Sunday, 27 October 2013

(27) Short Film Sunday #13: Red Shirley (2010)

Lou Reed (1942-2013)
All morning I was doodling around, then I watched Roman Polanski's Tess and started to think about preparations, in case a promised storm comes to Cardiff. I had my short films set aside, that I want to write about. Well... The storm came. But not the storm in its conventional meaning. I came back from a walk, started cooking dinner and my partner said: "Lou Reed is dead." In an hour I was gone, the storm of silence to remember and commemorate the great and legendary Lou Reed has started. Dangerousminds and OpenCulture posted it, nothing on BBC, still in disbelief till BBC posted it. The great and influential musician is gone, however, his work will always live on.
So, the course for this Sunday's Short Film Sunday has changed... Enough with words, enjoy Lou Reed's art.
Thus, here is a short film/documentary Red Shirley directed by the great Lou Reed. The trailer is below, the full film you can watch here.

A really moving and emotional piece. Enjoy and before you go to sleep, listen to one of the greatest live performances and one of the best Lou Reed's albums "Animal Serenade":

Lou Reed was a man who will be remembered and his art will never be forgotten. RIP.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

(26) Short Film Sunday #12: Cukurvate (Candyfloss) (2012)

Cukurvate (2012).
For a week I have enjoyed the lovely autumn in Latvia, chilled air, red, yellow and green leaves, which flicker in the sunshine, Indian summer, autumn harvest, falling leaves embellish your path, while you stroll through the park, a far far away smell of snow in the air and crisp grass in the mornings and misty meadows in the evenings, that for me is autumn. I will always need in my life four seasons, hot summers, freezing cold winters, awakening spring and colourful and rich autumn, full of harvest, and for that I love Latvia, it has it all!
So this week I offer you  a little glimpse into one of Latvia's cities, a city where I spent three years in school, that is Kuldīga. Yeah, with that weird line above the "i", that for you is Latvian.
The aim of the short film is to capture the old and romantic style of Kuldīga, with its wooden houses, charming little streets, an old bridge with a picturesque view of Ventas rapid, the widest rapid in Europe. As the director Oskars Morozs said, the short is made in the style of Federico Fellini and, especially, La Dolce Vita. It is made in black and white, in order to emphasise the antique value of the city. Candyfloss tells a story about the city of Kuldīga through kids playing hide and seek, saving a goose and enjoying one of the biggest treats of the childhood - candyfloss. Enough said, enjoy and founder away in your childhood memories!

And here are some scenic views Latvian autumn:

Sunday, 6 October 2013

(25) Short Film Sunday #11: Alma (2009)

Alma (2009).
Alma (2009) is  a brilliant little short film, creepy and scary, especially if all your childhood you had been scared of dolls. Well, I was and still am... And after this short I know why. The short is written and directed by Rodrigo Blaas, a former Pixar animator, who has worked on such beloved animations as, Wall-E, Up, Ratatouille, as well as La Luna (read my post on La Luna here), which are also my four favourite Pixar animations.
The animation is set in Barcelona during winter time and in concentrates around a little girl named Alma (in translation from Spanish it means "soul", which actually gives quite a deep subtext to the story), who gets tricked into an enchanted toy store, after in its window she sees a doll who looks like her. However, she doesn't know what awaits her in the spooky world of dolls...
The story is very well crafted, the animation is marvelous, and although the imagery of the short is sweet and adorable, as you can see from the picture above, despite that, there is quite a bit of underlying spookiness and creepiness. The short has won Animacor, International Animation Festival in Spain, award for the Best Andalusian Short, in 2009, it has also won an award for the Best Short in L.A. Shorts Fest in 2009. In 2010 it was announced that DreamWorks has made a deal with Rodrigo Blaas to adapt his short film Alma into a full length feature film, he himself will be directing it, with Guillermo del Toro executive producing it. According to this Variety article in June, 2012, the film was in visual development stage. So if you enjoy the short keep your eyes open, when the full length feature hits the big screens.
Now I will keep quiet and let you enjoy this adorable little piece! Have a good night's sleep!