There’s a huge amount of independent content released online, a lot of which is very good and most of which will go unseen by the vast majority. I’ve been spending some time perusing Vimeo for the best short films I can find. Here’s a list of some of my favourites so far.
F L O A T I N G
My favourite film out of the ones featured in this list, Greg Jardin manages to tell a more compelling story in ten minutes with F L O A T I N G than many Hollywood directors achieve in two hours.
Devoid of any dialogue, the film uses incredibly crisp visuals, superb camera shots and an enchanting score (provided, surprisingly, by Welsh band The Joy Formidable) to highlight the frailty of human life and the loneliness experienced by some people. A desolate, sombre film, but one I heartily recommend.
Step Right Up.
The story of a single dad who just wants to see his son on his birthday, Step Right Up. is an incredibly contrasting film to F L O A T I N G but again does a good job of telling an emotive story in a very limited period of time.
We are introduced to five characters during the film: Dan the dad, his son John, his friend Alex (who happens to be a clown), his ex-wife Liz, and her new partner Alan (although we only ever hear his voice). Dan and Liz have split up and are still on bad terms, which we see at the onset of the film when we find out that Liz has cancelled the party that Dan organised for John. When Alex arrives the two decide to go and give John his present, whether Liz likes it or not.
A surprisingly funny film, Alex is a constant source of amusement, with a snappily-written script which does a good job of making you sympathise with Dan before reminding you how easy it is to overlook the other side of a story. A big thumbs up from me!
When Joe arrives home from work to find his wife’s grocery shopping abandoned on the hallway floor, he knows something is wrong. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know just how wrong things are.
The Shift is an eerie, sinister little film with a lot more going than first meets the eye. What appears to be a household dispute gone out of control quickly reveals itself as something much more ominous indeed. Visually is where the film stands out, making use of bright, vivid colours and an excellent set, effortlessly transporting you back to 1960’s suburbia. The question mark that arrives alongside ‘The End’ as the credits start to roll suggests a sequel may be on its way, let’s hope this turns out to be the case.
Two twins, identical in features and not a lot else. One has a home, a family, and a well paid job. The other has very little at all and owes a lot of money to a lot of people. When the former finds out he’s dying, he gives his brother a chance to start again.
As with F L O A T I N G, Inseperable manages to tell its story with very little dialogue at all. The actions and expressions of the characters advance the plot and tell us all we need to know. The two brothers clearly have a strong relationship, despite their juxtaposed lifestyles. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as both Joe and Charlie; he puts in a great performance and plays the characters in a distinct manner, making it trivial to tell the two apart, even after Charlie is given a makeover that transforms him into a replica of his brother. Indeed, when Joe’s wife encounters Charlie post-alterations, she knows this isn’t her husband, despite the extreme physical similarity, and realises to her despair that the man she loves is never coming back.
A great premise, delivered perfectly by the minute cast to create a thoughtful, melancholy film; all in ten minutes!
Nights Like This
First dates are invariably awkward. Blind first dates even more so. Nights Like This features the latter and at first is so awkward that you’re not sure whether to keep watching or not. I did keep watching however and I’m very glad I did so.
A few minutes in and our couple start to get more comfortable around each other and the conversation begins to flow more naturally. A series of flashbacks from both characters begins here and this is where the film really hits it stride. All dialogue (awkward or not) is set aside for a few minutes here and music plays as watch Spencer and Lisa reminisce to times with their erstwhile lovers. When we return to the present, the couple have set aside their history and removed it from their minds. They are looking ahead, at that good times that they are going to have together, and their awkward conversation now seems more charming than uncomfortable.
Enjoyed this article? Keep a look out for part two!