Short Films (1)

Check back regularly as we continue our look at independent films in the form of short films that aren't exactly movies, but stand out as fine examples of single cinematic projects, or in some cases, a series that aims towards something bigger. Among the more recent picks of the lot are...

Imaginary Bitches (A+)
Every episode is a "cat fight" waiting to happen in a provocatively well-done series created by Andrew Miller with a sensual fit and finish similar to Ryan Murphy's Nip/Tuck.

Perry St (A+) 
Focuses on a man named “Perry” (Mark Epperson) who sees his counselor, “Elaine” (Catherine Mary Stewart – “Gwen Saunders” from Weekend at Bernie's, 1989, and "Maggie Gordon" from The Last Starfighter, 1984). Then Perry meets “Sophie” (Brittany Moore).

While quickly loosening up within the first three or four minutes, this short, 15-minute film naturally flows into a piece you wish were longer, with its humorous lean and thoughtfully conceived writing.

The film carries its weight as it slightly loses energy and intensity before ending with a twist that is clever. Written and directed by Antonio Padovan.

You Don't Know Me (A-)
Creepy and oh-so-confident, first-time director Sean Melia brings us this horror/thriller that is chillingly well-done!

Over Coffee (A-)
Solidly likable scripts and acting don't all come from mainline Hollywood directors. And so we observe in the film Over Coffee, directed by Sean Meehan, starring Timothy J. Cox, Erik Potempa, Michael Oberholtzer, and Jocelyn DeBoer. It involves pressing time constraints, and you guessed it, coffee.

Seldom can clefts of overacting be detected in this cutely conceived short comedy that stirs together feelings of awkwardness in a concise, stress-reliever—to be appreciated by all who tackle the daily grind of office life.

Socks and Cakes (B+)
Starring Timothy J. Cox and directed by Antonio Padovan, this philosophically honest piece just about constitutes proof that a long-term friendship between a man and a woman is possible when you've had sex at least once. 

Jimminy Jack: Story of a Porn Star Extra (B+) 
This spirited “mocumentary” about a porn star extra who can't break to his parents his non-interest in the family business of smut is cleverly conceived and well written, with a semi-ingenius take that beckons to be watched at much greater length than its 23-minute runtime affords.

There are a few minor mic placement issues, but the only real fault is that the film never goes as deep as it could have into the potential wellspring of laughs made possible by the easily-parodied subject matter. Directed by Louis Silverstein, starring Nolan Silverstein, Kyle Nicholson, Clara Campi, and Timothy J. Cox.

Smoke (B+)
It's all in the eyes and music! The haunting stares and disjointed fly-by blurbs of confusion in this brief story of a man who became the victim of surreal insanity doesn't exactly make sense, but then, it's not supposed to.

Directed by Grzegorz Cisiecki, this 7-minute journey of madness and delusion has some of the eeriest music to be found, carrying the viewer down an inexplicably entrancing path.

Echoes (B+)
Do you know what it is like to have your mind betray you? That's what Echoes is about, a very short but poignant vision into the mind of schizophrenics. Directed by Chuong Vo.