How to Live with Regret (2018, John Wilson)

Before the TV series he made a few standalone shorts, which I must find. His metaphors go on for too long and get lost sometimes, and there are a few classic film clips, otherwise basically a shorter, more tightly topic-focused version of the series. He interviews a guy who writes down all his regrets, and gets distracted by the guy’s screensaver, then talks with a friend whose apartment burned down (the multiverse is mentioned).


Autoficcion (2020, Laida Lertxundi)

Short 4:3 doc scenes, and some staged shots of a woman being dragged around. Subtitled interviews with Los Angeles-area women whose lives feel unstable. Repeated play of the song “Time Is On My Side.” Not more exciting than her other films, but I can spare 15 minutes per year for these.


Prometheus (2021, Dominic Angerame)

Spark showers, sometimes frame-in-frame, pure whites on black. Perhaps the camera was wearing a welders mask. Dom playing improv music on bells.


Austrian Pavilion (2019, Philipp Fleischmann)

The most filmy-lookin’ film I saw all weekend (on my TV), a hitching blue-tinted flicker down a hallway to some trees, the edges of the frame closing in.


The Newest Olds (2022, Pablo Mazzolo)

City buildings across the river, gently flicker-vibrating from a few angles with street dialogue, then moves inland to fields, still flickering, cool colors, people discussing unusual sounds on the audio, back to the city, this time with the sounds of recent protests. Would’ve been a perfectly fine a/g movie full of cool vibrations, why’d he feel the need to insert photos of dead birds?


Ruka/The Hand (1965, Jiri Trnka)

Watched this again in the latest video restoration, super. The hand uses sex and money and TV and newspapers and bribes and intimidation and imprisonment, then after all the man’s refusals the hand still claims him as a champion after he dies.

I imagined a widescreen stop-motion puppet Midsummer from the creator of The Hand would be magical. It turns out if you remove all the language from a Shakespeare play, reducing it to plot action with explanatory voiceover, you don’t even reach feature length without some padding in the form of dance scenes and overlong rehearsals of the play-within-the-play. Sticking it out, there is some beautiful puppetry and effects, particularly whenever Puck casts a transformation spell.

Ruka/The Hand (1965, Jiri Trnka)

Potter just wants to make pots and keep his little plant alive, but a fascist hand keeps intruding wanting him to sculpt fascist hands instead. Potter is kidnapped by the hand and forced to create hand progaganda but escapes only to die back at home. Banned in his home country of Czechoslovakia, naturally. Trnka’s final film – I will have to find more.

Johann Mouse (1952, Hanna & Barbera)

Jerry is a mouse in Strauss’s house who waltzes uncontrollably when the master is playing. The cat learns to play in order to set a trap, but the two are discovered and are invited to perform for the king. Cute enough, but I don’t know about oscar-winning. It beat a not-too-great Tex Avery, two from UPA and one from Canada, the same year McLaren’s Neighbours won best documentary (!?) short. Hans Conreid narrated.

Magoo’s Puddle Jumper (1956, Pete Burness)

Blind Magoo buys an electric car (!) and drives it into the ocean. Somehow his idiot son Waldo survived the bear short and tags along. People must’ve thought Jim Backus was hilarious. All three oscar nominees were UPA productions, so producer Stephen Bosustow could not have lost.

The Nightmare of Melies (1988, Pierre Etaix)

A fun Melies tribute incorporating the earliest cinema techniques, scenes from King Kong, an alka-seltzer commercial and late-80’s computer animation.

D. Cairns for The Forgotten:

Etaix additions to the source script make Méliès a prophet of the whole history of film, from the greatest special effects film of golden age Hollywood, up to the computerized visions of the present day (1988), and taking in the true nightmare of the television commercial. I love how the ad breaks in, hideously colorful and cheery, disrupting what is already a rather stylistically disparate piece .. almost to the point of disintegration.

Bimbo’s Initiation (1931, Dave Fleischer)

Bimbo is kidnapped by a cult that keeps attacking him with sharp things and spanking instruments then asking if he wants to be a member. He always answers no until confronted with dog-eared Betty Boop who dribbles her ass like a basketball. Maltin called it Fleischer’s darkest work, and Jim Woodring reveres it, naturally.

Tord and Tord (2010, Niki Lindroth Von Bahr)

“I felt my need for coffee becoming more and more apparent.”

Clearly somebody watched Fantastic Mr. Fox and David Lynch’s Rabbits then imagined a meeting of these two worlds. Sort of a less-violent stop-motion Fight Club, as a fox named Tord finds out his next-door neighbor is also named Tord, so they start hanging out and exchanging coded messages, until rabbit-Tord disappears and may not have ever existed.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (2005, Anthony Lucas)

Cool silhouette animation, watched with Katy. Narrator/Jasper (Joel Edgerton, villain of Gatsby) is a disgraced navigator in an airship-steampunk future, whose ship stumbles across deadly creatures whose blood can cure the plague affecting Jasper’s home planet (and more specifically, his wife). Sort of an Alien meets Little Shop of Horrors, with an unresolved ending.

Director Lucas followed this up with a 3-minute rabbit short and worked on new anthology film The Turning. Writer Mark Shirrefs does lots of Australian sci-fi television. The Australians gave this a best-short award, but Oscars picked The Moon and the Son and Baftas the great Fallen Art.

Bobby Yeah (2011, Robert Morgan)

The story of a murderous kidnapper with a predilection for pushing red buttons. Possibly the most grotesque stop-motion movie ever – kudos to Morgan! Reminds of Symbol at times, with a confused-looking guy in a room pushing mysterious buttons with varying consequences, but this one also has elements of murder-spree crime drama, with much sexual imagery.