ONLY THE BEST SHORT FILMS


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Film Of The Week: The Basket


The Basket by Suresh Eriyat (2020) (India) (14m)

The stop-motion short film The Basket (Tokri) apparently took eight years to complete. It tells the story of a poor Indian girl, who makes baskets instead of going to school and lives with her parents in squalid conditions in an Indian city. However, she has a loving relationship with her parents, especially her playful father. When she discovers his precious heirloom and accidentally breaks it, she needs a way to fix the situation. But India is a hard place to survive.

8

Rebooted by Michael Shanks (2019) (Australia) 12m)

the dialogue-free comedy Rebooted owes a clear debt to Who Frames Roger Rabbit. In Rebooted, which mises live-action and animation, the story focuses on a skeletal monster (he is literally a skeleton) who appeared in a Jason And The Argonauts type film many years ago (anyone over the age of 40 will know what scene I mean), but is now struggling to find work as a real-world skeleton in an industry dominated by VFX monsters.

Stone Cars

The Walking Fish by T Meijer (2018) (Holland/Japan) (19m)

The Walking Fish, pitched as a "tragicomic short film about ambition", is simply a contemporary fairy tale to me. It centres on Mutsumi, a normal mudskipper (walking fish), who is taken home by a boy and starts turning into a human (evolution at hyper-speed). How or why this happens is glossed over like the best of fairy tales but Mutsumi is soon looking pretty human. However, she has to work extra hard to become perfectly human and can never escape her origins.

Kingsland

Chronos by Andre Chocron (2019) (UK) (25m)

Chronos is an incredibly impressive one-shot sci-fi thriller that is close to brilliant but let down slightly by the script and a few (just a few) poorly delivered lines. Set in a pub, apparently disparate groups of patrons spend an everyday evening with most of them not knowing that they are trapped in a time loop. Yet events are never quite the same, and the reason is perhaps too complex to work out during the film. The whole thing spawns from two patrons (or is it four?), Nick and Tom, young physicists who have discovered a new way to look at time.

Fauve

Kingsland

Kingsland #1: The Dreamer by Tony Grisoni (2008) (UK) (20m)

Kingsland #1: The Dreamer was written and directed by London-born Tony Grisoni, who had already forged a successful writing career before trying his hand at directing. Kingsland follows the story of a Kurdish immigrant who has arrived in London with nothing and soon finds himself involved in a dark world with fellow Kurds. It is entitled #1: The Dreamer because it was intended as the first of five chapters of a feature.


My Time by Giulia Gandini (2018) (UK) (6m)

My Time is a short drama that centres on Ava, a typical British schoolgirl, who is about to give a classroom presentation. The only problem is that she she will get her first period just before she is meant to go up, an event for which she is not well-prepared (but then how do you prepare for your first period?). With a blood-stained skirt and the clock ticking down, how can she save her blushes?

Foxed!

World of Glory

World Of Glory by Roy Andersson (1991) (14m) (Sweden)

If you watch it once you will never forget World of Glory (Härlig är jorden), written and directed by Roy Andersson. What exactly it is trying to say I am, to be honest, not completely sure but the opening scene is so absolutely and excruciatingly horrifying you will be pondering its meaning for a while. Andersson was born in wartime Europe and was in his late 40s when he made this. He has since moved onto feature films and I suspect that they are similarly unique...


Over by Jorn Threlfall (2015) (UK) (14m)

Above was nominated for a BAFTA in 2016, the year that Operator won. Mostly told through a series of external wide shots shown in reverse order, this drama short film is focused on a crime scene. Someone has died but how exactly did that happen? It is extremely effective and surprisingly tense as we wait for the event to happen. The event itself was inspired by a true story.

8

The Blue Door by Paul Taylor (2017) (UK) (9m)

The Blue Door stars Gemma Whelan (from Game of Thrones), who plays a care assistant visiting the home of an elderly lady to deliver palliative care. She comes across a blue door she had not previously noticed but instinctively fears: especially when someone or something tries to open it from the other side. It is perhaps a little slow to begin with but is very nicely made and well-acted, and reminds me of The French Doorsamong others.


The Party by Andrea Harkin (2016) (UK) (15m)

The Party was nominated for the Best British Short Film BAFTA in 2017. Set in Belfast in 1972, during the The Troubles (the Nationalist-Loyalist conflict that blighted Northern Ireland for three decades), this drama short film revolves around a small, teen house party, where the wanted Mickey (an Irish Nationalist) is the guest of honour. Drinking, dancing and romance is followed by the reality of being on the run with the British Army after you in Belfast.


Maja by Marijana Jankovich (2018) (Denmark) (21m)

Maja is a touching tribute to immigrant workers. It is a little long but that can be excused by the quite astonishing acting of its young lead, Selena Marsenic (think how stupid you were when you were her age). Marsenic plays the title character, a six-year-old Serbian girl who has come with her parents to live in Denmark. They drop her off at kindergarten in the morning but it becomes clear that neither she nor her parents speak much Danish. The kindergarten teacher cannot understand why Maja is so keen to clean up after her classmates but there is, of course, a reason.

Boho

The Foster Portfolio by Danielle Katvan (2017) (USA) (19m)

Based on the 1951 short story by the late American author Kurt Vonnegut, The Foster Portfolio was adapted and directed by Danielle Katvan. If follows the story of Jim Crane, an investment advisor, who stumbles across a man living from hand to mouth but with a secret fortune: Herbert Foster. But just why is Foster so disinterested in his inheritance? It is, without doubt, an extremely well-made and engaging film that closely follows the novella.

Small Deaths

Intersection

Intersection by Brendan Beachman (2014) (USA) (20m)

Intersection showed at festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. Inspired by his own summer jobs, Intersection is a black comedy telling the story of two road construction workers who are dropped off in the middle of nowhere to police the non-existent traffic at a desert intersection (crossroads). The monotony of the dusty day is broken by the violent arrival of a meteorite and the belief that this astral object may be worth a lot of money.





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