A quirky little short that has been doing the rounds for a while but only recently came to the attention of the SFW team. Without giving anything away, this short shows us the world through the eyes of someone with – to put it euphemistically – a niche interest. The music is insanely catchy, and we just love the costumes. Enjoy!
Sam, a refuse collector, decides in an apparent existential crisis that his job is beneath him. After being cursed by a raccoon, he finds himself rendered, quite literally, a garbage man. A brilliantly scripted and acted comic short, perhaps also a cautionary tale about complaining.
In the words of the director himself “I’d rather let the audience make up their own minds as to what a story is about. But… depression. It’s about depression. Probably. I don’t know. Maybe it’s about raccoons. They’re kind of dicks. I just know that, however silly this movie might seem, it’s very close to my heart. I grew up idolizing the garbage man. I wanted to ride the back of the truck, and heave around smelly things, and be adored by kids like myself. So far my life’s gone in a different direction, but I wanted to pay tribute in a small way to the people that keep our lives running and don’t get nearly enough credit. Many people, myself often included, feel trapped by the circumstances of their lives. The impulse behind telling this weird little story is to see what happens when you take the accumulated mental garbage that threatens to bury us all, and make it literal. ”
Directed by Alan Miller
Written by David Haskell and Alan Miller
Starring Kalvin Olafson, Daniel Jacobsen and Luke Roessler
Directed by Sean Ellis
Produced by Lene Bausager
Music by Rick Astley
Cashback is a comic short film following narrator Ben, a young art student working long night shifts in a supermarket, and his madcap group of colleagues, including two young men who take larking around to an extreme, and Jenkins, Ben’s thoroughly dislikeable, narcissistic boss, played to a tee by Stuart Goodwin. Despite his mundane work Ben, played by Sean Biggerstaff, has a big imagination. As boredom kicks in, he finds innovative ways to cope with the excruciatingly slow passing of time. Indeed the film soon takes an unexpected turn and goes deep, exploring concepts like time and beauty on a metaphysical level, with some impressive special effects and camera techniques.
Emilia Fox plays Sharon, the bored-to-tears cashier who finds herself the unwilling target of Jenkins’s attentions. In Ben’s fantasy world in which time can be stopped and space (and indeed the customers) can be explored as if frozen still, Jenkins gets his comeuppance and Ben gets to satisfy a craving which has plagued him for a long time.
Although it got mixed reviews, Cashback was a big success at short film festivals, and was subsequently made into a full-length feature. The short won Best European Short Film Festival (Grand Prix) and the Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Short amongst many others. 80s music enthusiasts will no doubt be delighted to know that the soundtrack for this film was composed by Rick Astley.
Director – Aaron Kheifets
Written by Lenny Platt, Jamie Falkowski and Aaron Kheifets
Jacked is a comedy short film about an underconfident man (Greg, played by Daniel Silver) looking for a girlfriend in Brooklyn. When a sassy friend encourages him to stop being a ‘pussy’ and talk to a girl in the street, Greg ends up with more than he bargained for as the mystery female repeatedly takes advantage of his gullibility, naive kindness and desperation for love.
Written and directed by Rob Pearlstein
Produced by Pia Clemente and Loren Mendell
Kevin Pollak stars as Doctor Leonard Stern, a very jaded psychotherapist who, learning that he is terminally ill with 6 weeks to live, decides upon a new approach in his therapy; being brutally honest with his patients. Stern’s patients exhibit a range of neuroses – fear of turtles, obsession with germs, a problem with a girl’s dress being the wrong colour. You can’t help wondering if Stern’s new type of ‘therapy’ wouldn’t also be a lot more effective in real life. Our Time Is Up has a tight script, memorable performances and slick production.
Written by Benjamin Hodge
Directed by Felix Harber
Produced by Christopher Bevan
Gibberish is a short, low-budget comedy film with a lot of heart. Dom, played by Ben Jewell, is a young man who commutes to work daily by bus, preoccupied by various discussions on the phone with a girlfriend. He soon finds himself saddled with a travelling companion – a talkative and somewhat crazy-seeming elderly lady, played by Margaret Jackman, who joins him each day on the journey. At first he is keen to avoid her, treating her simply as a stranger who’s lost her marbles. With time though, the old woman begins to make an impression on Ben. As he listens to her more, his preconceptions change.
Shot by DOP Grant Murphy, Gibberish screened at several films festivals including British Shorts in Berlin 2012.
Co-produced by YSP Media and Jerry Dog Productions.
Written and directed by Philip Sansom
Produced by Richard Weager
Director of Photography Ross McLennan
Starring a wonderfully cast Jeremy Mitchell, Tracy Feith and Hande Kodja playing the sultry French-speaking love interest, One Man’s Loss is a neat little comic short about the twists of fate that befall a tramp who, after crossing the path of a thoroughly unlikeable yuppie (Mitchell) treads on a shard of broken glass. What happens next is a reversal of fortunes that see our intitally hapless hobo (Feith) end up the winner of the piece. Philip Sansom, the writer and director, also directed and co-wrote award-winning short The Black Hole.
Great soundtrack at the beginning and end of this one!
Created by Pablo Polledri
Music by David Simons
Los Pecadores, or The Sinners, is a short animation by Argentinian director and animator Pablo Polledri about the seven deadly sins. The Pecadores are represented as characters acting out their natures as they are all thrown together in a lord of the flies type situation. They interact with each other in all manner of amusing and horrifying ways in what becomes a war of attrition.
See more of Pablo’s work at http://www.maniacplanet.com.ar/.
Written and directed by Terry Gilliam.
Terry Gilliam, who began his career as a cartoonist, was part of the Monty Python team and his animations characterised the shows, appearing as vignettes in between sketches. The image of a huge foot coming down to crush everything is a well-known one, and typical of the surrealist style and content of many of these wonderful animated pieces.
Miracle of Flight, produced in 1974, is about humans striving for the ability to fly like birds (or, indeed, a Boeing 707) and embarking on numerous unsuccessful attempts to get, and remain airborne using all manner of imaginative methods, including tar and bird feathers, cliffs, a bird costume and many more.
Minneapolis-born Gilliam went on to direct several feature films including Brazil in 1985, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in 1988, Twelve Monkeys in 1995 and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 2009. Like his animated work, his films often have fantastical, highly imaginative themes and styles.
In 1999, Gilliam attempted to realise a long-held ambition to make a film about Don Quixote (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote), starring Johnny Depp, but production was beset by disaster included the star getting a hernia, flooding causing expensive damage to sets and filming equipment, and various other mishaps. All was not, however, in vain – archive footage from the doomed production was used to make the fascinating documentary Lost In La Mancha.
‘Sunlight’ is a music video for the song of the same title by music duo Bag Raiders, formed in 2006 by Jack Glass and Chris Stracey from Sydney. The video was directed by Fleur and Manu and produced by Division.
When a beautiful girl develops a crush on a chimpanzee, she releases him from captivity. We see their relationship go through various stages, all to the rhythm of a fantastically catchy and cheerful song. The video humorously explores numerous relationship themes including love at first sight, trust, jealousy, separation and loss, reconciliation, taking loved ones for granted – even inter-species love. Okay, don’t take that last one too seriously. Enjoy!