The Attraction of Shorts

It may be an unknown fact to the majority of you, but originally my life’s path was taking me down the route of the film-maker. I grew up addicted to films, craving every new frame and devouring every sublime performance that I could. By the age of ten I had seen hundreds of films that would generally have been unknown to most primary age children, I adored spaghetti westerns, was thrilled by Japanese Kaiju movies and sat through tape after tape of old British comedies (Ealing mostly).

I went through secondary school still learning, getting into more in-depth cinema, crossing boundaries through the medium of film. I loved Coppola, De Palma and Hitchcock and I endeavoured to get hold of movies wherever I could. This led me to get hold of a copy of The Exorcist in 1995 from a good friend. This was no ‘downloaded from the ‘net’ movie, this was a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy… etc… of an old VHS. The quality was awful, but seeing the film, finally (It was withdrawn from submission to the BBFC by Warner Brothers after the Video Nasties furore in the early 80’s – not banned, as legend dictates) was a revelation, no pun intended.

As I grew up I met a guy who introduced me to Jeunet via the rather awesome Delicatessen, which shot right into my all time top twenty-five after one viewing. I bought myself the VHS and was delighted to see my first proper, bundled short film, Foutaises (Things I Like, Things I Hate)

I was stunned by the amount of feeling that could be crammed into one short running time. Soon I was lapping up short films like my life depended upon it, from the incredibly serious 10 Minutes:

To Pixar’s run of greats:

To British greats starring future stars:


What never ceases to pleasure me is that I can invest ten minutes into something experimental and new and not feel gipped it it turs out to be flat and soulless. Fast Film by Virgil Widrich is a masterpiece and yet relatively unknown. This is fine, short films are not meant to be the ‘blockbuster’ fare, they are the playground of the creative types and long should they continue.

So what do you think of the examples I’ve offered up? Have any favourites you’d like to share? Drop a comment in the box and make the world a better place.


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