Short Thoughts: Week 1

Congratulations, your troublesome journey through the stagnant backwaters of the modern day blogosphere has led you to the first ever ‘Short Thoughts’! The once-a-wednesday odyssey, ripe with drama, animation, and short film splenditude.

Each week we’ll peruse the blanketed aisles of the information superstore to bring you new favourites, old classics, and hidden treasures. Short morsels worth gorging on are to be found here in abundance, and today is of no exception. So, without further delay, and in no particular order, I present to you our favourite watches of the week.

First up is the exceptional stop-motion music video, ‘Skywalking’, directed by Simon Gesrel for the ‘Von Pariahs’. Even if the music doesn’t quite float your boat, the visuals are sure to keep you sailing. Some good old fashioned zombie-aeronautics, combined with pitch-perfect production and distinct, flavoursome character make this a piece to remember.

Writer/director Anthony Aguiar brings us our second treat of the day, with the short drama, ‘Cypress’. A tale that proves to be as unsettling as it is warm, this bittersweet piece comes with a unique premise and a satisfying delivery (made all the more impressive by its two-day shooting schedule and skin tight budget). With production design and cinematography that go hand in hand with its late 70s setting, Aguiar presents us with a well paced, well executed ride that is sure to do well, both online and in festivals. Visual storytelling is always a sign of promise, so I’m particularly fond of the dialogue-free narrative here. Aguiar is definitely one to watch for the future.

Hitting our middle-spot is a personal favourite of mine, if only for the slime smothered way it makes me, a grown man, squeal with delight. Pascal Lemoine’s ‘Snail Family’ frames our favourite garden molluscs in a gorgeous new light, making them appear more emotive and lively than ever before. I’m unsure as to how this trio was captured, whether filmed or animated, but this short presents these snails with a brilliantly fresh perspective. As someone often playing with the idea of a macro-based narrative (starring woodlice, no less), Lemoine’s methodology proves inspiring.

Our penultimate piece is an impressive drama from the North-West of England. Written and Directed by Joe Cottrell-Boyce, with Co-director Chris Howard, ‘Treasure’ follows Adam (John May) , a recently released prisoner attempting to reconnect with his son, Francis (Ole Coates). Money issues and an aggressive relationship with Francis’ mother (Michelle Armstrong) push Adam to commit a violent robbery at a local newsagents. With plenty of cash now in hand, Adam hopes to use his newfound wealth to fund an adventure with his son.

Every performance here is worthy of praise; John May carries the story with a tender kind of fire that’s seldom seen in short film, whilst Coates’ inquisitive demeanour is refreshingly genuine for an actor of his age. With a story as emotionally mature as it is well constructed, the 15 minute runtime (which might otherwise feel overbearing) flies by. This is a film well worth sticking with, so pour yourself a cuppa and hit the link; it’ll leave you thinking, I promise.

Finally we have the devilishly unique ‘Backwater Gospel’, directed by Bo Mathorne. This is a couple of years old, but it still features some of the most stylistically engaging animation I’ve ever seen. Bound by a densely detailed setting, rich set of characters and a fiercely impressive soundscape, this is one of those films that sucks you in and doesn’t let go; so much so even, that I’m going to let it speak for itself. HOWEVER, if you’re feeling inquisitive, make sure to check out the making-of video too!

Well, there we have it, 5 shorts worth shouting about; so don’t forget to share them, like them, wine them or dine them. Shorts, as ever, need exposure, and the more love they get the better – So do let us know if you have any projects worth marrying! Tweet us @y_creatives, with #shortthoughts, and we’ll try our darndest to do right by her.

Henry Gale

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