God of Love: Cupid’s Semi-Tragic Tale of Magical Darts and Unrequited Love

God of Love: Cupid’s Semi-Tragic Tale of Magical Darts and Unrequited Love

Curfew, by writer/director Shawn Christensen, is a tale of redemption and unconditional family love, which won the 2013 Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film. This year’s Oscar awards program for live-action shorts was hosted by 2011 winner Luke Matheny, writer/director of God of Love, one of my all-time favorite short films. Ironically, Matheny’s appearance at the awards program gave a new breath of life to his own wonderful film, prompting me to once again present the humorously romantic short film here.

God of Love is a comical, quirky short film by the funny young director Luke Matheny, which won both a 2010 Student Academy Award and the 2011 Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. Matheny is a New York University film school graduate who also plays the lead in his film, which features several pop-jazz standards and a “Woody Allen-type” humor. The film follows the amorous misadventures of Raymond Goodfellow, a lounge-singing championship dart player who is desperately in love with a fellow band-mate, but she only has eyes for his best friend. The crooner prays daily to God for a way for his beloved to fall in love with him. Finally, one evening his prayers are answered when he’s given a box of magical darts with supernatural Cupid-like, passion-inducing powers. Raymond decides to attempt using the darts to make his own love connection, which leads to a comically cosmic questioning of whether even the gods can force love to happen.

God of Love: Cupid’s Semi-Tragic Tale of Magical Darts and Unrequited Love

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Flagpole: Dicks, Chicks, Boners, Boobies and Salami Nipples

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Flagpole: Dicks, Chicks, Boners, Boobies and Salami Nipples

Flagpole is the 2011 Student Academy Award nominated short film written and directed by Matt Kazman, a heartfelt and hilarious film about the universally awkward experience of growing up. Flagpole begins with what starts out as just a typical day for 13-year old Zack, who’s getting taunted by his friends, being ridiculed by girls with whom he’s afraid to hook up and constantly thinking about Maddy, his long-time crush from afar. But when Zack fantasizes about Maddy during their English class, it precipitates a series of events that eventually leads to the encounter for which he’s long been waiting.

Flagpole: Dicks, Chicks, Boners, Boobies and Salami Nipples

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Earano: Oscar Winner Luke Matheny Turns “Cyrano de Bergerac” on Its Ear

2011 Oscar Winner Luke Matheny

Earano: Oscar Winner Luke Matheny Turns “Cyrano de Bergerac” on Its Ear

Over the years, Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play, Cyrano de Bergerac, has had more than its share of reinventions. A favorite of recent years arrived in the form of the short film Earano (2006), a charming and hilarious film starring and directed by the 2011 Academy Award winner Luke Matheny, in which our lead hero has not a giant proboscis, but rather two giant ears. He longs for a beautiful librarian, but she only has eyes for the hunky Ukrainian janitor. The style of the film is reminiscent of David Lynch, but this being Cyrano (or rather, in this case, Earano), it’s also quite romantic.

Earano: Oscar Winner Luke Matheny Turns “Cyrano de Bergerac” on Its Ear

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God of Love: The Amorous Misadventures of a Lounge-Singing Darts Champion

God of Love: The Amorous Misadventures of a Lounge-Singing Darts Champion

God of Love is a comical, quirky short film by the funny young writer-director Luke Matheny, which just won the 2011 Academy Award for Live-Action Short Film. Matheny is a New York University film student who also plays the lead in his film, which features several pop-jazz standards and a “Woody Allen-type” humor.

The film follows the amorous misadventures of Raymond Goodfellow, a lounge-singing championship dart player who is desperately in love with a fellow band-mate, but she only has eyes for his best friend. The crooner prays daily to God for a way for his beloved to fall in love with him. Finally, one evening his prayers are answered when he’s given a box of magical darts with supernatural Cupid-like, passion-inducing powers. Raymond decides to attempt using the darts to make his own love connection, which leads to a comic questioning of whether even the gods can force love to happen.

God of Love: The Amorous Misadventures of a Lounge-Singing Darts Champion

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The Lost Thing: A Meditation on Things That Don’t Quite Fit

The Lost Thing: A Meditation on Things That Don’t Quite Fit

The Lost Thing is a widely acclaimed CG animated short film directed by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann, which is based on a children’s picture book by Tan. The film won the Australian Film Industry Award, the Best Short Film Award at the Melbourne international Film Festival and the top Short Film Prize at the 2011 Annecy International Animation Festival.  The Lost Thing won the 2011 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

The wonderful short film tells the story of a boy who finds a misshapen creature on a beach and tries to find a home for it, despite being faced with a world where everyone believes there are far more important things to pay attention to.  The film provides an engaging, tender meditation about things that don’t quite “fit” in this world.

The Lost Thing: A Meditation on Things That Don’t Quite Fit

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Wish 143: A Final Encounter With the Wishman

Wish 143: A Final Encounter With the Wishman

Wish 143 is an acclaimed, quietly bittersweet short film directed by British filmmaker Ian Barnes, which is a 2011 Oscar Nominee for Best Live-Action Short Film. The film presents the touching emotional drama of a fifteen-year-old boy with only months to live, who is granted one final wish from the Dreamscape Charity. But David doesn’t want to go to Disneyland or meet Gary Neville; what he really wants is an hour alone with a naked woman. The air of impending mortality hangs over this gentle, wry tale, which in the end has little to do with sex and everything to do with the human need to find connection.

Wish 143: A Final Encounter With the Wishman

(Please Click Image to View Wish 143)

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Madagascar: A Journey Diary

Madagascar: A Journey Diary

Madagascar: A Journey Diary is an extraordinary animated short film by the French animator Bastien Dubois. The film is completing quite an impressive festival run, which has included playing at Sundance, winning at Ottawa and winning at Annecy. Madagascar has just been short-listed for the 2011 Academy Awards in the Animated Short Film category.

Madagascar unfolds in the form of a travel notebook, where the pages turn and drawings come to life for us to discover the extraordinary customs and rituals of the Red Island, in particular the cult of the reversal of the dead. The film is deeply appealing for the same reason travel documentaries succeed, our intrinsic captivation with other places and other people. Along the way, the style of the piece, the jumble of half-finished looking sketches and images across multiple styles, recreates that often overwhelming sense of being fully present and stimulated that one gets when placed in such a rich, yet foreign environment.

Madagascar: A Journey Diary

(Please Click Image to View Film)

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