Undressing My Mother

Rat Pack Rat by Todd Rohal (2014) (USA) (18m)

Rat Pack Rat is a somewhat bizarre drama about a Sammy Davis Jr impersonator who is hired to visit a dying man. It is hard to pin down the genre as there are comedic elements but it is by no means funny and, like many Sundance films, which tend to be dialogue-heavy, there is an inherent awkwardness to it and some cringeworthy sexual moments. Rohal has been making short films for twenty years, and has more recently moved into feature films with films such as The Catechism Cataclysm.

Whiplash by Damien Chazelle (2013) (USA) (18m)

Whiplash was the precursor to the feature film of the same name, and has become the blueprint for creating a proof-of-concept short, sometimes called a sizzle. However, this is by no means a new idea: see the shorts of horror Saw, South African sci-fi District 9 and Pixels. Those who have seen the feature film, Whiplash, will recognise the scene in the short film, for it is almost exactly the same; almost shot for shot. A student drummer has been invited to partake in his music school's top band, run by a tyranical teacher.

House on Little Cubes

Brick Novax's Diary by Matt Piedmont (2011) (USA) (15m)

Brick Novax's Diary is a comic animation that won the Best US Fiction prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. Now penniless and living in a seedy motel with only a few weeks to live, the eponymous Brick Novax records his amazing life on tape for posterity. Opening with a pastiche of Now Apocalypse, the hard-drinking American legend tells us about his life as an alien-loving astronaut, movie star, folk-musician and inventor of a once ubiquitous type of trouser (pants).


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