To This Day
To This Day is undoubtedly the most impactful film on this list. The 8-minute short features a spoken-word poem, which is accompanied by a blend of kinetic typography, animation and live-action.
It tells the tale of many young children who battle depression, bullying and heartache, through the eyes of the narrator. The powerful monologue talks us through sticks, stones, broken bones and broken hearts. This is amplified by the visuals, which are stunning throughout the eight minutes. In fact, every frame manages to make a lasting impact.
All technicalities aside, the real reason To This Day works is that it appeals to the underdog in each of us. As the narrator, Shane Koyczan, points out, we root for the underdog because we identify with him. This is the reason behind the film’s prowess. It appeals to the part of us that’s tempted to give in to all our insecurities and the names we’ve been called. Most of all, the short film tells us that it’s okay to feel that way. After all, if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, it’s probably because you need a better mirror.
Does the title Boats seem too reminiscent of Cars or Planes? If you answered ‘yes’, then the film has already made its point.
Boats is a satire about corporate greed, set in the backdrop of a conference room. The discussion revolves around a movie studio’s upcoming venture, Boats. From the simple suggestion of a poster, the discussion slowly escalates to merchandise, toys, a franchise and even a rap theme song! Of course, the only person in the room who notices the lack of originality of the film becomes the pariah who ends up being fired.
This short film is a tongue-in-cheek look at film studios, sequels and corporate greed. It takes these topics and presents them in an amusing way that is bound to make you crack a smile. After all, we’ve all fallen prey to the awful sequel (Dhoom 2, anyone?).
Wes Anderson has wowed us with his feature films since Bottle Rocket. However, what most people don’t know is that he also has three short films to his credit. His latest (and arguably, best) short film is Castello Cavalcanti.
Set in 1950s Italy, the short film is the story of a Formula One driver, Jed (Jason Schwartzman). When he crashes his car in the Italian town of Castello Calvicanti, he realizes that he has a deeper connection to this place than he could’ve guessed.
The film, which is shot in Anderson’s signature style, features references to filmmakers like Federico Fellini and Alberto Cavalacanti. In fact, Castello Cavalcanti was filmed at the same studio as La Dolce Vita, and features a prop that was also present in the classic. In just eight minutes, the film manages to blend style and substance to create a wonderful final product.
Every Runner Has A Reason
Every Runner Has A Reason is the story of Ronnie Goodman. In the 3-minute short, he talks about the trials and tribulations he’s been through. These include, but are not limited to, battles with addictions, imprisonment and homelessness. The only escape he had during his dark days was running.
Though no one would describe Goodman’s life as a fairytale, it is undeniably an inspirational story. It tells us about more than just hard work. The tale is also an account of how looks can be deceiving. Watching Ronnie Goodman run in the short film, no one could guess what he’s been through. However, he’s probably the most unconventional candidate in the San Francisco Marathon.
The slow-motion cinematography, combined with the simple dialogue, makes more of an impact than a speech usually would. If you’ve heard of Ronnie Goodman (or if you would like to know more about him), then you must watch Every Runner Has A Reason.
The Maker is a delightful film about a strange creature, who must race against time to create love. Yes, create.
The short film shows our protagonist, an odd creature, as he sews and builds himself a female counterpart. However, bringing her to life proves harder than anticipated. To further worsen matters, there’s an instruction manual and an hourglass dictating his every move.
This stop-motion love story looks at love and creation in an unconventional way. It portrays real and relatable human emotions through these odd creatures. You’ll find yourself rooting for them, even if you don’t know what they are. Simply put, The Maker is the quintessential romance you never knew you wanted to watch.
At first glance, High Maintenance seems like the ordinary story of a disenchanted couple. Luckily, that isn’t the case.
High Maintenance shows a couple as they get into a minor argument on their anniversary. The woman was furious, because her partner showed almost no interest in celebrating their special day. However, what the audiences didn’t know yet is that the film is set in the distant future… And her boyfriend is merely a robot who can be replaced. What the woman doesn’t expect, though, is that she might not live up to her new partner’s standards either.
This short film is a captivating look at love and relationships in modern times. Through it is a highly exaggerated retelling, High Maintenance tells us about double standards and the transience of love. The effect is further enhanced by Nicolette Krebitz’s remarkable performance, which is perfectly suited to this satire.
A Truncated Story of Infinity
A Truncated Story of Infinity is exactly what the title states. The film, which features remarkable visuals, talks about the infinite possibilities of everything in this world.
We are told about the permutations in the universe through the story of Vincent. After every occurrence in Vincent’s ordinary life, the narrator talks us through the various possibilities that could have been. All this is combined with dreamy visuals and a wonderful voice-over that leaves the audience engaged.
The beauty of A Truncated Story of Infinity lies in the fact that it is simple, yet complex. The short film, which explores a complex theme, does it with a simplicity that makes it appealing to everyone. It also makes us wonder, if there are multiple versions of us in the universe, is one of them living the perfect life?
Between Bears is one of the most beautiful animated short films made in recent years, both in terms of story and visuals.
The film starts off by showing us a black bear shaving off his fur. The fur, which takes polygonal forms, flies through the forest. A group of hooded, mysterious people follow it, and end up seeing a polar bear floating on an iceberg. Here takes place a switch between the polar bear and the black bear.
The beauty of Between Bears lies in its simplicity. The film, which ends on an ambiguous note, takes a minimalistic approach to the animation and the plot. The visuals will leave you spellbound, without ever overwhelming the senses. The story, which may not seem obvious at first, is crystal (or shall we say, iceberg) clear towards the end. Of course, it also retains its ambiguity throughout. Regardless, you will take away something beautiful from this film. Whether its the allusions to racism or the reference to climate change, this is a short film that has many dimensions.
At just a little over 2 minutes, Rattle is a brilliant exploration of human nature, envy and violence.
The animated short begins by focusing on two siblings who are fighting over a rattle. Though they lose the rattle as they grow up, the bickering doesn’t stop. Through the simple black-and-white animation, the film tackled topics like the increasing violence in the world, envy, human nature and sibling rivalry. Due to this, Rattle is universal, while also tackling topics that are relevant to individual to everyone.
Though the animation is far from stellar, it’s minimalistic and effective enough to make an impact. Notwithstanding its visual shortcomings, the film makes its point and it does that well.
A Film About Walking in Slow Motion
Is it possible not to love Bill Murray? We don’t think so.
This is why we watched A Film About Walking in Slow Motion, even though it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Yes, A Film About Walking in Slow Motion is a film about… Well, people walking in slow motion. The 58-second short has no dialogue and merely shows Bill Murray and a few others walking in slow motion.
The most interesting things about the film is the story behind it. If you were wondering how Bill Murray became a part of this project, you won’t be disappointed. When the filmmaker, David Walton Smith, was filming a commercial featuring the star, he asked him if he would appear in his short film, which Murray agreed to. In case you were wondering, the film is the cinematic equivalent of an autograph.