Coronavirus Outbreak: From Period. End of Sentence to The Piano Tuner, ten short films to watch online
Period. End of Sentence, Six Shooter, Father and Daughter are some short films to catch during this lockdown.
With the current lockdown, and quarantine period on, some of us are really bored at home, struggling to find something new to be entertained by. It feels like I’ve exhausted the entire catalogue of movies and shows on OTT platforms already. Also, sometimes, with everything going on, I don’t have the time, energy or bandwidth to invest in something like a full movie — 3 hours is a lot of time. In that sense, short films are a better option. They’re, well, short, so that helps, and it’s a lesser investment as well.
And so, here are 10 short films to binge online if you don't feel like committing to a full length feature.
Created by Don Hertzfeldt, this was one of the movies he made as a student in 1997. Hertzfeldt is a leading animator and has even worked on The Simpsons. This short, which won the Grand Prize at the New Orleans Film Festival, explores a blind date between Lily and Jim. It has both their perspectives on the date, along with some internal monologue, to help you understand exactly what they’re going through. It’s funny, it’s cute, it’s relatable. If you’ve met people from dating apps, you will be able to relate so much to this — the awkwardness, the hesitation, the romance (or the lack of it).
Atama Yama or Mount Head, is an Oscar-nominated Japanese short film. The movie is a surreal and dark take on life and nature. Based on a 200 year old Japanese fable, set in a modern context, the film explores many ideas including that of greediness, the interconnection of nature and humans, and the balance nature needs to be in. The animation style is very different from what we’re usually used to, and the film packs in a lot of meaning in a very short time. Perfect for people who like watching surreal or dark takes on conventional topics.
Produced by Terribly Tiny Tales, this film describes the meeting of two young people for marriage. Played by Tushar Pandey and Ahsas Channa, the couple is young and modern. It’s an unconventional marriage meeting, depicted perfectly. Channa is great as the confident and cool young woman. The short film does a great job of portraying the awkwardness of an arranged marriage, especially for a young couple who is more modern and progressive, or at least, who like to believe that they are more modern and progressive. Kaande Pohe is perfect if you’re looking for something romantic but fun.
Best known in India for being the film Andhadhun was based on, The Piano Tuner or L’accordeur is a French short film directed by Oliver Treiner. It follows the adventures of a piano player who pretends to be blind. Much like Andhadhun, this short is thrilling and smooth. The haunting classical music adds to the vibe of this film. It fits every criteria for keeping you hooked- the idea is great, acting is superb, has amazing music and the protagonist (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet) hot.
Tungrus and the Chicken from Hell
A short documentary about a family in Mumbai who adopt a rooster to live with them, along with their two cats. It explores a variety of topics- what it’s like to raise a rooster, how has it changed the daily lives of the family and most importantly, perhaps, could they eat the chicken who they have adopted and raised for over six months. It’s very well-documented, with each member of the family giving their own different viewpoints on this rooster. The perspectives are so hilarious, I was laughing at the comments and the rooster’s antics right through the film. It’s about 12 minutes long, but seems much, much shorter, and is a very easy watch.
While we’re on documentaries, Period on Netflix is an absolute must-watch. It talks about the taboo of menstruation in Indian society and focuses on a group of girls in a village who make pads for a living. Equally heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time, Period manages to portray the problems with talking about menstruation along with the economic and social aspirations of the women they focus on. The beginning is particularly powerful, when the camera moves from one girl to another in different settings, who all struggle to talk about their periods, becoming awkward or being reduced to helpless giggles. It’s so powerful, and so relevant. If you haven’t already seen it, please do watch it now.
Satyajit Ray made this short film in the 1960s with only music, no words. Telling the story of two kids, one from a rich family and one from a poor, who try to beat each other with the toys they can show off. While the rich kid has plenty of toys at his disposal, the poor one has very few, and mostly cheap hand-made ones. Ray deals with the topic with sensitivity, and this short is known to be one of Ray’s favourites out of his work. The music, much like all of Ray’s work, is hauntingly beautiful.
This Errol Morris documentary film about the JFK assassination is a well-executed attempt at understanding what happened on 22 November, 1963 in Dallas. Focusing mainly on a conversation with private detective Josiah “Tink” Thompson, who has been investigating the Kennedy assassination for decades, this documentary tries to unravel the mystery of the umbrella man, present during the assassination. It’s a short, fun watch. Check it out if you’re a fan of conspiracy theories — this one is informative and humorous.
This Dutch short film, by Michael Dudok de Wit, won the Oscar for the best animated short film in 2001. It’s a beautiful story of a man who leaves his daughter and she goes back to the same spot, to wait for him to return. It’s an extremely emotional and a beautifully-made film. It portrays ideas of love and longing perfectly, and leaves you feeling both emotional and with a sense of loss. The colours used are beautiful, and it’s a perfect short film if you like open-ended, surreal movies.
The 2004 Best Live Action short film, Six Shooter, is a black comedy starring Brendan Gleeson. It follows the train journey of a man who is going home after his wife dies in a hospital, in the morning. The people he meets on the train make him take some drastic steps. The film is about 30 minutes long, but worth every minute of it. It’s thrilling, and it’s funny, but not meant for the faint-hearted.
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