Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer

Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer

Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer is a  sparkly futuristic, wild and wacky eight-minute short film by writer/director/producer Andrew Jones, winner of the Best Short Award at the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival and the much coveted Brown Jenkin Award at the 2010 Hp Lovecraft Film Festival.

The time: The Future.  The place: Neo-Ultra-Mega-Tokyo.  Or maybe the time and place are really somewhere in a dark and dangerous back alley.  In this shimmering, shiny-yet-grimy world we discover Holly Malone, a reporter with ten times the daring and audacious spunk of the old Lois Lane, along with a powerful uterus for the news.  Her reporter instincts plus a very peculiar sense of taste has set her on the trail of the city’s legendary drug lord, Frank DanCoolo.  He’s the source of paranormal drugs which are ravaging society, that is if he really exists.  Molly is sure he does, and her journey to find DanCoolo leads her to unknown realities, terrifying secrets, flying katanas and some really righteous dope.

Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer

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Tell-Tale: An Erotic Film-Noir Thriller

Tell-Tale: An Erotic Film-Noir Thriller

Tell-Tale is a powerful, intriguing film-noir thriller by the acclaimed English photographer Greg Williams.  Carrying on the cinematic tradition of Femme Fatale films, Williams’ dramatic directorial debut takes the preconceptions of this character type and uses them to create a visually striking short with an ever-twisting narrative.  Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Telltale Heart, the short film is a story of devotion and guilt that is carried out with smoldering visual flair and flamboyant confidence.

Tell-Tale: An Erotic Film-Noir Thriller

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Yours Truly: The Ultimate Kiss-Off Letter

Yours Truly: The Ultimate Kiss-Off Letter

Yours Truly is a truly amazing stop-motion animated eight-minute short film by the British animation genius, Osbert Parker.  The film was nominated for Best Short Animated Film by BAFTA in 2008 and won the Best Short Film, British Animation Awards in 2008.  Despite widespread critical acclaim, Yours Truly has not been available on DVD, nor accessible online until now.

The film’s dark, hard-boiled plot builds upon both the atmosphere and characters of famous film-noir movies of the past.  It’s a crazy combination of stop-motion, cut-out animation and live action that creates a new and strangely re-imagined mean streets of 1940’s Los Angeles, where animated photos of people get out of model cars then turn into real life actors. The impact of Yours Truly is so powerful that you won’t be able to take your eyes away from this wonderful world of shadows, guns, femmes-fatales, and love mixed with betrayal and murder.  Try imagining Casablanca mixed with Double Indemnity on peyote, then shut your eyes and you’ll get the idea.

I double-dare you to watch this movie while trying to eat a juicy bacon cheeseburger!!

Yours Truly: The Ultimate Kiss-Off Letter

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Pivot: A High-Tension, Frantic Murder Chase

Pivot: A High-Tension, Frantic Murder Chase

Pivot is a highly stylized, stunningly original five-minute animated short film by Dutch filmmakers Kevin Megens, Floris Vos, Arno de Grijs and André Bergs.  The film was an Official Nominee for Best Short Film at the Dutch Film Festival.  Pivot treats the viewer to a mood and atmosphere similar to film-noir, while at the same time engaging its audience with the high tension and frantic pace of a horror movie.

In its essence, Pivot is a cat and mouse story, about a hunter versus his prey, but it’s a short film made with such panache and vigor that it must be one of the best of its type.  In the film, a photographer witnesses a murder and takes pictures of the killer, but then he’s forced to run for his life.  During the chase he’s finally able to turn the tables on the murderer, and the prey becomes the hunter.  But it all culminates in an unfortunate ending.

Pivot: A High-Tension, Frantic Murder Chase

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He Dies At The End: Terrifying Death by the Horrible Unknown!

He Dies At The End: Terrifying Death by the Horrible Unknown!

He Dies At The End is an award-winning, excruciatingly suspenseful 4-minute minimalist horror film by the Irish filmmaker Damien McCarthy.  Sitting all alone in his office, a man takes an online quiz which promises to tell him how he will die.  Will he suffer a terrible death tied up, cut up, at the hands of evil hosts, demons, monsters or the devil?  And sitting there in his darkened office, is he really alone?

He Dies At The End: Terrifying Death by the Horrible Unknown!

(Please View in in HD Full-Screen Mode for Total Terror-Experience)

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And Just Who Did What to Whom? Surprise!!

And Just Who Did What to Whom? Surprise!!

Surprise is a 1 1/2-minute stylish short thriller directed by Ben Dodd, which was commissioned for a special showcase at the Tate Modern Museum in London. The film tell a very tragic story as it unfolds from the end to the beginning.  It’s a “Hitchcockian” dark film-noir, where a  vengeful romantic murder is not at all what it seems. The dramatically circuitous and shadowy film leaves you wondering about just who did what to whom…Surprise!!

And Just Who Did What to Whom? Surprise!!

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Metropolis: A Contemporary Symphony of Fear

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis: A Contemporary Symphony of Fear

Metropolis is set in the year 2026, amidst the extraordinary Gothic skyscrapers of a corporate city-state, the metropolis of the title.  Society has been divided into two rigid groups. One is composed of the intellectuals, planners and thinkers, who live high above the earth in comfort and luxury.  The other group is made up of the laboring workers who live in a subterranean underground, a conceivable image of hell, constantly toiling in a vast workshop in order to sustain the opulent lives of the privileged ones.

The direct inspiration for Fritz Lang to make Metropolis in 1927, which some have called the black pearl of German silent cinema and a landmark in the development of film noir, came from an earlier trip that he made to New York City.  Based upon his impressions of New York, he created the paradigm of the city of the future, breathtaking in its modernity and scope, but at the same time already showing the pathologies of a society trapped in the labyrinth of technical progress.  Eighty years later, as New York has actually become the grievous icon of life in the new century, suddenly Metropolis has become more realistic and important than ever before.   Today, one of Lang’s messages to us is: “We live in fear, our minds, houses and cities became our prisons.   Evil done to others turns against us.”  The Metropolis, which Lang constructed in his film, is now our own contemporary world.

From the perspective of Europe between the two world wars, Lang’s vision was certainly an attractive and tempting one.  However, from today’s vantage point, with the idealist fascination of living in the Tower of Babel already long behind us, we are surprised to realize that the walls we built to separate us from and fortify against the foreign, the different, the poor, the laboring class and the immigrants, have silently become entrenched in our minds and in turn formed an entanglement from which we can hardly escape.  Its portrayal of brutal capitalism and the importance of compassion remain hugely relevant, as does its message, “There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.”   However, those in positions of power and wealth today have grown accustomed to ignoring that social message.

At the same time, we increasingly have become barely able to recognize the roads from our past, down which we have already traveled.  Thus, our memory has become progressively unable to retrieve much of the information we need.  Our world has degenerated into a fragmented series of images, the meanings of which we often cannot understand, and which we often can no longer integrate into a comprehensible whole.  In a sense, we are losing the key to our mind.

Metropolis has become a foreboding journey into the mind of contemporary man: deep down there, one discovers only fear.

Fritz Lang: Metropolis, Re-Scored by Lucas Brode (1927)

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