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Cinema16: American Short Films (2006)

| Video 5 June 2006
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An excellent selection which doesn't short you.
12 November 2007 | by (Shanghai) – See all my reviews

Cinema 16 is a series of short film collections. Besides the disc of 16 American films, there's a British and European collection as well.

This disc offers up an interesting mix of film genres -- from classic revered short films to new offerings, experimental and traditional narratives, first films by now famous directors (van Sant, Burton, Payne), documentaries and animation. A strong selection featuring some very good stuff.

Terry Tate Office Linebacker is simple but hilarious.

Alexander Payne's first film, re-imagines Carmen at a roadstop gas station. Very quirky and reminded me a lot of Guy Maddin if Maddin were into recreating early 70's films (it's mostly silent, with intertitles, and made to look from an earlier period ... plus wacky characters and warped humor). Gas, ding-dongs and taco sauce, baby.

Tim Burton's early animated film Vincent (1982) is great. About a good little boy who imagines he's Vincent Price and conjures up horrors. Narrated by Vincent Price in rhymed couplets.

Peter Sollett's Five Feet High and Rising (2000), is a 25 minute film of young Latino youth trying to come to terms with sexuality and growing up. Later developed into the feature film Raising Victor Vargas (2002). Not sure what he's been doing since (and he's only 31 now), but he has a new film in production.

Gus van Sant's first film The Discipline of D.E. (1982) is quirky and interesting, and based on a William Burroughs story. Not great, but has me looking forward to watching Mala Noche, which is in one of my to-watch piles.

DA Pennebaker's famous Daylight Express is included. As is Maya Deren's much lauded art film Meshes of the Afternoon.

Highly recommended.


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