By the Beautiful C: A to Z Short Film Review Series

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Once again, we set sail on the ocean of Short Films that abound over the waves of the Internet.

 

This is the third installment of our series, with many more to come. Well, maybe another 23. I hear there is talk of adding new letters to the alphabet, so, who knows?

Today, there is more animation to look at and less kvetching about the state of feature films in the genre. (I’ve left my soapbox in my other pants.)

Today’s hosts are Spain, the UK, Russia (before the USSR) and Canada.

Some of you, who know the films I have posted on G+ in the past may look at the list and say, “Hey, Fink! Where is “Cargo?”

Yes, I have omitted the classic zombie short from Australia for no other reason than overkill. It is a great short film. It is well done, well written and well-acted. It is better than most of the zombie features out there. But it is also everywhere! One cannot swing an undead cat without hitting a link to it.

Believe me, you don’t need me to point it out.

So let’s get on with what you may not have already seen…

 

La Cabina

 

 

This short that was made for television in Spain in 1972. It was directed by Antonio Mercero. New telephone booths are installed around the city, but the phone company hasn’t quite worked all the bugs out of them yet. The film won the 1973 International Emmy for Fiction. Although it is about 35 minutes long, it really is worth the time spent.

 

The Contraption

 

 

James Dearden directs this 1977 British short that was sometimes shown between films on HBO, back in the early days of cable television. That is where I saw it initially. Little did I know back then that Richard O’Brien, Riff Raff himself, was the principle player in the film.

The Cameraman’s Revenge

 

 

In the world of early cinema, animation and stop-motion were very experimental. One of the greats was Ladislaw Starewicz. Most times, his characters were insects. This is from Russia, 1912. For the time, it was revolutionary. Okay, lousy pun. By the way, I have gotten into discussions as to Starewicz’s origin. Some say he’s Russian, some say he’s Polish. I just think he is great.

The Cat Came Back

 

 

Directed by Cordell Barker, this 1988 animated short illustrates the children’s song, “The Cat Came Back.” Our hero tries every which way to rid himself of a cat that is destroying his life.

From the National Film Board of Canada, one of the best places in the world to find great short subjects of all kind, this short was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and won the Genie Award (Canada’s Academy Awards) for the same cat-egory.

C is also for Canada

 

canada

 

 

I can’t help it. The animation that comes out of the National Film Board of Canada is sometimes crude, but the subject matter is always excellent. Here are a couple of shorts, two of which are somewhat less than horrific, that illustrate the creativity of those associated with the Board.

What on Earth!

 

 

This 1967 animated short gives a Martian perspective on our world. Directed by Les Drew and Kaj Pindal, this, like many others from the Film Board, was nominated for an Academy Award.

The Big Snit

 

 

This 1985 animated short gives a microcosm of nuclear war in an argument over a game of Scrabble. This was directed by Richard Condie and won the Genie Award, along with the top prize in three other Festivals, plus an Oscar nomination.

Land of the Heads

 

 

A vampire, his vain wife, and an annoying crow are the principle players in this 2009 short, directed by Claude Barras and Cedric Louis. The film can be seen here.

Do visit the National Film Board of Canada site at https://www.nfb.ca/. You will be glad you did.

 

Thank you for the access, and the info from YouTube, IMDB and the National Film Board of Canada.

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for over fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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