Much of the exhilarating appeal of Artemis Shaw’s short, Aquaculture, lies in its assured harnessing of uncanny dissonances.
There’s a type of story I’ve come to recognize as my favorite: the ones that seem in the moment to be about small, even insubstantial, personal concerns yet reveal themselves immediately upon finishing to have conveyed something like the full enormity of what it means to be alive.
In Room 140, director Priscilla González Sainz supports her subjects with an unobtrusive and subtly compassionate eye, creating a vital work of art and an essential activist document.
The Chekhovian ideal is embodied perfectly by Too Long at the Fair, a short film that surveys the vast spectrum of human experience—from frustration to joy, hedonism to shame, regret to awestruck nostalgia—and synthesizes the whole mess into just under 15 minutes of precise and specific storytelling.
Tyrannosaurus Death! is a film that grabbed me, shook me, and spat me out with a new perspective on the balance between grace and pain that comprises this life. That’s a pretty good value in just 15 minutes.
Night Shift touches the universal, and the divine, in its own small way, and all without ever losing sight of the urinal over its shoulder.
In just under ten minutes of wordless story, Gabrielle Lissot’s Jukai shows us how our hardest-won lessons can become beams of light to illuminate the path forward for one another, and how even as the threads of our trauma form a tangle of sorrow, it’s a tangle that can be organized and reframed into our personal narrative, a story we can make use of to shelter and guide those that come after us.
Amber Schaefer’s It's Been Too Long is the erotic parody we need and deserve in 2019.