Male Restroom Etiquette is a 2006 American short subject created by humorist Phil R. Rice and produced by his company Zarathustra Studios. The film is a mockumentary about unwritten rules of behavior in male restrooms and is intended to be a parody of educational and social guidance films. The film was made using the machinima technique of recording video footage from computer games, namely ‘The Sims 2’ and ‘SimCity 4.’ In the short, the narrator states that increased cultural diversity has necessitated the exposition of previously unwritten rules regarding the use of malerestrooms.
According to these rules, males should use restrooms as quickly as possible, maximize physical separation from each other when using urinals, flush urinals when they contain concentrated urine, avoid stalls with unflushed toilets, and avoid eye contact and communication with others. The film depicts a scenario in which excess communication leads to a mess in the restroom and thus deficient hygiene and homeostasis, the latter of which is in the lowest tier in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As the scenario continues, the restroom occupants turn to violence, leading to police and biological hazard team involvement that closes the restroom. Forced to go elsewhere, other men repeat the scenario, eventually leading to complete societal breakdown.
L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat (‘The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station,’ known in the UK as ‘Train Pulling into a Station’) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by filmmaking pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière. Contrary to myth, it was not shown at the Lumières’ first public film screening on December 28th, 1895 in Paris (the first public showing took place in January 1896). The train moving directly towards the camera was said to have terrified spectators at the first screening, a claim that has been called an urban legend.
This 50-second silent film shows the entry of a train pulled by a steam locomotive into a train station in the French coastal town of La Ciotat. Like most of the early Lumière films it consists of a single, unedited view illustrating an aspect of everyday life. There is no apparent intentional camera movement, and the film consists of one continuous real-time shot. This 50-second movie was filmed by means of the Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a printer and film projector. As with all early Lumière movies, this film was made in a 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.read more »
Neighbours is a 1952 anti-war film by Scottish-Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren. Produced at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, the film uses the technique known as pixilation, an animation technique using live actors as stop-motion objects. McLaren created the soundtrack by scratching the edge of the film, leaving various blobs, lines, and triangles which the projector read as sound.
In the short, two men live peacefully in adjacent cardboard houses. When a flower blooms between their houses, they fight each other to the death over the ownership of the single small flower. According to McLaren: ‘I was inspired to make ‘Neighbours’ by a stay of almost a year in the People’s Republic of China. Although I only saw the beginnings of Mao’s revolution, my faith in human nature was reinvigorated by it. Then I came back to Quebec and the Korean War began. (…) I decided to make a really strong film about anti-militarism and against war.’read more »
Malice in Wonderland is a 1982 American independent short film directed by Vince Collins, and with graphic design by Miwako. It is loosely based on the Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ displaying surreal images and an aggressive animation style.
It is 4 minutes long. A jet-propelled white rabbit flies through the vulva of a supine woman into a wonderland where people and objects turn inside out, changing shapes and identities at warp speed. Events roughly follow Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ The Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts make appearances, as does Alice. Images and symbols are often sexual. At the end, Alice says, ‘Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream.’
Dimensions of Dialogue (Czech: ‘Možnosti dialogu’) is a 1982 Czechoslovak animated short film directed by Jan Švankmajer. It is 14 minute long and created with stop motion. The animation is divided into three sections:
‘Exhaustive discussion’ shows Arcimboldo-like heads gradually reducing each other to bland copies; ‘Passionate discourse’ shows a clay man and woman who dissolve into one another sexually, then quarrel and reduce themselves to a frenzied, boiling pulp; and ‘Factual conversation’ consists of two elderly clay heads who extrude various objects on their tongues (toothbrush and toothpaste; shoe and shoelaces, etc.) and intertwine them in various combinations.
Baby Bottleneck is a 1945 Warner Brothers Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released in 1946 and directed by Bob Clampett and written by Warren Foster. In the short, there is a baby boom in the postwar US; an overworked stork (a clear Jimmy Durante reference) gets drunk in the ‘Stork Klub.’ A mix up results in babies getting sent to the wrong parents (such as a baby Hippopotamus to a Scottish Terrier). To clear up the confusion, Porky Pig is brought in to manage the factory, with Daffy Duck as his assistant. The babies are seen going through a conveyor belt (to the tune of Raymond Scott’s famous ‘Powerhouse’) and getting sent by various animals, while Daffy mans the phones, making quick references to Bing Crosby, Eddie Cantor, and the Dionne Quintuplets.
When a stray egg is found without an address, Porky decides to have Daffy sit on it until it hatches. However, Daffy refuses to sit around on top of an egg. Porky chases Daffy around the factory (complete with an imitation of Porky by Daffy), until they wind up trapped on the conveyor belt. The belt stuffs both of them into one package (with Porky as the legs and Daffy as the top half) and sends them off to Africa, where a gorilla is waiting. When the gorilla looks at the ‘baby,’ Porky peeks through the diaper, causing the gorilla to cry on the telephone, ‘Mr. Anthony, I have a problem!!’ (a reference to John J. Anthony, who conducted a daily radio advice program at the time called ‘The Goodwill Hour’; its stock phrase was ‘I have a problem, Mr. Anthony’).
Taubman Sucks is an award-winning short documentary about a precedent-setting intellectual property lawsuit. The documentary was written and directed by filmmaker Theo Lipfert. The six-minute film explores Taubman v. WebFeats, a lawsuit that involved the complex relationships between domain names, trademarks, and free speech.
As the first ‘sucks.com’ case to reach the level of the United States Court of Appeals, the decision in Taubman v. WebFeats established precedents concerning the non-commercial use of trademarks in domain names.
Captain EO is a 3-D film starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who based the name on Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn) that was shown at Disney theme parks from 1986 through the 1990s. The attraction returned in 2010, as a tribute after Jackson’s death. It is regarded as one of the first ‘4-D’ films (4-D being the name given to a 3-D film which incorporates in-theater effects, such as lasers, smoke, etc., frame synced to the film narrative). This innovation was suggested by producer-writer Rusty Lemorande who is, therefore, sometimes referred to as ‘The Father of 4-D.’ These effects resulted in the seventeen-minute film costing an estimated $30 million to produce. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made on a per-minute basis, averaging out at $1.76 million per minute.
The film’s executive producer was George Lucas, and it was choreographed by Jeffrey Hornaday (who also choreographed ‘Flashdance’ and ‘A Chorus Line’) and Michael Jackson. The score was written by James Horner, and featured two songs (‘We Are Here to Change the World’ and ‘Another Part of Me’), both written and performed by Michael Jackson. The Supreme Leader was played by Anjelica Huston. The movie tells the story of Captain EO (Michael Jackson) and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to ‘The Supreme Leader,’ who lives on a world of rotting, twisted metal and steaming vents. Captain EO’s alien crew consists of his small flying sidekick Fuzzball, the double-headed navigator and pilot Idey and Ody, robotic security officer Major Domo, a small robot Minor Domo (who fits like a module into Major Domo), and the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter who always manages to upset the crew’s missions.
Destino is an animated short film released in 2003 by The Walt Disney Company. The six-minute short follows the story of Chronos and the ill-fated love he has for a mortal female. It is unusual in that its production originally began in 1945.read more »
In 2011, Adam Yauch directed and wrote a surreal comedic short film entitled Fight For Your Right Revisited to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original video release of their 1987 hit, ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).’ ‘Revisited’ acts as a sequel to the events that took place in the original music video and stars Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (played by Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood & Danny McBride respectively) as they get into more drunken antics, before being challenged to a dance battle by the future Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell and Jack Black, respectively).
The short also features several cameo appearances, including Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Shannyn Sossamon, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Rashida Jones, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Mary Steenburgen, Will Arnett, Chloe Sevigny, Maya Rudolph, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, Martin Starr, and the actual Mike D, Ad-Rock & MCA.
Pixels is a short film created and directed by French film-maker Patrick Jean. It’s about the invasion of New York by a classic 8-bit video games, such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Tetris, Arkanoid, and others. Pixels was picked up by Adam Sandler’s production company to be developed into a feature film.
Rejected is a surrealist animated short comedy film by Don Hertzfeldt that was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2000. A fictional frame story explains that Hertzfeldt was commissioned to do animated segments for commercials and television network interstitials, but they were all rejected upon receipt. Towards the end of the short the animator begins to break down mentally and the animated world he created literally begins to fall apart, brutally killing all of his characters in the process.