Wasp: The Searing Desperation of a Forsaken Young Mother

Wasp: The Searing Desperation of a Forsaken Young Mother

Through the years, Mother’s Day films have presented moms both good and bad, and Wasp features a most down-on-her-luck mother in contemporary Britain, an unfortunate mom who certainly isn’t going to be winning any Mother of the Year Awards. Wasp is an acclaimed short film directed by British filmmaker Andrea Arnold, which won the 2005 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film and the Jury Prize for International Short Filmmaking at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Wasp has been credited as having revived the genre of social realism in British cinema, and this short film has gained the status of a modern classic through Arnold’s sensitive humanistic approach, combined with modern filmmaking techniques.

The film is a searing and intimate portrait of Zoë, a forsaken young woman in contemporary England, who is mired in poverty, but who desperately wants something for herself aside from the oppressive limitations of being a single-mother of four. Despite the responsibility she bears, when a former crush unexpectedly reappears showing his first bit of romantic interest in her, Zoë jumps at the opportunity to go out on a date with him, behaving in painfully irresponsible ways.

On another level, Wasp is a stinging critique of the agonizing worship of the faux-celebrity lives manufactured by today’s pop-media, public relations machines. For Zoë, the Beckhams are the ideal family, the epitome of the fashionably idolized, providing an illusory escape from the harsh realities of her own life. They’re the idealized depiction of a family with three terribly good-looking young sons, a family whose real existence never steps in the way of their living the glamorous life. For Zoë, the Beckhams represent the false pinnacle of desire: never-ending luxury, fashionable motherhood and physical perfection in marriage. But there’s a gut-wrenching sadness to Zoë’s idealized obsession, for she can barely even feed her own children.

It is just phenomenal how much this film gets right; the level of deftness in the writing and presentation is stellar. Having already noted that Wasp has achieved the status of a modern classic, it would be very worthwhile for you to watch this engrossing film. Wasp is a perfect reintroduction to dramatic live-action short films: it is almost mandatory viewing for short film fans. Enjoy.

Wasp: The Searing Desperation of a Forsaken Young Mother

Read more about this film at Short of the Week here.

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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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Croissant de Triomphe: Mickey’s Wacky Quest for Minnie’s Croissants

Croissant de Triomphe: Mickey’s Wacky Quest for Minnie’s Croissants

Croissant de Triomphe is a wacky animated short film, the first in a new Disney series of 19 cartoon shorts, produced and directed by animator Paul Rudish. After scoring a 2013 Oscar with its animated film Paperman, Disney has debuted this wild short starring Mickey Mouse that follows our hero Mickey as he speeds through the City of Light, battling heavy traffic and many other obstacles, to deliver some badly needed croissants to Minnie’s cafe.

Croissant de Triomphe: Mickey’s Wacky Quest for Minnie’s Croissants

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Paperman Wins 2013 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film

Paperman: A Sweet Celebration of Missed Connections

Paperman is a sweet tale of love at first sight, which won the 2013 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. The groundbreaking 6-minute animated short is a gorgeous black and white classical-looking animation that nostalgically revives the timeless Disney-style of character animation and design. Paperman is the beta test of a potentially momentous shift in animation technology, using a novel new process to create 2D aesthetics in 3D.

Told entirely in pantomime, Paperman is a romantic comedy that tells the story of an ordinary young man who works at an ordinary job, traveling into and out of the city on one of the daily commuter trains. One windy day, he accidentally encounters a pretty young lady, who then boards her own train and vanishes out of his life almost as soon as she entered. Saddened by this brush with what-might-have-been, the man later sits despondently at his desk looking at the huge stack of forms the boss has just dropped into his in-box. But when he happens to glance out the window, he discovers to his great surprise that his dream-girl is at that very moment sitting near an open window in the building directly across the street. What happens next is wonderful, sweet, charming and magical in the best sense of the word.

Paperman: A Sweet Celebration of Missed Connections

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“Searching for Sugar Man,” Story of Musician Sixto Rodriguez, Wins Oscar for Best Documentary

Sixto Rodriguez: The Powerful Music of a Deeply Good Man

Searching for Sugar Man found an Oscar on Sunday night. The film, which traces the strange, almost unbelievable tale of Detroit folk musician Sixto Rodriguez from obscurity to international success, largely without his knowing, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film at Sunday’s 85th Academy Awards. Rodriguez, 70, was not at the ceremony, “because he didn’t want to take any of the credit himself,” producer Simon Chinn explained from the Oscar stage while accepting the award. “And that just about says everything about that man and his story that you want to know.”

Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 Swedish/British documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul, which follows the efforts of two Cape Town fans, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, to find out whether the rumored death of Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him. Previously, the film won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award for Best International Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Durban International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Melbourne Film Festival. Malik Bendjelloul won the 2013 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary for Searching for Sugar Man.

The film tells the magical story of a gifted singer-songwriter from Detroit, who was an enigmatic mystery. His face half-hidden by long flowing hair and dark glasses, he sang in smoke-filled folk music bars, often with his back turned to the audience. His name was Sixto Rodriguez. In the late 1960’s, Rodriguez was so good that with neither fame nor a large fan base, he signed a two-album contract with Sussex and A&R Records. The first album, Cold Fact, got a rare four-star review from Billboard Magazine. However, neither it nor his second album, Coming From Reality, sold well, the contract was dropped and the story seemed to end there.

Nothing else was heard from Sixto Rodriguez. But several years later, his albums traveled half-way around the world, to Cape Town, South Africa, where bootleg copies passed from hand to hand and his songs became the storied anthems of the anti-apartheid movement. When an indie record store owner named Stephen Segerman released them commercially, they took off, the first selling 500,000 copies, which in that nation was comparable to the Beatles or Elvis Presley.

Searching for Sugar Man: The Official UK Trailer

Sixto Rodriguez: The Rock Icon Who Didn’t Know It

Sixty Minutes Overtime: Sixto Rodriguez

Sixto Rodriguez Performs “Crucify Your Mind” (David Letterman)

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Henry: The Inevitable Verdict of Life

Henry: The Inevitable Verdict of Life

Henry is an emotionally touching short film by Quebec actor Yan England, which is a 2013 Oscar Nominee for Best Live-Action Short Film. The film is about an 84-year-old concert pianist suffering from Alzheimer’s, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his wife mysteriously disappears. The aging musician is tossed between feelings of hope and suffering as he searches in vain for his lost love, while reminiscing about their past together.

Henry, which England financed out of his own pocket, is an ambitious attempt to portray the world of worsening dementia from the inside. Gérard Poirier plays the pianist, Henry, and Louise Laprade portrays his wife, Maria. The 29-year-old England says the film was inspired by the experiences of his own grandfather, who developed Alzheimer’s disease and died three years ago at age 96.

Henry: The Inevitable Verdict of Life (Official Trailer)

Henry: The Inevitable Verdict of Life (Full Version, Fr.)

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Head Over Heels: A Marriage Just Hanging in the Balance

Head Over Heels: A Marriage Just Hanging in the Balance

Head Over Heels is a poignant and heartfelt animated short directed by Timothy Reckart and produced by Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly at the National Film and Television School. The film is a 2013 Academy Award Nominated Animated Short Film, and won a 2013 Annie Award at the 40th Annual Annie Awards in Los Angeles.

The intricate and incredibly rich stop-motion animated short tells a simple and sweet story of an elderly husband and wife, who have grown apart over the years. He lives on the floor, she lives on the ceiling, and their marriage hangs in the balance. When the husband tries to reignite their old romance, it brings their equilibrium crashing down, and the couple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way to put their marriage back together.

Head Over Heels: A Marriage Just Hanging in the Balance

View Full Version of Heads Over Heels Also  Here.

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