it all still is
Film Comment interesting discussion of the competition films at Cannes from several critics. I love the harsh discussion of Only God Forgives  or at least the parts of it I read (too many spoilers) and the notion that Ryan Gosling should never speak to Refn again. This makes me want to see the movie even more!

TM: It’s very fetishistic about all those aspects—the martial arts aspects, the Asian aspects, the notion of framing. It’s just a big wank frankly. And looking at it from a career point of view, he can get all the big actors he wants at this point because he’s famous and has this free rein. I think he needs to be careful about doing films like this. He needs to be smarter about his career and his script writing. 

JR: It does seem now that there’s a group of filmmakers, and Gaspar Noé is one of them, who are sort of writing fan letters to each other. Noé making films for Refn, etc. This little group of the “wild boys.”



Hit Me With Your Short Film Double

For this week's abbreviated edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot I asked y'all to watch two short films with me (both available online if you click on the titles). Shorts sometimes function like auditions or training ground for feature directors but many artists, animators in particular, often stay with them exclusively. Certain feature auteurs return to them periodically for experimentation or creative rejuvenation or even, if they're music videos, cash. Short films are their own curious artform. Movie blogs should care more about them and this week's double feature, an ode to Short Film of the Week, is my own wee effort in stating so.

A short film also presents an ideal opportunity to acknowledge the original quite succinct concept of this series which was to choose a single image and discuss it. More often than not we end up with a screenshot party because a) it's too hard to stop at one and b) parties are fun. 

This short is from the filmmaking collective of Court 13 who rose to prominence last year with Beasts of the Southern Wild -- you'll see Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin sharing the composing credit again in the credits. It's an absurdist fable loosely based on the Frank L Baum's "Tinman of Oz". I didn't quite know what to make of its stop and start sound design or its  mix of influences (the not-quite emotionally detached narrator felt a bit Wes Anderson and isn't the cinematography Lynchian?). I think it goes off the rails quite a lot in multiple ways (politically, religiously, narratively) in the last few minutes. But despite my reservations I've watched it three times and I'm still stirred by its weird fusion of the tender & grotesque (or, more plainly, hard & soft such as in the image of the tinman holding flowers). That unholy marriage is organic to the story but also beautifully captured in images like a still life of body parts snatched from the morgue. My favorite shot, equal parts beautiful and disturbing, is the one wherein Jane lovingly paints eyes on to the reanimated corpse of human Bill before kissing him. It's troublesome on an anthropomorphic level. Tinman Bill is very much human but he needs anthropomorphism to be loved and Jane won't. Corpse Bill is less human but looks the part so she doesn't need to ascribe feeling, just eyeballs. Despite the strong light and shadow the shot feels warm but you know that this Bill must be ice cold to the touch; he's got no heart.

I chose this short primarily because I would give it an "A" full stop and wanted everyone to see it since Oscar weirdly refused to turn its immense spotlight on this hugely deserving accomplishment. Writer/director Mikey Please's (also known as Michael Please) short is a marvel of playfulness, creativity, technical prowess, thematic ambition, and arch wit and he packs it all into a dizzying rush of nine minutes of cinematic accelerated...fear of aging?

The entire world is defined by context. even the way we experience the passing of time - every second is smaller compared to the last."

The Eagleman Stag, more than many features we've watched for this series, presented a ridiculous challenge in that its greatest strengths come from its screenplay, production design and especially its editing -- the images in juxtaposition mean at least thrice as much as any of them do on their own. Frankly, Stag has worthy best shot choices -- the lighting of the stop motion structures is often astonishing -- at virtually any freeze frame many of them much more beautiful than the one I've chosen. But frankly I feel so small in this short's presence that I can only relate to the insignificant worm our narrator holds up to the sunlight when he's 4 years old "Fascinating!". I've watched this three times and know it will be just as rewarding at thirty. So I'll go with the worm in a way. The shot I've chosen is a blink and you miss it reference to that earlier shot when the narrator holds up... himself... for his own intellectual consideration.

Yes, this seems about right."

Click over for more on these two fascinating shorts
Encore Entertainment unpacks dense themes
Antagony & Ecstasy self inflicted failure and silent film riffs
Amiresque enigmatic beauty and sheer comic value
Okinawa Assault amalgams and vandalizations 
The Film's The Thing unleashing imagination, moments that pulls us in
Allison Tooey didn't like the movies but plays along
We Recycle Movies watches from her iPhone while in line for... next week's movie!

Next week on Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we helicopter in to JURASSIC PARK (1993). Please join us whether that's in movie theaters for the 3D conversion or at home with your dvd or fossilized vhs tape. There's a lot of acreage on that island and there's room for plenty of room for anyone who wants to choose a "best" image and tell us why! 


Next on "Hit Me..."

Coming Next on “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” which we're pleased to see off to such a fine communal start with Barbarella and Oz. Join us. The more the merrier. All you need is any sort of webspace wherein to post your image (twitter, tumblr, blogger, etcetera) and eyeballs with which to choose a Best Shot from the chosen films.

Wed March 20th
Forbidden Games (1952). The director René Clement's centennial is this week so why not look back on this Best Foreign Film Oscar Winner which combines two of the Academy's favorite things in that category: Children and World War II (available on Netflix instant watch)
Wed March 27th
Jackie Brown (1997). That’ll be Quentin Tarantino week here at TFE as we celebrate the filmmaker’s whole oeuvre for his 50th birthday
Wed April 3rd 
I'm thinking a Short Film Special as time will be short. Details TBA but I'll make it/they are available online.
Wed April 10th
Jurassic Park (1993). Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster will be back in theaters in three dimensions. See it there and describe it or see it at home and screencap it. Or both but play along.

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