The Venice Film Festival posted 70-ish short films online to commemorate their 70th anniversary. I watched them gradually over the past year. Already rounded up my favorites and least favorites – this is the rest.

Krzysztof Zanussi

Kids haul a film can containing Zanussi’s Venice prize-winning A Year of the Quiet Sun from a trash can.

Sono Sion

“Cinema’s Future is My Future” title cards. An excited man films things in a neon room. A crowd chants “seventy!”

Antonio Capuano

Green-haired teen zombies carry video cubes on subway station escalators.

Tariq Teguia

“Still, tomorrow’s cinema will be saying: someone is here.”
He has a Film Socialisme poster. Show-off.

James FrancoThe Future of Cinema

FF Coppola says he hopes filmmaking professionalism will be destroyed and regular people will be able to make them. Then some vandals trash a house and it looks like we’re watching the framing story of V/H/S. Then all goes berzerk, and Franco appears, laughing amidst the chaos.

Pablo Larraín

Camera perched atop one of those sail-surfboards looking down, piano playing a riff on “My Blue Heaven”.

Nicolás Pereda

Single shot of couple in bed playing on their phones, unseriously discussing getting married.

Wang Bing

A guy works the land, comes home to his horrible, fly-infested cave.

Kim Ki-dukMy Mother

Kim films his own mother going to the store (slowly and painfully), buying cabbage and prepping dinner for his visit.

Edgar Reitz

Franz Kafka is moved by a film, walks outside into the present-day world of everpresent video screens and advertising. Searching for the source of his quote (“Went to the movies. Wept.”) led to an interesting-looking book called Kafka Goes to the Movies.

Pablo TraperoCinema Is All Around

iPhone videos of tourists taking photos at a waterfall while Doris Day sings Que Sera Sera.

Jia Zhang-ke

People watch old movies on new screens.
Unusually commercial-looking style for Jia.

João Pedro RodriguesAllegoria Della Prudenza

Grave sites (there are multiple) for Kenji Mizoguchi in the whispering wind. Cameo appearance by the grave of Portuguese director Paulo Rocha.

Peter Ho-Sun ChanThe Future Was In Their Eyes

Photo montage of the eyes of many dead filmmakers.

Isabel Coixet

A square little film sketch with bouncy music.

Haile Gerima

He’s in an edit suite reviewing Harvest: 3000 Years. “I am incarcerated in the historical circumstances of Africa. Our cinema is a hostaged cinema.”

Atom EgoyanButterfly

He lets us see video of an Anton Corbijn gallery exhibit before deleting it from his phone. “Frankly I can’t be bothered to store more useless memories that I’ll never look at again, so I have to make some choices of what to lose.”

Hong Sang-soo50:50

Guy smokes with a stranger, tells her that his wife, sitting on a nearby bench, is terribly ill.

Celina Murga

Theater full of kids watch a movie.

Hala Alabdalla

Driving through Syria shooting through a window with a beard-n-sunglasses silhouette stuck on. Then: close-ups of eyeballs.

Pietro Marcello

Silent stock footage and clips of film equipment at work, then a Guy Debord quote.

Jan CvitkovicI Was a Child

Nice moving camera while narrator tells of when she first realized that everything is god.

Jazmín López

Camera follows a trail of discarded objects to two identically-dressed girls making out.

Amir NaderiDon’t Give Up

Aged film of dust storm on a dead sea cut with some present-day film storage room.

Alexey German Jr.5000 Days Ahead

Single travelling shot, people on a beach discussing movies of the future, personal experiences using neural transmitters, “like dreams with subtitles.”

Benoît Jacquot

Single take of a girl looking into camera.

John Akomfrah

B/W travel footage rapidly edited, closing with titles about the Boston Marathon bombing.

Shekhar Kapur

Bunch of short fragments using the white balance and focus in nonstandard ways.

Davide FerrarioLighthouse

Open-air cinema is playing Buster Keaton, shown with nice helicopter(?) shot.

Ermanno OlmiLa Moviola

So that’s what a moviola looks like. Hands and a sort of stop-motion/time-lapse ghost set it up and start it rolling.

Giuseppe Piccioni

We’re at a party, dude goes to get a drink for the girl in center of shot, and she slowly glides with the camera into the other room, audio from a climactic scene from Double Indemnity in her head, then back again.

Brillante MendozaThe Camera

A movie is being filmed, shots of people across town already enjoying it on TV, but back on set someone has run off with the camera.

Monte Hellman

Slate, couple at a cafe, he pays and leaves while she silently cries, the traffic noise dialing down, slow pull in, then “cut”.

Teresa VillaverdeAmapola

Poem recital like a horror-movie bible reading, “jackals that the jackals would despise,” blurry TV sets with close-ups of faces upon them.

Guido LombardiSensa Fine

Last shot of a film, the lead actors kiss, then won’t stop kissing.

Shirin Neshat

Scenes from October and Potemkin played with a stop-motion-looking low frame-rate.

Nice to have a laptop full of movies on the plane. I’d loaded up on drowsy motion-sickness pills so instead of falling asleep in the middle of a feature (as I did with The Grand Duke’s Finances) I took a bunch of shorts. The first four are from the 2004 compilation Visions of Europe.


Europe Does Not Exist (Christoffer Boe)
A large businessman (actor from The Celebration) tries to pronounce the word “europe” with the help of a hot woman, I’m not sure why. Boe made the art-drama Reconstruction the year before this.

It’ll Be Fine (Laila Pakalnina)
Each scene a person or a few stand faces the camera for a not-fixed period of time, then finally nod and walk off. Some vaguely unsettling music and sci-fi soud fx. Europe! Director is an award-winning Latvian.

Die alten bösen Lieder (Fatih Akin)
Idel Ãœner sings about about the death of old evil songs in an empty theater while a guy who may be FM Einheit drills something and hammers a giant spring. B/W music video with a color scene. Interesting, but over my head if it had a point.

Cold Wa(te)r (Teresa Villaverde)
Illegal immigrants, I’m guessing – being rounded up on the shore (alive and dead) and processed by the authorities. Wordless, quiet, slow-motion. Not crazy about this one. Villaverde is Portuguese, has a film called Os Mutantes.

Love Exists (1960, Maurice Pialat)
“Deep in my memory, a train passes by just like in the movies. Memories and films are filled up with objects we dread.” You have to read the subtitles loosely – translation seems off. Present-tense empty landscapes accompany wistful music and a wistful narrator speaking of childhood memories from these places. I think it’s really easy to use cinema to express nostalgia. I won’t hold it against Pialat – still looking forward to checking his À nos amours and Naked Childhood. Gives way to distopian dread over the suburbs: “Again and again advertising prevails over reality.”


Charlotte et son Jules (1960, Jean-Luc Godard)
Translated as “Charlotte and her lover” for some reason. Girl (Anne Collette, returning from Charlotte et Véronique but not Charlotte and her steak) walks into Jean-Paul Belmondo’s apartment to jaunty music and he never stops talking for 12 minutes, essentially “I know why you left me, I knew you’d come back, I know why you’re back, I don’t need you, I do need you,” and when she finally gets a chance to speak it’s “I came back to pick up my toothbrush.” Godardian hilarity! Gérard Blain (of Truffaut’s Les Mistons) waits for her in the car. These last two movies were on that DVD “Their First Films,” alongside Resnais’s Le Chant du styrene and Rivette & Chabrol’s Le Coup du Berger