Ex-gangster turned gorillas, drunks with snake-like tongues, and an obnoxious bridal party of chickens are not exactly your typical pub goers but, then again, this is neither your typical pub, nor your typical film. In Joseph Pierce’s short film, The Pub, every aspect of the illustration ridden setting, which for the most part takes place in a London pub that Pierce once lived atop, is in this perpetual vibrating motion. The characters’ facial features constantly morph into uncomfortably strange proportions, while the intoxicated and unpredictable customers transform now and then into various animals. As Pierce introduces his audience to this wild collection of drinkers through the perspective of a barmaid, he also portrays their eccentric, often lude behavior. The Pub is just one of many short films in which an overlooked aspect of life is depicted through a unique lens.
John Pierce’s short film, The Pub, UK, 2013
There’s a certain unexpectedness associated with short films that sets them apart from your average feature film (40 minutes or longer). First off, the short length in time forces the filmmaker to condense or trim information, providing only the necessary scenes needed to establish the intended meaning. Since short filmmakers are often independent and/or nonprofit, they must make do with limited resources and a small budget. With each film, they need to prove themselves in order to receive funding for future projects. The constant struggle that pretty much any artist can relate to is what fosters great work. Short films gained popularity in the early 20th century, mostly in the form of short comedies, cartoons, and newsreels. But they are now a popular artistic outlet, so much so that numerous film festivals have been created to support these unique filmmakers and their work.
Various film festivals are interspersed throughout the year, especially in NYC. The New York City Short Film Festival (Oct. 27-28, 2013) is an occasion made by filmmakers for filmmakers. They receive entries internationally from Canada to Singapore. The Manhattan Short Film Festival (Sept. 27- Oct. 6, 2013) allows for audiences all over the world to vote for their favorite finalists. The films can be viewed at any of the partnering cinemas that exist in all 50 states, and over seas. Other notable festivals are the Big Apple Film Festival (Nov. 6-10, 2013), the Tribeca Film Festival (Apr. 17, 2013), and the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival (Apr. 22-29, 2013). If you’re not going to be in the area during these times, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of film festivals all over the country and around the world. Want to get in on the action from home? Visit http://www.shortoftheweek.com for more brilliant short films.