Friday, 3 December 2010

Stay hooked - Get your fix with short short films!

There is a time in every cinephile's life when things get hectic and flat-out. Too hectic to sit down and watch a full feature film. Yes? No? Surely this happens to other cinema addicts, not just me. Don't you get the cinema-DT's after a few days of not watching a film, that itchy feeling that crawls on your skin when you're hips-deep in work, sprinting to meet deadlines, craving for a morsel of tasty cinema? No? Shit, it must just be me.

I've found that, whilst in the midst of balls-to-the-wall work, there's still little mini-opportunities to assuage the hunger, tide myself over until I can sit back, relax, and nestle myself deep into cine-visual bliss. I love the distraction that YouTube, and all it's little vid-sharing ilk, offer to me – a nostalgia-cornucopia I can delve into whenever I have the hankering to trawl for obscure 80's music videos, old BBC documentaries, or hilarious posts from people who think they've caught a ghost on video. But none of these things satisfy the need to see something, to have your visual senses electrified and sharpened. To feel like you're dipping once more into the historical ocean of cinema.

That's why I like to to take a brief time-out here and there, and watch a short, yet complete, cinematic tidbit, something that keeps the well from drying up. Here's a list of fifteen short films, all under ten minutes long, that I've turned to in the past, recent and not-so-recent, to keep me refreshed. Anytime you're flat-out and need a fix, come to this place, you'll find a good little hit of something flavoursome. Yup, that's me, I'm your film pusher.

1. MOTHLIGHT (Stan Brakhage; USA; 1963)

2. LIGHT IS CALLING (Bill Morrison; USA; 2004)

3. BALANCE (Wolfgang & Christoph Lauerstein; Germany; 1989)

4. DUMB HOUNDED (Tex Avery; USA; 1943)

5. XOLOGOLA (Michael Robinson; USA; 2007)

Xologola from Michael Robinson on Vimeo.

6. SCIENCE FRICTION (Stan Vanderbeek; USA; 1959)

7. SCHWECHATER (Peter Kubelka; Austria; 1958)

8. THE HEART OF THE WORLD (Guy Maddin; Canada; 2000)

9. CARABOSSE (Lawrence Jordan; USA; 1980)

10. ALTAIR (Lewis Klahr; USA; 1995)

11. DUCK AMUCK (Chuck Jones; USA; 1953)

12. 69 (Robert Breer; USA; 1968)

13. DEADSY (David Anderson; UK; 1990)

14.LA FLAMME (Ron Dyens; France; 2000)

15. FREE RADICALS (Len Lye; New Zealand; 1958/1979)


  1. Thanks for these, Michael - a great eclectic mix.

    "Anytime you're flat-out and need a fix, come to this place, you'll find a good little hit of something flavoursome. Yup, that's me, I'm your film pusher."

    I will be coming back to watch them all. I hope there aren't any nasty side effects.

  2. Stephen,
    Thanks for dropping by, it's much appreciated!

    Nope, no nasty side effects that I know of. The worst that has ever happened to me is laughing while drinking coffee when watching a Tex Avery 'toon, spluttering and gagging like crazy, and accidentally spraying my computer. Yes, a mess, but a happy mess.

    Stop on by any time, I hope you enjoy 'em all!

  3. Really fantastic stuff here, Michael, thanks for rounding these up. Many of them I'm unfamiliar with, but the ones I've seen I love to death (the Brakhage, Klahr & Robinson's), so I'm more than curious to check out the ones that have escaped me.

  4. Thanks, Drew, it was an absolute pleasure to round these little critters up. I've been gravitating towards the shorter form for a while now, and there's so much magic out there that seems to be ignored. I love the three you mentioned to death as well - I've only recently discovered Robinson, extremely beguiling stuff; Klahr is one of my absolute favourites right now, and I'm desparate to see more of his work; and Brakhage, well say no more.
    I enjoyed cobbling these films together so much that I'm thinking I might do another post like this in the near future.

    Cheers for your comment, happy viewing!