Bad Cars: Living with Unexpected Obstacles and Imperfect Moments

Bad Cars: Living with Unexpected Obstacles and Imperfect Moments

Bad Cars is a new short film by Anthony Deptula, the writer and star of the wonderful independent film One Too Many Mornings, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Dating in Los Angeles is hard, especially when you have a terrible car. Bad Cars is a romantic comedy about a first date with a simple problem; neither person wants the other to see their crappy car. While there is elegant storytelling with an abundance of clever humor, there is also an honest and painful view of the loneliness and vulnerabilities of life in a city filled with unexpected obstacles and imperfect moments.

Bad Cars: Living with Unexpected Obstacles and Imperfect Moments

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One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

One Too Many Mornings is the acclaimed independent film directed by Michael Mohan, which made its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film is an expertly constructed ode to being free and easy, sexually depraved, drunkly confused and darkly lonely, all at the same time. On the surface, One Too Many Mornings is the humorous tale of a longtime friendship between two young men, Fischer and Peter, whose relationship has become complicated by nights of drunken debauchery. Between Fischer’s drinking problem and Peter’s troubles with his long-term girlfriend Rudy, there is an abundance of irreverent humor, but also an honest and painful view of male vulnerability.

Beneath the more obvious sense of depraved comedy, there’s a solid and confident quality to this movie that’s rarely seen in the world of young independent filmmaking. One Too Many Mornings has a fluidity that allows its characters to slip in and out of different psychological states. Sometimes they’re clearly using each other, but at other times they seem to have bonded because each completes the other in some painfully damaged, yet also wonderful way. There is a sincerity that shines through the film, a familiarity with the trials of young people trying to find their way in the face of harsh reality, and with a realization that the sense of delusion provided by depraved debauchery must ultimately be relinquished.

One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

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The Sexy Naked Moon Goddess Contends With a Creepy Peeper

The Sexy Naked Moon Goddess Contends With a Creepy Peeper

Moon Goddess is a very humorous animated short film by Melanie Atwater,  a student at CalArts. The film presents a modern take on the mythological tale of Artemis and Actaeon. Descending from her heavenly perch, the naked goddess is interrupted each evening during her leisurely bath by the heavy panting and malicious grinning of a lecherous peeping-tom watching her from the bushes. So, what’s a poor goddess do?

Well, first she pulls out her bowstring and transforms the nasty creeper into a stag, but that doesn’t work. Luckily, the wily goddess has one or two more tricks up her sleeve. However, no matter what she changes the lurking pervert into, he still makes disgusting gestures and kissing motions in her direction. Finally, the sexy bathing goddess transforms the nasty creeper into something that distracts him from ever bothering her again.

The Sexy Naked Moon Goddess Contends With a Creepy Peeper

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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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Last Minutes with Oden: A Powerful Elegy on Love, Loss and Grief

Last Minutes with Oden: A Powerful Elegy on Love, Loss and Grief

Last Minutes with Oden is a deeply engaging, extremely heart-wrenching 6-minute documentary short film directed and edited by Eliot Rausch, in association with PhosPictures and Uber Content. The film was named Best Documentary and Best Video at the 2010 Vimeo Awards, chosen from over 6500 film and video submissions.

Last Minutes with Oden tells a story about Jason Wood (Woody), an ex-convict who is saying a final farewell to his best friend, of the man’s last minutes with his dog before he has to have it euthanized for health reasons. The documentary is a beautiful elegy that calls attention to certain heartbreaking moments most of us experience, which is an incredibly powerful reminder of the importance of family and friendships in all our lives.

The 2010 Vimeo Awards site can be viewed here.

Last Minutes with Oden: A Powerful Elegy on Love, Loss and Grief

5 Hours with Woody: Three years before “Last Minutes with Oden”

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The Road to Recovery: A Rescue Puppy Learns to Trust Again

The Road to Recovery: A Rescue Puppy Learns to Trust Again

Road to Recovery is a heartwarming short film about a puppy who wouldn’t let anyone near her, learning to trust humans again. The film captures the moment when a rescue puppy so terrified of people she would snarl and snap at anyone who came near her, finally learns to trust again.

Janie came in to a Los Angeles animal shelter with a broken back after being hit by a car, and was so frightened of people touching her that she had to be sedated before a vet could take a look at her. Most puppies like Janie are euthanized, because shelters simply do not have the funding and resources to care for them. But Janie was given a second chance by a dog rescue organization determined to give her a second chance.

The Bill Foundation, named after founders Jo and Peter Forman’s first rescue pup, paid for Janie’s spinal surgery and set to work helping Janie trust humans again.

The Road to Recovery: A Rescue Puppy Learns to Trust Again

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Heroic Naki’o: Every Path Has Its Puddle….

Heroic Naki’o: Every Path Has Its Puddle….

Naki’o is a heart-warming documentary short film directed by Aaron Pendergast in association with New District Productions, which tells the heroic story of a courageous abandoned puppy. When Naki’o was a small puppy, he was deserted during a frigid Nebraska winter in the basement of a foreclosed home along with his mother. The drastically low winter temperatures and starvation took the mother’s life; but Naki’o, despite being frozen in a puddle of ice water, miraculously survived. His survival, however, came at a tragic cost: by the time he was rescued by Colorado’s All Aboard Animal Rescue, Naki’o had lost all four paws and the tip of his tail to frostbite.

As soon as Christie Pace, a veterinary technician who lives in Colorado Springs, saw Naki’o’s picture, she knew that she had fallen in love with him. “When I got him he was 8 weeks, 4 pounds, and he was missing patches of fur because he had mange. But, he was just such a happy guy,” Pace said. While she knew Naki’o was missing all four paws, as well as part of his tail and nose, she also believed that she would be able to find a solution down the road.

Thanks to Pace, the wounds healed into stumps. Although his lack of paws did not seem too much of a hurdle when Naki’o was just a small puppy, trouble began as he grew bigger and Naki’o found himself unable to support his own weight with his stumps. Pace raised money to pay for prosthetic devices for Naki’o by organizing fundraisers. She then contacted OrthoPets, a US company that specializes in customizing artificial limbs and orthotic braces for animals, to create prosthetics for Naki’o. When they saw Naki’o, however, the animal hospital decided to treat him for free.

Two prosthetic devices were attached to his hind legs. Some months later, prosthetic legs were similarly fitted to his front stumps. Although Naki’o’s life began in a state of heart-wrenching tragedy, he’s now a happy, high-spirited dog, who is able to run, jump, play games and even go swimming.

The World’s First Bionic Dog Steps Up to the Challenge

Heroic Naki’o: Every Path Has Its Puddle….

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