Favourite Non-Comedy Short Films

by tartanllama | created - 07 May 2012 | updated - 08 May 2012 | Public

My favourite short films in vague order. Doesn't include comedy shorts like cartoons or Keaton/Chaplin films; that's for another list (otherwise this list would be huge and impossible to vaguely order).

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1. The House Is Black (1963)

20 min | Documentary, Short

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness", of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

Director: Forugh Farrokhzad | Stars: Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hossein Mansouri

Votes: 3,100

2. Moznosti dialogu (1983)

12 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A three-part depiction of various forms of communication. 'Factual Discussion' depicts three heads (made up of fruit, kitchen utensils and writing implements respectively) endlessly ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer

Votes: 3,052

3. Eaux d'artifice (1953)

12 min | Short

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman dressed elegantly walks purposely through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, as the music of Vivaldi's "Winter" movement of "The Four Seasons" plays. Heavy red filters... See full summary »

Director: Kenneth Anger | Star: Carmilla Salvatorelli

Votes: 1,244

4. La Jetée (1962)

Not Rated | 28 min | Short, Drama, Romance

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich

Votes: 23,682

5. Skazka skazok (1979)

29 min | Animation, Short

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Distant, well-worn memories of childhood are inhabited by a little gray wolf. Through astonishing imagery, the memory of all of Russia is depicted.

Director: Yuriy Norshteyn | Star: Aleksandr Kalyagin

Votes: 2,599

6. La femme qui se poudre (1972)

18 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Add a Plot

Director: Patrick Bokanowski | Stars: Jean-Jacques Choul, Jacques Delbosc d'Auzon, Claus-Dieter Reents, Nadine Roussial

Votes: 224

7. Isle of Flowers (1989)

13 min | Documentary, Short

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The ironic, heartbreaking and acid "saga" of a spoiled tomato: from the plantation of a "Nisei" (Brazilian with Japanese origins); to a supermarket; to a consumer's kitchen to become sauce ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado | Stars: Paulo José, Ciça Reckziegel, Douglas Trainini, Júlia Barth

Votes: 4,599

8. Ballet mécanique (1924)

19 min | Short

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »

Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy | Stars: Kiki of Montparnasse, Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, Katherine Murphy

Votes: 2,221

9. Zaniklý svet rukavic (1982)

16 min | Animation, Short

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Using an array of gloves in different styles and from different historical periods, the film is a short history of the cinema - from silent movies via pastiches of Buñuel and Fellini and ... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Barta

Votes: 227

10. The House of Small Cubes (2008)

12 min | Animation, Short, Drama

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

To save his house from rising flood waters, an old man uses bricks to build it higher, then he relives events from his past while searching for his dropped pipe.

Director: Kunio Kato | Star: Masami Nagasawa

Votes: 7,774

11. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

Unrated | 13 min | Short, Horror

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants, Roderick and Madeline Usher, are living under a mysterious family curse: Roderick's senses have become ... See full summary »

Directors: James Sibley Watson, Melville Webber | Stars: Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber, Friedrich Haak

Votes: 1,001

12. Yozhik v tumane (1975)

11 min | Animation, Short

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A little hedgehog, on the way to visit his friend the bear, gets lost in thick fog, where horses, dogs and even falling leaves take on a terrifying new aspect...

Director: Yuriy Norshteyn | Stars: Vyacheslav Nevinnyy, Mariya Vinogradova, Aleksey Batalov

Votes: 5,096

13. Jídlo (1993)

17 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

BREAKFAST: After eating breakfast, a man is transformed into an elaborate dumb-waiter-style breakfast dispenser - and the same fate befalls the man who obtains breakfast from him. LUNCH: ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer | Stars: Ludvík Sváb, Bedrich Glaser, Jan Kraus, Pavel Marek

Votes: 2,075

14. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

14 min | Short

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

Directors: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid | Stars: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

Votes: 8,057

15. Darkness Light Darkness (1989)

6 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A human body gradually reconstructs itself as its various component parts crowd themselves into a small room and eventually, after much experimentation, sort out which part goes where.

Director: Jan Svankmajer

Votes: 3,551

16. Street of Crocodiles (1986)

20 min | Animation, Short

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man closes up a lecture hall; he reaches into a box and snips the string holding a gaunt puppet. Released, the puppet warily explores the darkened rooms about him. Screws twist out of ... See full summary »

Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay | Star: Feliks Stawinski

Votes: 2,011

17. Poslední lup (1987)

21 min | Animation, Short, Crime

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A sarcastic story about a thief who becomes the victim of his own victims. His victims come from the other world and take his most precious possession - his blood. The phantasmal atmosphere... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Barta | Stars: Frantisek Husák, Zdenek Martínek, Ivan Vojtek

Votes: 319

18. The Heart of the World (2000)

6 min | Short

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin | Stars: Leslie Bais, Caelum Vatnsdal, Shaun Balbar, Greg Klymkiw

Votes: 2,826

19. Outer Space (1999)

10 min | Short, Horror

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Footage from The Entity (1980) is edited into an abstract nightmare.

Director: Peter Tscherkassky | Star: Barbara Hershey

Votes: 1,328

20. L'étoile de mer (1928)

21 min | Short, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »

Director: Man Ray | Stars: Kiki of Montparnasse, André de la Rivière, Robert Desnos

Votes: 1,066

21. The Comb (1991)

18 min | Short, Animation

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A porcelain doll and a sleeping woman. How will they interact through her dreams?

Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay | Stars: Joy Constaninides, Witold Scheybal

Votes: 769

22. Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)

12 min | Short, Horror

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Experimental short, featuring strobe-like erotic imagery with several shots of the Rolling Stones in performance and an original synthesizer score by Mick Jagger.

Director: Kenneth Anger | Stars: Kenneth Anger, Bobby Beausoleil, Bill Beutel, Harvey Bialy

Votes: 1,357

23. La coquille et le clergyman (1928)

28 min | Short

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Obsessed with a general's woman, a clergyman has strange visions of death and lust, struggling against his own eroticism.

Director: Germaine Dulac | Stars: Alex Allin, Genica Athanasiou, Lucien Bataille

Votes: 1,358

24. Ruka (1965)

18 min | Animation, Short, Horror

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A happy little potter is approached by a huge hand which wants him to sculpt its statue. The potter refuses, wanting nothing more than to be left alone with his only friend, a potted plant.... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Trnka

Votes: 1,189

25. Tango (1981)

8 min | Animation, Short

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Subsequent characters appear in a poorly-decorated room, intertwining but never colliding, all possessed by never-ending rituals.

Director: Zbigniew Rybczynski

Votes: 1,913

26. Klub odlozenych (1989)

25 min | Animation, Short

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Laid-off old mannequins spend their cracked and broken lives in an old, abandoned warehouse. New mannequins are brought to the warehouse. They are old as well, but from a younger generation... See full summary »

Director: Jirí Barta

Votes: 219

27. Destino (2003)

PG | 7 min | Animation, Short

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

To a song of love lost and rediscovered, a woman sees and undergoes surreal transformations. Her lover's face melts off, she dons a dress from the shadow of a bell and becomes a dandelion, ... See full summary »

Director: Dominique Monfery | Stars: Jennifer Esposito, Dora Luz

Votes: 3,350

28. The Man Who Planted Trees (1987)

30 min | Animation, Short, Drama

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The story of a shepherd's single handed quest to re-forest a barren valley.

Director: Frédéric Back | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 4,836

29. Dog Star Man: Part I (1962)

30 min | Short

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

From a murky landscape, a wooded mountain emerges. We watch the sun. We see a bearded man climbing up the mountain through the snow. He carries an ax, and he's accompanied by a dog. His ... See full summary »

Director: Stan Brakhage | Stars: Jane Brakhage, Stan Brakhage

Votes: 1,237

Includes all the Dog Star Man films

30. The Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman (1912)

Not Rated | 12 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic ... See full summary »

Director: Wladyslaw Starewicz

Votes: 2,018

31. Visual Training (1969)

8 min | Short

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An experimental short film in which a man and a woman smear various foods on a third person.

Director: Frans Zwartjes | Stars: Trix Zwartjes, Mike, Christian Manders

Votes: 238

32. Scorpio Rising (1963)

28 min | Short, Music

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An army of gay/nazi bikers make their engines roar and ride the way to pain/pleasure as sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut into the dazing chaos and rhythmic experiences of this ... See full summary »

Director: Kenneth Anger | Stars: Ernie Allo, Bruce Byron, Frank Carifi, Steve Crandell

Votes: 3,557

33. Konflikt (1983)

7 min | Animation, Short, War

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Film characters are ordinary matches. Quarrel that flared up over a trifle turns into a real battle, in which both hostile parties perished.

Director: Garri Bardin

Votes: 249

34. T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (1969)

12 min | Short

5.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A subversive experimental short film in which the word "Destroy" is uttered constantly while images on an individual are show with changes colors and the letters T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G displayed.

Director: Paul Sharits

Votes: 301

35. Zamilované maso (1989)

1 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two pieces of meat fall in love.

Director: Jan Svankmajer

Votes: 1,602

36. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 34,087

37. A légy (1980)

3 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A fine day in the life of a fly presented completely from the fly's point of view. A fine day until something dreary happens, that is.

Director: Ferenc Rófusz

Votes: 1,335

38. Le château de sable (1977)

13 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

On a sandy desert, a man made of sand constructs other sand creatures to help make a beautiful sand castle for themselves.

Director: Co Hoedeman

Votes: 787

39. Moods of the Sea (1942)

Unrated | 10 min | Short, Musical

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A recently unearthed experimental documentary of the crashing sea set to Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave." An example of the filmmakers' "new cinema" theory which held that film should be more... See full summary »

Directors: John Hoffman, Slavko Vorkapich

Votes: 204