Shorts That Don't Suck, Vol. III: Arty Edition

Ransom Riggs

For those of you who've been waiting breathlessly for my third installment of "Shorts" (the first two are here and here), sorry it's been so long! (It takes us awhile to find enough non-sucky shorts to fill a whole post!) This time we'll be featuring films of a different breed: a foreign film, some music-based work and some concentrated weirdness by David Lynch, all of which is awesome.

And hey, before we get started (speaking of awesome!), I wanted to draw your attention to the still above: it's a sneak-preview of the eponymous, geeky hero from my latest in-the-works floss short! Why am I so excited? Because it's entirely new territory for me -- not only is it fully animated, but we're making it using cutting-edge performance capture technology! (You know, like Beowulf. But with a slightly lower budget.) Anyway, we'll keep you up to date as it nears completion; we're working hard on it even as I type. (Well, maybe not as I type. But in all likelihood, after I type.)

Now, without further ado, some awesome shorts that aren't still works-in-progress.

I'll Wait for the Next One (J'Attendrai Le Suivant)
In this Oscar-nominated short, a lonely woman finds love on the subway ... or does she? (It's arty 'cause it's French!)

Ever since this Scandinavian kid got featured on YouTube a few weeks ago (when Michel Gondry was guest-curating the front page -- quite an honor!), he's been blowing up! He can play neither the drums nor the piano, but with the magic of editing, he makes himself sound like a pro.

Lost Book Found
Normally I abhor that genre of filmmaking known as "video art" (it feels too academic; it doesn't move me), but I find this excerpt from video art master Jem Cohen's film Lost Book Found totally engrossing, hypnotic and mysterious. (And it has a story, which sets it apart from video art.) At ten minutes, it's the longest clip here, but if you've got the time I think you'll find it rewarding and fascinating.

Radiohead: Faust Arp
I don't know if you've heard Radiohead's new album In Rainbows (it's amazing), but this is more or less a home movie of singer Thom Yorke and multi-instrumentalist Johnny Greenwood (who was ROBBED for not getting an Oscar nomination for the There Will Be Blood score, by the way) playing the strange, haunting track "Faust Arp" on a Scottish hilltop at dusk. A unique, intimate way to experience the song -- even with the sound of whipping wind getting in the microphone as they play. I can't believe this can only been watched 50,000 times on YouTube! (PS, ignore the nonsensical first 40 seconds of this clip, which includes one NSFW swear word.)

Insane David Lynch Cigarette Commercial
A nice palate-cleanser. Interpretations are welcome; your guess is as good as mine!