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 are some of my favourites.
A young girl and her father have traveled to a toxic, alien planet to collect valuable minerals to sell back on Earth. Things are going well but just as it looks as if they almost have enough to head home with, the father is attacked and robbed by a stranger. With her father in a perilous condition, the young girl takes it into her own hands to recover their stolen goods.
A relatively slow start sets the scene, as we are introduced to the two characters and their way of life on this dangerous planet. Halfway through and the film kicks it into fifth gear and we are provided with a series of incredibly tense, potent scenes. Visually the film is stunning, with the costumes and the planet stealing the show. Probably the most accomplished film on this list, Prospect is a fantastic example of just how good sci-fi can be in a short film.
Nick is an ordinary guy, apart from one key aspect: he sees numbers above everyone’s head. The number can designate their age, the number of drinks they’ve had that night, or even how much money they have. He thinks he’s alone, until he meets Mia, a girl who can see the number of lies a person has told in their lifetime.
The film delivers its story fairly well, but there is certainly room for improvement. The main issues are with the script, as the dialogue is rather bland and the conversation between the two characters doesn’t seem to flow particularly smoothly (although the fact that it’s subtitled probably doesn’t help things here). Nevertheless these problems aren’t enough to detach you from the story and an unexpected twist at the end provides a satisfying conclusion. It’s a fantastic concept and I’d be keen to see whether Director Robert Hloz takes the idea further.
Where Do Lilacs Come From
The tragic story of an elderly man suffering with Alzheimer’s and his son who desperately tries to help his father remember his past.
This film is split up into scenes from the present day and ones from the old man’s past. Through these flashbacks we are given (in the fashion of the opening scene in Disney’s Up) an overview of the life he can’t remember: from his childhood days growing up with the girl who will one day be his wife, to the trials of parenthood, to the crushing despair of losing the one you love. It’s heart-wrenching, tear-inducing stuff. It’s as beautiful as it is mournful. If your prone to the waterworks, proceed with care.
Foam Drive Renegades
A group of criminals organise the armed robbery of a grocery store, but when one of their crew drops out, the unstable sentient puppet Reggie is asked to fill in. Chaos ensues.
As ridiculous as it is stylish (think Drive mixed with The Muppets), Foam Drive Renegades provides eight minutes of well-written, witty fun and is a nice contrast with some of the more solemn films I’ve included in this series so far. If you’re looking for a burst of entertainment which doesn’t take itself too seriously, you need to look no further.
A Truncated Story of Infinity
A day in the life of ‘Subject X’, otherwise known as Vincent, and a look at how the decisions in we make everyday can effect how the rest of our life pans out.
Utilising a strong script and wonderful visuals, the narrator takes us on a journey that marvels at the infinite amount of possibilities that each day brings and encourages one to seize every opportunity by the cuff of its neck or risk living a life full of ‘what ifs?’. Our fate is not determined, there’s an infinite number of possible futures for us and what we do shapes what that future looks like. More than a little Wes Anderson-y in style, A Truncated Story of Infinity is a rich in both aesthetics and ideas.
Enjoyed this article? Keep a look out for the part three!