Please Say Something: A Breakneck Heartbreak Uncut Turbodrama

Please Say Something: A Breakneck Heartbreak Uncut Turbodrama

Please Say Something is a groundbreaking contemporary 3D animated short film by Irish filmmaker David O’Reilly.  Currently being shown at The Sundance Film Festival, this ten-minute masterpiece firmly establishes O’Reilly as one of the most exciting and inventive young animators working today.  Please Say Something won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival and the prestigious Cartoon d’Or 2009 for Best European Animated Short Film.  The film, set in the far-off future, is the story of a difficult relationship between a very emotional cat and her husband, a mouse.  The raft of marital crises is shown in  a jigsaw-like puzzle of 23 distinct episodes, lasting 25 seconds each, which O’Reilly describes as a “30-Second Breakneck Heartbreak Uncut Turbodrama.”  The film evokes a great deal of emotion, sensitivity and much to think about.  It presents a very humane story, with characters who can make you laugh and feel sad at the same time

The whole of the film is much more than the sum of its 23 different impressive parts, but in an effort to be a little helpful, here’s a brief “CliffNotes” version of this turbocharged short film.  The episodes begin with the woman (cat) sitting at home bored, while the man (mouse) is overworked and preoccupied, failing to understand her situation.  Outside is a maelstrom, and gaudy or aggressive shapes loom out of shopfronts, while characters have to struggle against what seems like a hurricane.  Inside the hauntingly silent house, a cup of tea fails to satisfy the poor woman, who ends up banging her head up against television screen.  The man then visits his wife in the hospital to comfort her, but later we see that the man ends up completing his work in an empty home devoid of the woman, swearing as he sits facing the television.  Clearly, he misses his wife, but he’s swearing about the missing remote control, not about her.  As the pair return to their apartment to take their final bows, what they have undergone has its roots in a reality that transcends the minimalistic screen presence.

Please Say Something: A Breakneck Heartbreak Uncut Turbodrama

Slide Show: A Breakneck Heartbreak Uncut Turbodrama

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Hot Skin: Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing!

Hot Skin: Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing!

Yves Saint Laurent precedes each men’s show with a film. This season, American photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber shot the film, titled Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing.  Weber is perhaps best known for his ad campaigns and catalogues for Abercrombie & Fitch, which feature semi-nude, sexy hotties.  In this film, Weber’s exploration of nudity opens with a clothed model singing to a cute little puppy dangling out of a jacket pocket. Then he and his friends start taking their shirts off (in slow motion). Then they take all their clothes off and jump into a swimming hole out in the wilderness. Weber splices in some vintage shots of nude women, too. The whole thing culminates with the guys cradling an adorable baby, along with some more torso flaunting.

It’s Saturday, so you surely have seven and a half minutes to spend watching this!

Hot Skin: Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing!

Slide Show: Hot Skin/Ain’t Nothin’ Like The Real Thing!

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Bird: Resplendent Birds on Glorious Pure White

Bird: Resplendent Birds on Glorious Pure White

Bird is an astonishing, thought-provoking 2 1/2-minute short film by the photographer and filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman.  His short film High Falls won the award for Best Short Narrative at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2007.  Bird captures its subjects through a contemporary and minimalist approach, with each bird showcased on a background of pure white that illuminates its color and plumage in a way that is rarely ever seen.

One reviewer wrote, “The birds, from the intimacy of the very small to the majesty of the very large, acquire a transcendental dignity, each one becoming a god in its own universe. The powerful white light transfers its own intensity to the birds and transforms them into mythical objects of paradise, newly resplendent in all their colors.

Bird: Resplendent Birds on Glorious Pure White

(Best Watched in HD Full-Screen Mode)

Slide Show: Bird/Resplendent Birds on Glorious Pure White

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Patti Smith’s Objects of Life: Melancholy Meditations

Patti Smith’s Objects of Life: Melancholy Meditations

In 2008, Patti Smith was the subject of Patti Smith: Land 250 at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporaine, Paris.  This short film was Patti Smith’s introduction to her rich multi-layered installation at Fondation Cartier in Paris, which reflected 40 years of her more personal visual art-making and creative expression.  Her most recent photographic exhibition, Objects of Life, opened in New York City in January, 2010.  Inspired by the process of discovery during 11 years of filming, this installation features a selection of photographs, video, and a rare unseen painting by Smith, as well as some of her  personal belongings.

The short film from Patti Smith’s 2008 appearance at the Fondation Cartier, photographs from that installation, photographs from her new exhibition, Objects of Life, and an extensive slide show that includes photographs from both exhibitions are presented below.

Patti’s Smith Polaroids: Melancholy Meditations

Slide Show: Patti Smith’s Objects of Life/Melancholy Meditations

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The Third & The Seventh: An Architectural Dreamscape

The Third & The Seventh: An Architectural Dreamscape

The Third & The Seventh is an artistic, soulful full-CG animated short film by Alex Roman.  The film illustrates architectural art from a photographic point of view, where the main subjects are already-built spaces, sometimes in an abstract way, sometimes surreal.  It’s the Avatar of the unheralded archviz genre, a video design niche that produces visualizations of architectural projects for firms and developers.

The film is an exploration of architectural design that exploits the freedom of 3D virtual space, treating the viewer to a new and magnificent way of appreciating one of the most heralded of arts.  The somewhat ambiguous title refers to a philosophy of aesthetics that proclaims architecture and cinema as the third and seventh pillars of art respectively.

There isn’t any plot, but the film is quite the piece of eye candy!

The Third & The Seventh: An Architectural Dreamscape

(Most Enjoyable: Full-Screen It!)

Slide Show: The Third & The Seventh/An Architectural Dreamscape

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First Spring: A Good Year’s Start

First Spring: A Good Year’s Start

First Spring is a rapturously shot digital B&W fashion commercial by the talented art-world sensation, Chinese filmmaker Yang Fudong.  The film is dreamy and vague, yet rich in detail, providing an engaged viewer a wealth of material through which to dissect meaning.  Yet, it will surely frustrate the casual viewer with its lack of dialogue, perplexing narrative, and its potentially non-linear presentation.

(Best Watched in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Sea Orchestra: Unabashedly Fun, Indescribably Odd

Sea Orchestra: Unabashedly Fun, Indescribably Odd

Sea Orchestra is a fantastic one-minute animated short film, a commercial created for United Airlines by the South African collective, The Blackheart Gang. Their work is just phenomenal, one of the freshest pieces of animation to come along in a quite a while.  The film is a digital marvel of the handcrafted aesthetic, with visuals that bring to life incredibly detailed and fantastic tapestries influenced by Bosch, Japanese Prints and Surrealists, via 3-D modeling and texture shading. It’s all unabashedly free-wheeling fun, and yet indescribably odd.  I cannot believe this actually played on TV!

Sea Orchestra: Unabashedly Fun, Indescribably Odd

(Most Enjoyably Viewed in Full-Screen Mode)

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