Short Films: Articles

'Amazing Tales from the Archives': SFSFF Remembers Pioneering Female Documentarian & World War I Era (!) Sound Films

“Amazing Tales from the Archives”: Pioneering female documentarian Aloha Wanderwell Baker remembered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival – along with the largely forgotten sound-on-cylinder technology and the Jean Desmet Collection. 'Amazing Tales from the Archives': San Francisco Silent Film Festival & the 'sound-on-cylinder' system Fans of the earliest […]

Comediennes of the Silent Era & Film Historian Anthony Slide: Remembering Cinema's Pioneering Women

One of cinema's early comediennes, Dorothy Devore: between 1918 and 1930, the Ft. Worth-born actress was seen in nearly 100 movies, both features and shorts. Among them were Salvation Sue, Naughty Mary Brown, and Saving Sister Susie, all with frequent partner Earle Rodney. 'Comediennes of the Silent Era' & film […]

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier Impressive Sci-Fi, Sex Melodrama & Fernand Léger Combo

'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier directed Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc in great-looking (Fernand Léger sets) mix of science-fiction and sex melodrama. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': 'Intense sensory integration of sight' For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” held on […]

Child Actor Dickie Moore Dies: 'Our Gang' Member Gave Shirley Temple Her First Screen Kiss

Child actor Dickie Moore: 'Our Gang' member. Former child actor Dickie Moore dead at 89: Film career ranged from 'Our Gang' shorts to features opposite Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper and Shirley Temple 1930s child actor Dickie Moore, whose 100+ movie career ranged from Our Gang shorts to playing opposite the […]

'The Audition': Martin Scorsese Short Starring DiCaprio and De Niro Pulled from Venice

The Audition poster with Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Martin Scorsese short 'The Audition' starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro pulled from Venice Film Festival No major international film festival is worth its mainstream U.S. media salt unless there's at least one screening featuring the latest […]

Greg Plitt Dead at 37: Workout and Diet Motivational Speaker, Fitness Model Was Body of Dr. Manhattan

Greg Plitt: Workout and diet motivational speaker, fitness trainer. Workout and diet motivational speaker Greg Plitt dead at 37: Plitt was the 'body' of Dr. Manhattan in 'Watchmen' movie Actor, fitness model, and workout and diet motivational speaker Greg Plitt, best known for adorning countless fitness magazine covers and for […]

Best Documentary Short Oscar Contenders: Death and Illness Are Key Themes

Best Documentary Short Film Oscar contender 'White Earth.' Best Documentary Short Films Oscar 2015: Illness and death are top subjects Eight films – most of them featuring illness and/or death as their focus – remain in the running for the 2015 Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar, the Academy of Motion […]

'A Night at the Cinema in 1914': Charles Chaplin, Pearl White and The Great War

Charles Chaplin in 'A Film Johnnie' (1914). 'A Night at the Cinema in 1914': From The Great War to Charles Chaplin and Pearl White Imagine, if you will, that you can go back one hundred years in time, when people were enjoying a new and pervasive art form: motion pictures. […]

Sneeze Face, Cheese Mites and Techno Charles Chaplin: 'Amazing Tales'

Sneeze face, cheese mites, and techno Charles Chaplin: San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2014's 'Amazing Tales from the Archive's (image: Fred Ott's 'sneeze face' in the short film 'Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze') The “Amazing Tales from the Archives” presentations at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which […]

D.W. Griffith Movies at Biograph: The Birth of a Cinema at the American Cinematheque

D.W. Griffith movies at the American Cinematheque (image: D.W. Griffith circa 1915) A series of D.W. Griffith movies made at Biograph at the dawn of both the 20th century and the art of moviemaking will be screened at the American Cinematheque next weekend. “Retroformat Presents: D.W. Griffith at Biograph, Part […]

Best Live Action Short Film Oscar: Martin Freeman Movie Among Semi-Finalists

Best Live Action Short Film semi-finalists: Oscar 2014 Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 live action short films remained in the running for the 2014 Academy Awards. Among the semi-finalists, topics and characters include African child soldiers (That Wasn't Me), a troubled Italian […]

'Morgue Street': Australian Classification Board Bans Another Movie

Banned movie in Australia: Horror short Morgue Street is latest casualty of Australian Classification Board Alberto Viavattene's horror short film Morgue Street was slated for Sydney's A Night of Horror Film Festival, which runs until April 21. However, two days prior to the screening, the Australian Classification Board, the same […]

Ann Arbor Film Festival 16mm Short Films: Los Angeles Filmforum

Ann Arbor Film Festival 16mm films at the Los Angeles Filmforum The Los Angeles Filmforum will present the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival's 16mm short-film show, featuring recent U.S.-made experimental, narrative, documentary and animated movies. The program, which will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, at the […]

European Film Awards: Michael Haneke Sets Best Director Record + Annie Awards Bypass Blockbusters

Michael Haneke at the 2012 European Film Awards. The story of an elderly couple facing illness and death, Amour was the top winner at this year's European Film Awards, collecting trophies in the following categories: Best European Film, Best European Director, Best European Actor (Jean-Louis Trintignant), and Best European Actress (Emmanuelle […]

Best Live Action Short Oscar: Children of Famous Parents in the Running + DC vs. Marvel Visual Effects

Edoardo Ponti, Nastassja Kinski, Enrico Lo Verso The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars. Edoardo Ponti & Bryce Dallas Howard live action shorts among 11 movies still in contention for Oscar 2013 A Brazilian inmate trying to convince his mother to get him a cell phone, two young Afghans' rite of […]

Oscar 2013: More on the Eight Documentary Shorts Semi-Finalists

'Paraiso' Nadav Kurtz documentary short is potential Oscar contender. Oscar 2013: Eight documentary shorts in contention Paraíso (photo), The Education of Mohammad Hussein, and Redemption are among eight documentary shorts still in the running for the 2013 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Only […]

'The Time Machine': Student Academy Awards Finalists

'The Time Machine,' 'The Dust Machine' among Student Academy Awards 2011 finalists (image: Mark Kendall's 'The Time Machine') Finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2011 Student Academy Awards competition have been announced. They are divided into four categories: Alternative, Animation, Documentary and Narrative. The finalists are the following (listed alphabetically […]

Tribeca NYC Jury: From Whoopi Goldberg to Souleymane Cissé

Tribeca NYC film festival jury member Whoopi Goldberg. The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 20-May 1, has announced its jurors. [Full list of Tribeca 2011 jury.] In the internationally eclectic list are found Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé, Your Highness' David Gordon Green, The Tillman Story's Amir Bar-Lev, Bullets […]

Mark Zuckerberg 'Time' Person of the Year & Oscar Push + Lesbian Film Pioneer Barbara Hammer Movies

Mark Zuckerberg: Time Person of the Year. Will the Time magazine Person of the Year cover give an awards season boost to Sony Pictures' The Social Network? Directed by David Fincher, the real-life-based drama stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the controversial founder of the social media behemoth Facebook. Mark […]

Margerethe von Trotta-Barbara Sukowa Collaboration + Piper Laurie & Ernest Borgnine Are Back

Barbara Sukowa as Hildegard von Bingen in Vision Margerethe von Trotta-Barbara Sukowa 'Vision': Hildegard von Bingen in L.A. Margarethe von Trotta's Vision, Official Selection at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, will open (via Zeitgeist Films) in Los Angeles at the Laemmle theaters on Nov. 12. A national release will […]

British Independent Film Awards: Moon Mystery Tops + Andrzej Wajda Passion & Death Tale Is FIPRESCI Winner

Moon with Sam Rockwell. This year's British Independent Film Awards Best Picture winner, Duncan Jones' Moon has elements in common with, among other sci-fi/mystery thrillers, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Basil Dearden's The Man Who Haunted Himself. Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) and supercomputer GERTY (which sounds kinda […]

Michael Jackson Kids & Family + Mansion Images & 'This Is It' Rehearsal

Michael Jackson kids and friends at singer's Holmby Hills mansion. Michael Jackson kids and friends image Provided by real estate developer Mohamed Hadid (via, the above photo shows Hadid (left) and his children alongside Michael Jackson and his kids – Michael Joseph Jr. (far left), Paris Michael Katherine (center), […]

Italian Mafia Movie Tops David di Donatello + Student Academy Awards Finalists + Tribeca Winners

Matteo Garrone's organized crime drama Gomorrah (above, top photo), based on Roberto Saviano's polemical book, took top honors at the 2009 David di Donatello awards. The Italian Film Academy voted Gomorrah the best Italian film of the year and Garrone the best director, in addition to handing the film five […]

Jessica Biel & Ari Folman + Laurent Cantet & Andrew Stanton: Oscar Season Images

Jessica Biel. Actress Jessica Biel at Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards Pictured above is Jessica Biel, host of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards ceremony, which was held on Feb. 7 in Beverly Hills. Past Scientific and Technical Awards presenters include the following: […]

Animated & Live Action Oscar Shorts + Gen-Art Film Festival

“Shorts!,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences program featuring the 2009 Oscar nominees in the Animated and Live Action Short Film categories, will be presented in New York City on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International (111 East 59th Street). There will be two […]

Gay Murder & Political Life That Rocked California Tops WGA Awards + Academy Names Holocaust Drama Producers

Gay murder – and political life – that rocked California: Milk. The WGA Awards' Best Original Screenplay pick was Milk, Dustin Lance Black's narrative about openly gay San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Harvey Milk, murdered in 1978 – along with Mayor George Moscone – by fellow Board member Daniel White, […]

Sundance Film Festival: Ten Shorts on itunes & Dramatic Competition Movies

James by Connor Clements The following Sundance 2009 short films are available for viewing/downloading – free of charge – via itunes stores in the US, UK, and Canada. They'll remain available until Jan. 25. Go to The available films are (synopses from the Sundance Festival's press release): Acting for […]

A Century Ago: The Films of 1908

"A Century Ago: The Films of 1908” will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday, December 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The program will be repeated on Thursday, December 4, at 7 p.m. at the Christopher B. Smith […]

Laurel & Hardy Movies

Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy Saturday, August 23, highlights on Turner Classic Movies: There are some who find Laurel & Hardy painfully funny. There are others who find them merely painful. I belong to the latter group. TCM premieres include Night Owls (1930), Brats (1930), Hog Wild (1930), Be Big! (1931), […]

Student Academy Awards: Caleb Deschanel, Jason Reitman Among Presenters

'Simulacra.' 'Simulacra,' 'On the Line' among Student Academy Award winners The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 35th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony was held earlier this evening, June 7, '08, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. (See further below images from the Student Academy Awards […]

Student Academy Award Winners: 'Simulacra'

Eleven students from eight US colleges and universities have been named winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 35th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. The winners will take part in a week of industry-related activities and social events, culminating in the awards ceremony on June 7 at […]

Student Academy Award Finalists

Thirty-two students from 20 American colleges and universities have been selected as finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 35th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. Their films will be judged by Academy members, who will then vote to select the winners. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal awards, […]

'Falling Slowly' Oscar Controversy Ends + Meet Academy Awards' Film Editors & Art Directors

“Falling Slowly” composers. Following an investigation, “written assurances,” and “detailed chronologies” (see further below), Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's ballad “Falling Slowly,” from John Carney's Irish romantic musical Once, remains in contention for the 2008 Academy Awards. Winner of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award, Once ran the risk of ending up Oscar nomination-less, […]

Sex Education Film Class + Bette Davis Tribute & the Evolution of Russian Cinema

Sex education film The Irresponsibles. The British Film Institute's “The Joy of Sex Education” – to be presented at London's bfi Southbank – consists of a series of British-made sex education film productions throughout the decades, from World War I to the post-Sexual Revolution 1970s. Topics range from, inevitably, sexually transmitted diseases […]

Rape of Nanking + Abused Haitian Workers: Oscar Documentary Semifinalists

For the Bible Tells Me. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the list of 15 films in the Documentary Feature category that will move forward to the next voting phase for the 80th Academy Awards. Seventy feature documentaries had originally qualified in that category. Those were […]

AFI FEST Movies: Tom Cruise & Meryl Streep + Abortion & Nazis

AFI FEST Featuring the likes of Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, John Sayles, Wayne Wang, John Landis, Laura Linney, Ellen Page, Jason Reitman, Javier Bardem, the voices of Catherine Deneuve and Danielle Darrieux (in Persepolis), and veterans Nancy Kwan, Turhan Bey, and Luise Rainer (all three in the documentary […]

The First Hollywood Actor to Lampoon Hitler

The Three Stooges Hitler Spoof: Moe Howard the first Hollywood actor to lampoon Hitler A few years ago, in the San Diego Jewish Journal Lynn Rapaport discussed the first Hollywood comedian to play Adolf Hitler on film. No, not Charles Chaplin. Try The Three Stooges' Moe Howard. Now, it's worth […]

'Cubicle: The Musicle': Q&A with Tibor Szakaly & William Fiala

I've known Tibor Szakaly for a couple of years. Each time I'd see him after French class at a language school in Beverly Hills, he would tell me about the making of his and William Fiala's musical short Cubicle: The Musicle. About a year later, Cubicle was screened for a […]

Katharine Hepburn Oscars Exhibition + Crowd-Pleasing Indie Tops Producers Guild Awards

Katharine Hepburn Oscars: Morning Glory with Adolphe Menjou. An RKO star in the 1930s and an MGM star in the 1940s, Katharine Hepburn won a record-setting four Best Actress Oscars. These will be on display at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' upcoming exhibition “Meet the Oscars, Los […]

'Marjoe': Evangelical Christian Scammers Exposed in Academy Award-Winning Documentary

Marjoe Gortner, “Evangelism's answer to Mick Jagger,” as seen in the poster of the 1972 documentary Marjoe. Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith's Oscar-winning film about Evangelical Christian scammers shows how religion, show business, and con artistry have a whole lot in common, as millions of people – whether due to […]

'A Century Ago: The Films of 1906'

A Century Ago: The Films of 1906 is a special screening of short films from 1906, including Dream of a Rarebit Fiend, Voyage autour d'une etoile / Voyage Around a Star, In the Haunts of Rip Van Winkle, The Impossible Convicts, Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, and others. Organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Los Angeles Latino Film Festival Winners

I've finally posted the list of winners at the 10th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. The award winners were announced by Edward James Olmos and Marlene Dermer this past Oct. 16. For a variety of reasons, I skipped this year's edition of the Latino festival. After the fact, I […]

Isabella Rossellini Plays Mother Ingrid Bergman: 'My Dad Is 100 Years Old'

Isabella Rossellini as her mother, Ingrid Bergman, in 'My Dad Is 100 Years Old' Guy Maddin's 2005 16-minute short film My Dad Is 100 Years Old, in which Isabella Rossellini pays “a unique personal tribute to her father, director Roberto Rossellini, in observance of the centenary of his birth,” will be shown on the […]

Oscar Shorts Presentation: 'The Runaway' & 'The Moon and the Son'

Oscar shorts 2006: Academy Award-nominated Animated and Live Action shorts to be screened at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater (image: Peter Jordan and Maximilian Werner in Ulrike Grote's Oscar-nominated short film 'The Runaway / Ausreisser') The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Shorts!,” featuring the ten films nominated […]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali 'Submission Part II': Gays and Islam

According to numerous reports, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who has become a Dutch Member of Parliament for the conservative Liberal Party*, has announced plans to produce a film about gays and Islam. According to Hirsi Ali, she and director Theo van Gogh co-wrote the screenplay of the upcoming […]

Thomas Edison 'Frankenstein' 1910 Owner Found Dead & 'Grand Hotel' on Air Collector's Edition DVD

Thomas Edison Frankenstein film preservationist Alois F. Dettlaff found dead Alois F. Dettlaff, the film archivist responsible for preserving the only surviving print of Thomas Edison's 1910 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, was found dead in the bathroom of his home in Cudahy, Wisconsin, on July 26. (Image: Charles […]