Films of the Month
Welcome to the first ‘Films of the Month’ blog post. Each month we’ll bring you a run down of the top shorts, clips, trailers, music videos we’ve been compelled to share. They’ll be posted to our twitter each Friday and then find their way onto this lovely blog.
First, was our most recent share. It’s an animated short that has an old school adventure style to it in the same vein as Indiana Jones or Temple Run; ultimately, the short examines heroism, sacrifice and legacy. It’s a really sweet, earnest short that manages to conjure some very tense feelings from it’s viewer, at least in my instance it did…
ENJOY YOUR INTERMISSION
We choose this one because we have a love for preserving film traditions and it is pretty amazing that the Hi-Way Drive has been going for over 60 years now. Here’s the summary of the film as it appears on the film’s website:
“As the sun sets over the Catskill mountains of Coxsackie, NY, all four projectors of the Hi-Way Drive-In come to life, illuminating four massive silver screens. Born in 1951 along Route 9W, a major thoroughfare at that time, the Hi-Way has screened movies for over 60 years. Its patrons of all ages come from miles around to experience the nostalgia, romance, and wholesome summer night fun that the drive-in offers. But the threat of a new era looms closer as major movie studios announce they will no longer produce film prints of their features. But the Hi-Way Drive-In only has 35mm film projectors, and to upgrade all four to digital will cost around $300,000. For longtime owners Roger and Sharon Babcock, switching four projectors to digital is one of the greatest challenges they’ve faced, but they will do anything to keep the magic of their beloved Hi-Way alive.”
The focus shifts, gothic illustrations and macabre tone are all winners, though it was the sound design that really sold us on this one; fantastical and haunting.
“Astigmatismo is a short-film about the feeling of being lost. This feeling is created thanks to an extreme blur effect, leaving only a very tiny space in focus. The focus shifts and moves rhythmically, synchronized with the sounds and the music, revealing a constantly changing landscape. The optical effect of blur is at the core of the film, so to make this effect as beautiful and authentic as possible Astigmatismo is shot in a 5-level multiplane using a special lens. The animation involves cut-out marionettes and paint on glass. Everything is entirely made by hand and there are no post production effects. It is, however, computer-assisted. The camera and the lens were entirely controlled by computer making it possible to adjust the focus and the depth of field with extreme precision, allowing for a variety of focus effects that wouldn’t have been possible to create otherwise. In this way, the film combines old school animation techniques with recent advances in camera technology.”
Sergei Polunin, “Take Me to Church” by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle
This video of ex-Royal Ballet Dancer, Sergei Polunin, dancing around a white barn with glorious pure light streaming in has gone viral. The Ukrainian dancer Polunin fills the space with such meticulous control, evoking a painful struggle of faith, self and expression, much like the song itself, Hozier’s Take Me to Church, which has proved ridiculously popular.
And…. one more for the road. Given the films massive successful and very recent Oscar win for Best Picture, it seems right to pay homage to Birdman here…