Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Life of a Lego - One Bad Day

Attention all cartoon fans!

Student filmmaker Adam Boyle knows what it's like to have a bad day, a nightmarish day, and don't we all. He also has the animation skills to express this common angst through Lego characters who are hell-bent on giving their rivals one very bad day, too. Watch them battle it out in this wild and creative animated short.

Here's a link to the trailer: One Bad Day Trailer

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tesla

Electricity permeates the world in this experimental homage to Nikola Tesla and electronic innovation.

Part short film and part music video, and whether accidental or not, also a surreptitious promotional video for Tesla Motors, this highly polished documentary focuses on the enormous influence that Nikola Tesla has had on what Southern California-based director Sharon Doyle refers to as mankind's fourth industrial revolution. Tesla invented the electric car in 1918.

A brilliant inventor and visionary, Tesla sounds holisitically New Age in this quote: "The desire that guides me in all that I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature in the service of mankind." He asked us to think in terms of our relationship with earth's natural energy and then to power the machinery of tomorrow's future with it; for this and other contributions, he holds significant importance in the history of technology, yet he is almost forgotten.
 

Sharon Doyle is an ardent futurist and environmentalist who sees in the electric car a chance for a cleaner, more stable future. Her production values are stellar, so come ride with her in the Tesla she created. You can watch the trailer here: Tesla Trailer

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Recursion

Sherwin, a young scientist, does what a best man should never do on his best friend's wedding day: he loses the ring. That would spoil the party for most weddings, but Sherwin has other, most creative, ideas.

He's going to slip back in time, steal the ring from his former self, and race to the wedding before his former self notices. If the two iterations of himself tangle over the ring, it could initiate the grandfather paradox—then anything could happen. It might even destroy the universe. He jumps back 90 minutes in time, then a second time and a third as he tries to get the procedure right, but one other big complication stands in his way: each time he does this, he creates another version of himself. 


Now he must hide from all of them.

This heady, sophisticated and thought-provoking short film from New York has all the ingredients of a sci-fi psychological drama—with a comedic twist. You may want to watch this one twice because the intricate plot moves at light speed. Filmmaking team Stanton Nash, Antonio Marion and Sam Buntrock nail their experiment called Recursion and lead actor Rob McClure delivers. 

You can watch the trailer here: Recursion Teaser

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lambing Season

Lambing Season is the offbeat tale of Bridget, an American woman who travels to the Irish countryside to track down her long-lost father. Posing as a stranger, she embarks on a convoluted plan that leads to nowhere. That is, until nature intervenes to break the ice. Turns out father and daughter, although long estranged, have far more in common than biology. 

Directed by LA-based filmmaker Jeannie Donohoe, who created the work for a Columbia University final project, Lambing Season is an authentic, tongue-in-cheek and thoroughly delightful escape into the Irish countryside, where magical things happen to those who know where to look. And Donohoe does: she shot the film entirely on location, and Ireland's naturalistic, intimate feel is beautifully captured. 

You can watch the trailer here: Lambing Season Trailer

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Tailor's Apprentice

Inspired by true events surrounding a young, Hasidic Jewish man's efforts to smuggle ecstasy into the United States, The Tailor's Apprentice points a needed spotlight on a poison often associated with American youth. Debut producer and director Jeff Lehman does much more, however, as he plumbs the depths of a struggling father-son relationship—in what would seem an unlikely situation if it weren't based on a true story. The portrait of a stern but loving father who is as solid as a rock dealing with his lost, prodigal son will tear your heart with pain, because Lehman means business, and to his immense credit, he never flinches from his difficult material. 

The Tailor's Apprentice is a courageous film, a moving film, a beautiful film, an unexpected film, and a film to remember. You can watch the trailer here: The Tailor's Apprentice Trailer

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Family Bible

On the day of his mother’s funeral, a grief-stricken son is surprised by the last-minute arrival of his estranged aunt. When she objects to his inheritance of the heirloom family Bible, battle lines are drawn.

Much more is simmering beneath the surface; she is harboring a dark secret about the family—something the son doesn't know about his parents. How can he take this Bible when she is owed so much? She remains in great pain. How can he possibly give up this heirloom, at this time and place, in the midst of his pain, to an estranged relative who treats him with arrogance and contempt?

First-time producer/director Connie Wilkerson, an assistant professor in the Department of Film & Media Arts at the University of Utah, intensifies the story of a funeral and a woman's death with a long-buried issue that agitates the present, showing us how the consequences of actions can outlive their kindlers. 

Here is the preview: The Family Bible Trailer

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Spirit of the Sato

An estimated 200,000 homeless dogs spend their short lives on the streets and beaches of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Project Animal Worldwide, which is based in Monmouth County, New Jersey, seeks to help these sato (stray, mixed breed) dogs through education, support, spay/neuter programs, and most heartwarming of all, through U.S. adoption. 

The documentary portrays the plight of the satos and how Project Animal and animal welfare leaders in Puerto Rico are working together to help these abandoned and desperate animals. The film features a special appearance by renowned canine advocate Cesar Millan, who speaks movingly about the need for global spay/neuter programs in the context of 4-5 million dogs who are euthanized around the world annually—a sobering and profoundly sad statistic of 21st century life. 

Spirit of the Sato is proactive and focused, yet its mission goes far beyond the boundaries of Puerto Rico—no doubt, pet abandonment is a huge problem within the mainland United States and elsewhere. This film is the product of a globally minded organization and individual. Ellen La Torre, President of Project Animal Worldwide and the film's director, asks her audience some important and probing questions. How do we foster caring and compassionate treatment of animals, especially those who are the most vulnerable and helpless, in a throwaway society? And if we can raise the level of human awareness and consciousness, what else can we do to make the world a better place for everyone?

You can watch the trailer here: Spirit of the Sato Trailer