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short film suggestions
November 12, 2009 7:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in watching more short films. What are your favorites?

I recently read about 'The Red Balloon' in the NY Times, and I though I would like to watch more movies of this length.

I would like some suggestions about what to watch, and possibly where to find them.

My preference is for films 15 - 30 minutes in length and all genres and periods, aside from horror. Ideally, they would be public domain too but that is less important.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
if your requirements include cartoons, may i recommend the danish poet and my grandmother ironed the king's shirts, two adorable little fims by torill kove.
posted by janepanic at 7:39 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Way Things Go.
posted by box at 7:42 PM on November 12, 2009


The funniest short film I have seen in ages is The Dancing Cow by Taz Goldstein. The synopsis from the linked page:

"Evan Lepsow's directorial debut has Hollywood's top brass in a feeding frenzy... Only problem is, they've been watching the wrong film. With instant access to tinsel-town's most powerful moguls, Evan struggles with ethics versus opportunity as he secretly begins his comedic quest to discover who really directed "The Dancing Cow." "

It is very, very funny although it also includes a bit of crude language. I don't know where you can find it other than ordering the dvd, it's a pretty obscure title.
posted by Lokheed at 7:43 PM on November 12, 2009


If you can find it, "Fifteen Minute Hamlet" by Tom Stoppard is a hoot and a half! It was screened at Sundance Film Festival over a decade ago, and has not been released. I saw it on tv and have been trying to find a copy. Well worth the effort!

I can't think of any others offhand, sorry....
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 7:46 PM on November 12, 2009


Christopher Nolan's (Memento, Batman movies, etc) Following is a noir short that is tight as a tin drum.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:49 PM on November 12, 2009


The Cinema16 collections are entirely solid.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:49 PM on November 12, 2009


There are lots from the silent film era. Short films of Buster Keaton are an unbeatable place to start.

There are also a lot of great animated shorts.

One place you could start looking for titles would be lists of Oscar nominated live action short films and animated short films.

Another place to find titles would be the Internet Movie Database's list of the top rated shorts, as rated by IMDb users.

archive.org has a lot of films for free, including old stuff and modern stuff.

Animation archive is another site with a lot of short animated content.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:50 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first one I thought of after you mentioned The Red Balloon was "Clown" because it's also an older short film made in France about a boy. Part 1 Part 2
posted by various at 8:00 PM on November 12, 2009


A Supermarket Love Song.
posted by aquafortis at 8:20 PM on November 12, 2009


Christopher Nolan's (Memento, Batman movies, etc) Following is a noir short that is tight as a tin drum.

No, _Following_ is a feature film.

Try The Lunch Date, an Oscar-winning short from the '80s made by a film student.
posted by meadowlark lime at 8:38 PM on November 12, 2009


La Jetee, which was the inspiration for Twelve Monkeys, is pretty great.
posted by Shesthefastest at 9:08 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jan Svankmajer's short films are really great.
posted by Brainy at 9:21 PM on November 12, 2009


I'm a big fan of The Big Snit.

You should be able to find some Buster Keaton shorts online - that way you can watch them RIGHT NOW! (I can't find any good ones, just stuff like this.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:29 PM on November 12, 2009


The National Film Board of Canada has added lots of shorts to its free online viewing library. It's a little overwhelming, but here are some to get you started:

Chris Landreth's Oscar-winning short Ryan is beautiful and moving. (Previous Metafilter posts about the film's subject, Ryan Larkin: [1], [2], [3].)

Some of Larkin's original animations are also available on the site: Walking, Street Musique, and Cityscape.

Norman McLaren's stuff
is pretty great, too, especially Neighbours.

And seconding janepanic's recommendation of Torill Kove's films (NFB co-productions!).

(And also Lesser Shrew's Big Snit, on preview.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:32 PM on November 12, 2009


I like the 3rd Avenue El but maybe that's two short? (It's less than ten minutes.)
posted by Rash at 9:59 PM on November 12, 2009


Frankenweenie is great if you can get a hold of it.
posted by gnutron at 10:03 PM on November 12, 2009


The Bloody Olive
posted by paperzach at 10:20 PM on November 12, 2009


You may also like Wholphin, a quarterly "DVD magazine" of new short films. Subscriptions are $50/year.
posted by Ljubljana at 2:32 AM on November 13, 2009


Tango - by Zbigniew Rybczynski. 1982 animated short. IMDB details.
posted by rongorongo at 2:39 AM on November 13, 2009


Hurdy Gurdy Girl's NFB link is great. I suggest Flamenco at 5:15
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 6:10 AM on November 13, 2009


Christopher Nolan's (Memento, Batman movies, etc) Following is a noir short that is tight as a tin drum.

No, _Following_ is a feature film.


I stand corrected--though at 69 minutes, it's a bit short for a full feature in my book, but it's definitely longer than what the OP is looking for. Still good though!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:27 AM on November 13, 2009


Thank you! Lots of great suggestions here.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 6:42 AM on November 13, 2009


It might be a little on the short side, at 9 minutes, but David Lynch's The Cowboy and the Frenchman is pretty amusing. His other shorts(most of which fall well short of 15 minutes) might be a little too close to "horror" for your tastes.
posted by owtytrof at 8:03 AM on November 13, 2009


I think I had a bad source - The Cowboy and the Frenchman is 22 minutes long. Now go watch it!
posted by owtytrof at 8:12 AM on November 13, 2009


Don Hertzfeldt's - Everything Will Be OK


Part of a trilogy... probably the most moving stick figure animation you'll ever see.
posted by Never Better at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I got into watching shorts by watching a series on the Sundance Channel, that I think was called In Short or Shorts. A lot of the programming on the Sundance Channel and Sundance OnDemand are shorts, so that could be a good resource.
posted by alice ayres at 12:46 PM on November 13, 2009


Sarah Polley's "I Shout Love" came on IFC while I was watching a few years ago, and I was spellbound. She directs, btw, doesn't star.
posted by scarykarrey at 4:07 PM on November 13, 2009


Some favorites that come to mind--

A very funny one, in the style of Gogol, is Woody Allen's "Oedipus Rex," in "New York Stories"

Federico Fellini's "Toby Dammit" in "Spirits of the Dead"

Andrey Tarkovsky's "Violin and Steamroller"

Akira Kurosawa's de facto collection of short films, "Dreams"

George Melies collection

Hotel Room, by David Lynch

Others that come to mind-- All the Invisible Children, Paris Je t'aime (didn't like this one too much, but many seem to), New York I Love You, short films of David Lynch, short films of Atom Egoyan, short films of Francois Ozon, Lumiere and Company, Eros, To Each His Own Cinema, Tokyo! (2009)-- but I haven't seen these yet and can't vouch for them
posted by cotesdurhone at 2:03 PM on November 14, 2009


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