From the Archives: 5 Five Excellent Short Films That You Can Stream Right Now

From the Archives: 5 Five Excellent Short Films That You Can Stream Right Now

In the interest of getting “hard” copies of my work under one roof, I plan to spend the next few weeks posting the entire archive of my film journalism here on ScullyVision. With due respect to the many publications I’ve written for, the internet remains quite temporary, and I’d hate to see any of my work disappear for digital reasons. As such, this gargantuan project must begin! I don’t want to do it. I hate doing it. But it needs to be done. Please note that my opinions, like everyone’s, have changed a LOT since I started, so many of these reviews will only represent a snapshot in time. Objectivity has absolutely no place in film criticism, at least not how I do it. 

Without further ado, I present to you: FROM THE ARCHIVES.
Originally posted on Cinema76.

Last weekend I went to an event highlighting locally produced film shorts. It was a ton of fun, and it got me thinking about some of my favorite short films. Short films don’t always have a large outlet in terms of theatrical release, but thanks to the Internet, plenty of short-form cinema is available in just a few clicks. Here are 5 excellent short films that are worth your time:image1(1)

The Rink (1916 – dir. Charlie Chaplin)

Anyone who’s seen Modern Times is aware of Chaplin’s roller skating skills. It’s not a talent we see often nowadays, and even though Chaplin isn’t doing flips over busses and the like, his ability to control an entire scene while on skates is almost supernatural. The Rink showcases this talent, as well as everything else we’ve come to know Chaplin for. And despite being one of the most madcap of his early shorts, there is an impressive through-line which eventually manifests from the madness. Watch here.


World of Tomorrow (2015 – dir. Don Hertzfeldt)

Don Hertzfeldt has always managed to evoke strong emotion with his cartoons, and World of Tomorrow might be his strongest effort to date. When a young girl, Emily, is contacted by a descendant of one of her many clones, she embarks on a short adventure through time. Tomorrow offers insight on grief, immortality, consciousness, and the value of the present day. It’s as funny as it is sad, and infinitely rewatchable. Watch here.


La Jetee (1962 – dir. Chris Marker)

Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys is loosely based on La Jetee, a film told in a montage of still photos. This is sci-fi reduced to its simplest form, and it is no less effective than films 4 times its length. La Jetee is a great companion piece to films like TimecrimesTriangle, and the aforementioned Twelve Monkeys. It’s gorgeous in its visual simplicity and downright haunting in its execution. Watch here.


Spider (2007 – dir. Nash Edgerton)

Written, directed by, and starring the less famous Edgerton brother (who has been a stunt double for just about everybody), Spider manages to tell a nuanced story about a relationship in just 9 minutes of real time. The film is absolutely hilarious and extremely shocking, but to say too much would be to betray the surprises within. Watch here.


Kung Fury (2015 – dir. David Sandberg)

One of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of all-time, Kung Fury has made a bit of an overnight star out of writer/director/star David Sandberg. While he’s not quite a household name yet, it’s only a matter of time. Shot almost entirely on a green screen, this 80s retro action flick is pure insanity beginning to end. Kung Fury had every opportunity to be a hackneyed and tired, but never does it feel anything less than fresh. Boasting an original song from David Hasselhoff and The Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone as Adolph Hitler, Kung Fury is 30 minutes well spent. Watch here.


Every single one of these movies is available online for free or close to it, and none will eat up a large portion of your day. Enjoy!


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