Doodlebug by Christopher Nolan (1997) (UK) (3m) *

British filmmaker Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception) is now a major player in Hollywood and this 1997 short short film, Doodlebug, displays the darker tone that would serve Nolan so well in his successful feature film career. In Doodlebug, we find a ragged man tormented by a bug in his ratty apartment. It has a nice twist that also highlighted Nolan's fondness for visual effects. Nolan went on to make his first feature film, Following, soon after.


Vincent by Tim Burton (1982) (US) (6m)

Burton revealed his hand in this stop-motion animation film - made when he was 23 - in which a young boy dreams of being horror legend Vincent Price. It was not his first short film but it introduced him to the wider film world as a darlky humorous director, which would lead on to his first successful feature film, Beetle Juice. Having Vincent Price narrate this short animation film was a salient move.


Hotel Chevalier by Wes Anderson (2007) (USA) (13m)

Set in Paris and starring Natalie Portman, Hotel Chevalier is a self-contained romance that also acted as a precursor to Wes Anderson's offbeat feature film, The Darjeeling Limited. Jason Schwartzman is the lovesick patron of the hotel when he is visited by the woman (Portman) who pushed him into his Parisian hideaway. This is what love is like in the real world: painful and heartbreaking.

Hotel Chevalier

Next Floor

Next Floor by Denis Villeneuve (2008) (Canada) (11m)

After winning a disgustingly large number of awards, Denis put his film Next Floor on vimeo in late 2013. Being a vegetarian, my take on it may differ from others but in Next Floor we find eleven pampered guests gorging on all manner of beasts while a host of waiters stand by. Their gluttony has a consequence, captured in brilliant visual effects and defying the laws of physics. Denis has since since made the feature films Incendies, Prisoners and Arrival.

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