11 Short Films of 11 Minutes

To denote the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this millennium, a couple of friends and I decided to watch 11 short films of 11 minutes in length.

Although we had long talked about doing something on that day, the concept is something that I came up with only on Monday. So I spent much of the week digging everywhere I could think of to find the viewing material; sure, there are plenty of short films out there, and many are 11 minutes long, but getting your hands on them in just a few days isn’t as obvious (especially in a town that has a declining number of video stores! sad0038 Free Sad Emoticons).

I struggled and wasn’t sure that I would make it on time, so I came up with alternate plans, but, thankfully, on the 10th I actually stumbled on a couple of gems that completely sealed the deal – including the closing number! Sweet! happy0021 Free Emoticons   Happy

Obviously, the films aren’t exactly 11 mins long; I allowed for about 30 seconds’ leeway either way, so a range of approximately 10m30s to 11m30s, give or take. And most of them were completely new to all of us. They were picked for length, mostly, but since I hadn’t seen the majority of them, I trimmed the list down based on online ratings.

So we sat down with our stack of DVDs, some background info on each short (where available, and warranted), and our personal goodie bags of 11 flavours of jelly beans (11 of each flavour, of course!) (um.. I can get a little OCD at times… winking0002 Free Emoticons   Winking) and we sat back for a couple hours of uncharted waters.

Here are brief thoughts on each (each comment is 11-words long) (no, not really… tongue0024 Free Emoticons   Sticking Out Tongue):

1. Chasing the Chaser 6.0: An amusing, simple-minded ’20s comedy, courtesy of Stan Laurel; a product of its time in so many ways (values, style, acting, …etc). I wonder if the main character was intentionally supposed to echo Chaplin?

2. Black or White 7.25: Some of MJ’s most intricate dance moves are featured here, along with truly old-school morphing and blue-screening. A real ’90s classic, warts and all. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy The full-length version had a controversial ending, which is restored here.

3. Double Entente 6.0: I quite enjoyed the editing on this piece, but the story (what little there was of it) was only so-so. And the acting, if we can call it that, combined with the cheesy dialogue, was laugh-out-loud bad. happy0018 Free Emoticons   Happy It’s all a fantasy, though, so you can forgive some of its sins, I suppose…

4. Le nez 8.25: An innovative animated film entirely made on pin screens. It’s an abstract tale that isn’t entirely easy to understand, but watching all the work that went into this was awe-inspiring. A really nice piece that’s well-worth checking out. love0010 Free Emoticons   Love

5. Falling Leaves 7.5: A family drama about a girl with tuberculosis. It’s got sweet moments in it, but it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a silent film of the era. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

6. Lovesong 7.5: I simply didn’t get this. indifferent0004 Free Emoticons   Indifferent The film starts with an intertitles that say it’s supposed to represent sex as seen through the mind’s eye. And then a bunch of abstract paintings flowed by at various speed. The art was quite nice, and you could somehow see bodies in all the swirls, but it’s rather inaccessible. I should maybe give it an “n/a” but I actually kind of liked it, even if I didn’t get it. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

7. Windowlicker 8.0: This video is satirical of hip-hop/rap culture and essentially takes it to an extreme that is burst-your-gut funny. happy0018 Free Emoticons   Happy The music doesn’t really correspond with the video, but it makes for such a great film anyway. Beware of the extreme amount of cursing here, though; it’s taken to a hilarious level, but it’s not family-friendly. winking0002 Free Emoticons   Winking

8. This Unnameable Little Broom 2.5: Too inexplicable to appreciate, the character designs didn’t appeal to me, and the animation wasn’t very good. It makes me think of stop-motion animation made by a 6-year old David Lynch. I know it’s quite the appreciated piece, but I simply didn’t like it. indifferent0004 Free Emoticons   Indifferent

9. A Bronx Morning 7.5: A dry look at the Bronx back in 1931. It’s a document without narration or narrative and it could be quite boring for some. Personally, I enjoyed watching the people and places we were introduced to; there was a quality to the film that was pleasant to me. happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy

10. Get a Job 7.5: A hand drawn animated short would look quite good next to the old Disney and Warner classics of the ’40s and ’50s. And it’s an amusing tale, told in musical form (yes, musical!). Nice and light.

11. Happiness 8.0: What if you could get happiness over the counter? And what if you couldn’t guarantee the results? Would you buy it? This closing number was quite appealing. It’s told in a simple fashion, but it’s fodder for reflection and it had just enough zing to make it stand out. happy0027 Free Emoticons   Happy

By the end, we were all completely knocked out. I’m not sure if it was the viewing itself, or if it was because we had been eating junk for over two hours, but the excitement with which we started had deflated somewhat. sad0038 Free Sad Emoticons

Still, it was a memorable experience, and I would easily do it again (at least one more time, anyway). happy0024 Free Emoticons   Happy I would even recommend it to a select few – mostly to those who have a sense of adventure and/or who like to experience new things.

One response to “11 Short Films of 11 Minutes

  1. Pingback: Watching You | thecriticaleye·

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