World of Tomorrow (2015, Don Hertzfeldt)
Emily Prime is contacted by her third-generation clone, discussing memory, robots, love and life in the outernet of the future.
Only 16 minutes long but I watched it seven times.
Choose You (2013, Spike Jonze & Chris Milk)
Written by Lena Dunham and directed by Spike Jonze – and yet it’s terrible? I think that’s because it’s a corporate-sponsored short made for a music video awards show. Anyway, subtitled and censored, club dude’s ex-gf is now dating DJ Michael Shannon, some girl he doesn’t even know freaks out about this, then Jason Schwartzmann hosts a choose-your-own-adventure ending and double suicide is chosen.
The Discontented Canary (1934, Rudolf Ising)
A sad caged canary gets his chance to escape, but nature beats the hell out of him, so he returns home, learning to appreciate his captivity. At least he wasn’t hit by lightning like the feral cat. Moral: life is just horrible.
The Alphabet (1968, David Lynch)
Now in high-def!
Les jeux des anges (1965, Walerian Borowczyk)
Pipe organ becomes firing squad.
The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918, Winsor McCay)
Didn’t realize this was a WWI propaganda film. “Germany, once a great and powerful nation, had done a dastardly deed in a dastardly way.”
Intro explaining how difficult the movie was to create, and plenty of title cards, so the nine minute short has maybe four minutes of animation. But the animation is real good stuff, all water and smoke.
We Give Pink Stamps (1965, Friz Freleng)
Absurd fun in a department store as the Pink Panther torments the night janitor.
Closed Mondays (1974, Will Vinton & Bob Gardiner)
Great claymation. Wino wanders into an art gallery, hallucinates (?) all the paintings and sculptures coming to life.
Night Mail (1936 Wright & Watt)
I’ve heard this is one of the greatest short documentaries. True, it’s admirably put together, showing all the moving parts in a great, manned machine that moves the mail across England and Scotland really damn fast. And it makes you marvel at the heights of human endeavor. And it ends with a post office rap song. So yeah I was gonna say it’s just a doc about a mail train, but I guess I see their point.
Monster (2005 Jennifer Kent)
Beginnings of The Babadook (there’s a pop-up book and everything). Monster-doll grows into full monster and attacks son, mom screams at it, tells it to go to its room.
Fears (2015, Nata Metlukh)
Terrific 2-minute animated short linked by Primal.
A man literally embraces his fears.
Restaurant Dogs (1994, Eli Roth)
Student film in which an evil brigade of fast-food restaurant mascots is bloodily defeated by a young dude who’s given a mission from the Burger King himself to save his daughter the Dairy Queen. Something like that, anyway. I thought the guy only wanted to buy a milkshake, and suspected he was drunk, so I’m surprised he signed up for the murderous mission so quickly.
Given all the trademarked properties being mixed with nazi images via Terry Gilliam-style cut-out animation, I thought I’d better watch this as soon as I heard about it, rather than wait until our corporate overlords remove it from the internet like they did the Soderbergh cut of 2001: A Space Odyssey which I’d been meaning to watch. Besides Reservoir Dogs, there’s some Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now in the grimace/hamburglar flashback scene.
Ritual (1979, Joseph Bernard)
Under three minutes, viewed online as a trailer for the new Bernard blu-ray, which I obviously need. Drawings, figures, people and scenes and stuttering colors cut together into changing rhythms and overlays. My favorite bit has an overlay of two scenes, one of which is cutting, an effect I don’t see often.