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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Intro with Daniel Scheinert
Before making a splash at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with their debut feature, Daniels were creating short films, music videos, and commercials that were unmistakably their own with a canny melding of digital and practical visual effects, genres, and tones that ranged from eerie and playful to sincere, absurdist, and downright deranged. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that they’re ardent supporters of the short in all its forms and were eager to curate an evening of their favorite miniatures of late. Consider this program—a jam-packed block of short narratives, documentaries, internet and music videos, animation tests, and more—a rare glimpse into the tempo and form of their restlessly inventive combined consciousness.
“We’ve drawn so much inspiration from the freewheeling world of short films and music videos, but you so rarely get to see them on a big screen. We’re so excited to share some of the sexiest, funniest, weirdest ones we’ve ever seen.”—Daniels
Diplo – Set it Off
Ryan Staake, 2012, USA, 4m
An infinite stripper pole extends into space in this playful and mesmerizing music video for Diplo’s “Set It Off.” Tracking the quiet choreography of striptease in high-definition slow motion, Ryan Staake finds a vertical pattern of intimacy amid sonic bursts and color surges.
Daniels, 2014, USA, 13m
A bouncing red ball charts a course to the absurd in Daniels’ most recent short to date, which tapped into their vision of the multiverse long before Everything Everywhere All at Once. A child’s prank call gone awry, a widow chasing her runaway refrigerator, a frat-boy Transformer bounding across a beach, and Kwan sucking Scheinert into his butt—these vignettes, and others, accumulate into a kaleidoscopic portrait of the inevitable.
The Scared is scared
Bianca Giaever, 2013, USA, 8m
For a college project, filmmaker and radio producer Bianca Giaever asked a six-year-old for a story, which she matched to animated graphics and lo-fi footage, paced exactly as the young narrator described it in real time. What begins as a tale about a bear, a mouse, and their trip to a pool becomes a disarmingly lucid rumination on overcoming fear and anxiety.
I Am Your Grandma
Jillian Mayer, 2011, USA, 1m
An autobiographical video diary log recorded for her unborn grandchildren, this hilariously cracked time capsule from Jillian Mayer contemplates mortality and the sociological amplitudes of invention and legacy in just over a minute.
Glory at Sea
Benh Zeitlin, 2008, USA, 26m
Slipping between planes of realism and fantasy, filmmaker Benh Zeitlin’s Glory at Sea is a work of both subdued myth and a valiant optimism, in which survivors of a terrible storm construct a makeshift boat and sail out in search of the loved ones they have lost at sea.
Jan Saska, 2011, Czech Republic, 24s
Limbs can be guns too in this blink-and-you-miss-it short from Czech animator Jan Saska, made as a test for his 2015 animation Happy End.
The Eagleman Stag
Mikey Please, 2010, USA, 9m
Animated with paper and foam, Mikey Please’s monochromatic animation is a nine-minute memory piece on the perception of time itself. The Eagleman Stag’s darkly comedic depiction of one man’s obsessive life is at once miniature, universal, and acutely material.
Kirsten Lepore, 2011, USA, 6m
In this delicately observed and minutely detailed stop-motion from Kirsten Lepore (Marcel the Shell with Shoes On), a correspondence between unlikely subjects—one a mound of sand, the other a pile of snow—develops into a strangely affecting story about engaging with the physical world.
Kitao Sakurai, 2018, USA, 22m
The face of Philip Burgers contains hilarious multitudes in this “silent” short film from director Kitao Sakurai and Abso Lutely Productions. The Passage follows a man (Burgers) as he journeys by land, air, and sea to escape the clutches of his mysteriously straight-faced pursuers—all without uttering a single word. What emerges is a funny adventure of miscommunication and navigating a route through the unknown.
Daniel Mercadante and Will Hoffman, 2010, USA, 3m
Play, blow, break, split, run, fly, light. Daniel Mercadante and Will Hoffman’s montage of verbal wit forms connections through a word’s disparate interpretations.
The External World
David OReilly, 2010, USA, 17m
A young boy struggling at the piano, aging rabbits wilting away in a retirement home, excrement giving birth. Video game sound effects and glitched-out polygonal animations collide in David OReilly’s sweet and sickly stream-of-consciousness short, which pushes the artificial and unreal to its limits yet never fails to communicate an emotional truth.
What I Have to Offer
Eliot Rausch, 2012, USA, 5m
“So you are here and I am here, spending our time as we must.” A 70-minute lecture delivered by Charlie Kaufman in 2011 is excerpted and juxtaposed with delicate, surprising, and everyday images that hint at the vast dimensions of creative expression.