Strangers is a dialogue free yet tension filled short about judgement. It’s reminiscent of a spaghetti western the way tension is built through frequent eye closeups with no dialogue. The problem is that the payoff isn’t quite good enough for the amount of time it took to build it up.
First Come First Serve is a colorful vibrant dark comedy-esque film that’s definitely Quentin Tarantino inspired. The acting can be distracting, in particular one character who is really over the top. The characters aren’t the most believable in the world but the situation they get themselves into, and the fact that everything is so unpredictable makes up for it. It gets really close to crossing the line and being too silly, but it manages to hold on long enough from doing so.
Apocalypse immediately jumps from 0 to 60 and doesn’t let off the gas until the end. It’s entertaining and works on all levels. The characters may be a bit over the top and odd, but they’re fully fleshed out and work perfectly for this story, so there’s no room for complains. While most of these shorts rely on visual shots to tell the story. The characters in Apocalypse are talking throughout the entire thing and the dialogue never drags the story down despite the fact that there’s plenty of room for it to do so.
The tone slightly changes a few times in this. Making it hard to predict if it’s gonna end up as a comedy or tragedy. Which of course is a good thing…
Shot using nothing fancy and entirely in one room, Apocalypse is the ideal kind of film for someone working with a really small budget. A small crew and small pocket doesn’t hold this film back one bit.
Goodfellas, Casino, The Wolf of Wall Street. Part of what makes these Scorsese films fun to watch is the amount of energy that the beginnings have. They start with energetic scenes so short that they don’t allow you to sink in to your seat or take a deep breath. It makes you feel like you’re on a thrill ride. The BREAKS follows this same formula through out the 9 minutes of the film. A lot of time these modern zany screwball comedies are really bad. Even though it’s only a short film it’s a breath of fresh air to see one that actually works.
Blood Ties is a impressively shot film as you can see from the very opening. It does a great job at capturing the look and feel of a film noir with the lighting, camera, and set design. Unfortunately that’s where the quality stops. The characters are forced and boring, while the narrative is weak and too long at 15 minutes.
Old West opens with a wide shot of a western(Texas?) landscape immediately followed by a close-up of a match lighting a pipe, setting the visual mood for the film. Nearly every shot in this is impressive, the wide ones, the close up of faces, the pans, and the zoom ins. There’s definitely a Sergio Leone influence here. The plot is nothing new, it’s pretty straight forward and simple, along with the characters and dialogue. That’s not what matters here, what is to be noted is the fact that there’s enough emotion(a lot of it visual) in each scene to keep your attention throughout the 18 minute run time.
From the beginning the score of The Laundromat does a nice job of setting a relaxed mood, while the camera and even the initial character on screen does a good job of complimenting it. It makes you feel as if you’re there in the scene without a care in the world. The story revolves around a nice simple “plot twist” that has an interesting premise. The writing is good and characters are so believable that you’ll probably find yourself laughing uncomfortably at the same time that they do.
No technical hiccups, quick easy dialogue, interesting characters, and good directing. There’s not one dull moment in the 6:37 that it clocks in at. This is how you make a short film and The Laundromat manages to make it look easy.
Closed Doors is a thriller that does the genre justice from beginning to end. The cinematography is impressive, right from the start it gives you the feeling of being trapped in a dark corner with the characters. Also while lighting and shadows are generally only given great care in film noir’s, they’re very important in Closed Doors. The suspense is handled nicely and there’s even an impressive fight scene(physical struggle is more accurate). If you’re looking to make a small budget short thriller, Closed Doors will not only inspire you, but it’ll give you a thing or two to learn.