Three Modern Short Films: We The Others (2014); Underwood (2014); Font Men (2014).

Here are some quick paragraph reviews of some short films I’ve been watching recently. For a change of pace, I’ve been watching some modern short films that have been released this year. The good news is that each of these short films can be (legally!) viewed on the internet, so I’d definitely recommend checking them out!

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We The Others (2014)
Maja Borg, 8 minutes

Shot on Super 8, We The Others is a compelling ode to physical diversity. The film has a voice over reading poetic prose, describing the thoughts and feelings of those who are ignored or discriminated against due to their physical or mental characteristics that make them different. Containing candid footage of individuals with developmental disorders such as Downs Syndrome, the film shows several people completing tasks and actions that are absolutely captivating to watch; especially when combined with the poetic voiceover, crackly visual elements, and a simplistic yet rich score. Occasionally the visual elements of the film can look slightly amateurish, however, they are always compelling. The film does not appear to have a linear story, but the poem discusses the individuals in the film living in a place where their destiny occurs as a direct result of their physical characteristics. The beautiful part of this film is that it stresses that all individuals on earth should be equal – regardless of the characteristics that make them different. A highly experimental and anarchic film, particularly if you’re interested in mental health and disability advocacy.

3.5/5
Watch the short film here.

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Underwood (2014)
Nic Hamilton, 6 minutes

Underwood is an experimental short film with no discernible story – just a series of images developing over time. The film contains the beautiful Tasmanian forest and landscape, a creepy tunnel, a stunning sunset, and strange metallic tree-like structures that increase in number as the film progresses. The music is ambient and almost bewitching. The camera moves forwards and forwards, taking the viewer on a journey that is surreal and dominated by its aesthetics. I think some people might find this boring, but if you’re in the right frame of mind for it, this is a good film to just watch and ponder. Is the director trying to make a comment on the evolution of nature in a world that is becoming increasingly digitised? I’m not sure. I’m interested to see more from this director.

3.5/5
Watch the short film here.

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Font Men (2014)
Dress Code, 6 minutes

Font Men is a quite informative short documentary film on the partnership of Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, master typeface creators whose work can be seen in presidential campaigns, advertising and newspapers alike. They briefly explore their childhood and how it shaped their current occupation, and their rivalry that eventually led to their starting a company together. The film is shot extremely well, with a minimalist aesthetic and some inventive animations to show the typeface construction process, and the different effects that fonts can have in their development. When I finished this, I wished that it was a full-length documentary. Something feels a bit unfinished about it, and it seems to end arbitrarily; as if there’s a concluding chapter that was accidentally left out. At the same time, I learned some interesting facts about fonts, and learned more about people who shape the words of our visual world. This is definitely worth a watch, particularly if you’re interested in graphic design.

3/5
Watch the short film here.

7 comments

  1. theipc · · Reply

    What do I think?? I think you’re wonderful!

    1. Shucks! Thanks EI, you’re not too bad yourself! 🙂

  2. Haven’t seen any of these yet but I’m just back from Flatpack Festival – where lots of short films are screened from professional film makers and an open reel event too – so I’m very much in the short film zone. It’s amazing to me just how much power short films can carry and there’s so much more scope for creativity. Great reviews, I will check these out.

    1. That would have been such a great experience! I haven’t been to a short film festival before. Sounds like the atmosphere was amazing.

  3. I love that you watch these short films. 🙂 I went ahead and watched “Font Men,” and while it was a little dry, I loved the music and the part about 2 and 1/2 minutes in where they explain the mechanics of beginning to design a font – like why they start with an H (typical square shape) and an O (typical round shape) before moving through the alphabet in order of increasing eccentricities, to use their own word! Those two guys seem very strange and picky, but it’s cool that they get to do what they do.

    1. Yeah, the font-making process was definitely really interesting! I love short films that give an insight into something that we totally overlook in daily life. I reckon you’d probably have to be really strange and picky in a career like that!

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