Tuesday, April 21, 2015

All-Time Favorite Short Films

Shorts have had a huge influence on my life, whether cartoons I grew up on, or art house productions I saw when grown up. That said, here are some amazing shorts,  a baker's dozen of my favorites. Unlike other lists, they are not ranked. I've left out Disney cartoons, since I did that list back in 2013. So too cartoons that I talked about in my post of the Academy Award-winning animated shorts.

Everything Will Be OK by Don Hertzfeldt, 2011.

I have seen this so many times, Everything in it is right.

The Big Snit, Richard Condie, 1985.

So funny, so poignant. One that makes me laugh every single time.

The Love Life of the Octopus, Jean Painleve, 1965.

Painleve's odd nature documentaries are what I wish I'd grown up with.

(Make sure to turn on the English subtitles.)

Rose Hobart, Joseph Cornell, 1935.

This unusual but hypnotic film caught the surrealists off guard, including Dali who made such a scene (surprise) when he first saw it, it was buried for many years. 

The Fall of the House of Usher, Melville Webber and JS Watson Jr, 1928.

Beautiful, atmospheric, silent film adapts Poe's classic story.

Powers of Ten, Charles and Ray Eames, 1977.

You've hopefully seen this one by now, but if not: wow!

Lambchops, Burns and Allen, 1929.

So clever. A quick look into the lost world of vaudeville, already adapted for the screen.

The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra, Robert Florey and Slavko Vorkapich, 1928.

The early, experimental days of cinema were fun. This short gently makes fun of the whole Hollywood silent era, but actually is rather touching and sad at the end.

Paris Asleep, Rene Clair, 1925.

Experimental, silent, FRENCH - it's perfect! Actually, though, this is very amusing, and somewhat marvelous. Climbing on the Eiffel Tower, looking down at a city that has fallen, seemingly forever, asleep...

The Tell-Tale Heart, Ted Parmelee, 1953.

James Mason!

Minnie the Moocher, Dave Fleischer, 1932.

Betty Boop's greatest cartoon was, naturally, one of the three Cab Calloway numbers (the others being Snow White, and in a distant third, The Old Man of the Mountain).

Multiple Sidosis, Sidney N. Laverents, 1970.

So. Weird. So. Funny.

Night and Fog, Alan Resnais, 1955.

The masterpiece bar none of the French New Wave - the greatest documentary ever made - perhaps the greatest short film ever made.


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