The Butterfly Circus: A Limbless Man Driven to Hope

The Butterfly Circus: A Limbless Man Driven to Hope

The Butterfly Circus is an award-winning, inspiring short film directed by Joshua Weigel, which recently won the $100,000 grand prize at the Doorpost Film Project.  The Butterfly Circus is the touching tale of a circus that travels across America during the Great Depression.  As the troupe travels through the devastated American landscape, it lifts the spirits of audiences along the way.  During their travels they discover a man without limbs being exploited at a carnival sideshow, but after an intriguing encounter with the showman of The Butterfly Circus, he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.

The Butterfly Circus: A Limbless Man Driven to Hope

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The Foundling: A Spectacular Cinematic Saga of Loss and Recovery

The Foundling: A Spectacular Cinematic Saga of Loss and Recovery

The Foundling is a recently premiered HD-3D short film, part of the Philips Parallel Lines series of films.  The Phillips collection consists of original short films using the same brief six-line dialogue, which this year was: “What is that?  It’s a unicorn.  I’ve never seen one up close before.  Beautiful.  Get away, Get away.  I’m sorry.”

The Foundling is a creative and richly detailed historical piece directed by Barney Cokeliss, which was shot in collaboration with the award-winning team of stereographers that also worked on the 3D blockbuster, Avatar (2010).  In the film, an abandoned boy has a chance reunion with his long-lost mother in the drama set within a traditional touring circus in 1930s England.

The Foundling: A Spectacular Cinematic Saga of Loss and Recovery

(Please View Film in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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The Butterfly Circus: A Drive to Hope

The Butterfly Circus: A Drive to Hope

The Butterfly Circus is a deeply touching short film directed by Joshua Weigel, which recently won the $100,000 grand prize at the Doorpost Film Project.  In the depths of the Great Depression, the ringmaster of a renowned circus leads his troupe through the devastated American landscape, lifting the spirits of audiences all along the way.  During their travels they encounter, Will, a quadriplegic who is living out his life in a cruel carnival sideshow.  It’s only when Will joins the Butterfly Circus that he acquires a drive to hope against everything he has ever believed, finally being able to realize his true potential.

The Butterfly Circus: A Drive to Hope

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The Flea Circus: The Amazing Antics of a Merry Band of Fleas!

The Flea Circus: The Amazing Antics of a Merry Band of Fleas!

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire.
I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns, that ring of fire, that ring of fire.
I fell into a burning ring of fire.
I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns, that ring of fire, that ring of fire.

Flea Circus is a very funny 1 1/2 min. animated short film directed by David Daniels, Jim Clark and Ray Di Carlo. Through the ages, the flea circus has been been viewed as the shady work of charlatans and frauds. But behold! New discoveries have revealed that the flea circus has been real all along. Now the little fleas in the circus right here before your very eyes have set out to perform their daring feats with great bravado and style, but alas the teeny varmints are having no luck at all in successfully completing their routines. Nothing seems to go right for this band of merry fleas, but their embarrassingly clumsy mishaps do end up creating a wonderfully entertaining performance!

The Flea Circus: The Amazing Antics of a Merry Band of Fleas!

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Yesteryear’s New York: The Belly of the Beast

Jill Freedman: Love Kills (1979)

Jill Freedman: Tiffany

During the 1970s and 80s, an adventurous blonde named Jill Freedman with a quick eye for the unusual and bizarre focussed her camera upon the spirited characters and gritty sidewalks of a now-bygone era in New York City life. This modernist documentarian was a self-taught photographer who captured raw, intimate images in black and white, transforming urban scenes into theatrical dramas.

Freedman’s portrait of New York reflected a fallen city that was strewn with piles of garbage. Prostitutes and bag ladies walked the streets, while junkies staked out abandoned tenements next to children playing in vacant lots. For reasons involving both a shift in photographic styles and her own declining personal circumstances, Ms. Freedman faded from the popular scene in the late 1980s. But today, at a moment when much of Manhattan is awash in money and glamour, Freedman’s photographic legacy offers us a vivid portrait of a metropolis once defined by violence, poverty and disarray, a New York that once was.

Jill Freedman’s New York: Poverty, Violence and Disarray

Read more about Jill Freedman’s photography in The New York Times here.

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