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Short Cinema Journal 1:1 - Invention (1997)

Cast: Michael Apted, Michael Apted
Director: Dave Sarno, Dave Sarno, Albert Watson, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: PolyGram Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Independent, Short Films
Running Time: 137 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

The first installment of this magazine on DVD compiles a variety of short subjects. Highlights include Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade, directed by George Hickenlooper; an interview with filmmaker Michael Apted; Goreville by Seth Henrikson and Dave Sarno; and Henry Rollins: Easter Sunday in NYC by Albert Watson. ~ Iotis Erlewine, All Movie Guide

This DVD is currently out of print.

GreenCine Member Reviews

A promising start to the series by AKrizman April 5, 2003 - 12:13 PM PST
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
This disc contains the following Shorts their entirety:

Mr. Resistor (1993) 8 min.
An impressively executed stop motion fantasy featuring a creature made of spare electronic parts and his attempt to escape from vengeful sports trophies.

The Big Story (1994) 2 min.
This Oscar-nominated animated short is a tribute to Kirk Douglas and features three claymation versions of Douglas from different stages of his career. Perhaps someone more familiar with Douglas' career would appreciate this film more than I did.

Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade (1994) 25 min.
The prototype of the well-known feature length Sling Blade. This is an edgier black and white version directed by George Hickenlooper, and tells only what would be the first act of the feature (including the chilling monologue by Billy Bob Thornton) and ends where the movie version carries out it's predetermined conclusion. The short is better for it.

Black Rider (1993) 12 min.
A trainful of passengers remain silent while a bigot loudly proclaims her racist beliefs, but the black rider turns this rule of mass phychology around and uses their silence against her.

Trouble (1995) 16 min.
A great film that explores how people deal with reality when reality becomes burdensome. Addie is a kid who's frustrated with her mother's inablility to accept her children's faults while stubbornly clinging to her delusions about their well-being. This is part of a reality that proves too much for Addie herself, and she chooses an escapist route to dealing with it. This film was the highlight of this volume for me. I'd love to see other work by writer/director Carrie Blank.

This Unfamiliar Place (1992) 10 min.
This Documentary is less about Andrzej Brzeski and his escape from Nazi occupied Poland than it is about his daughter (the director, Eva Ilona Brzeski) and her frustration with his reluctance to discuss the events he wants to forget.

Henry Rollins: Easter Sunday in N.Y.C. (1997) 11 min.
This piece combines performances of Rollins' spoken word pieces, interviews, and snippets of music from his Black Flag days to effectively evoke his narcissism-as-a-revolutionary-act philosophy.

Shape Without Form (1995) 4 min.
A moody experiment. It reminds me of a Derek Jarman short with Julie Taymor's artistic sensibility.

These films are interspersed with a variety of extra features including:

An 11 min. Interview with director Michael Apted who discusses his 7 Up series and the his documentary The Incident at Oglala.

A 12 min. edit of the film Baraka with an interview by the producer. Curiously, his name is never given, or credited anywhere.

A 7 min. edit of Goreville U.S.A., a documentary about a town that passed a gun law that required every citizen to own a gun. The anti-gun attitudes of directors Seth Henrikson and David Sarno are so shamelessly obvious, they make Bowling for Columbine seem unbiased. Their approach is to interview every crackpot and senile old person in town, and cut them off before they say anything meaningful. At least Michael Moore had the excuse that he was interviewing the President of the NRA.

A tribute to blues legend John Lee Hooker that consists of 3 1/2 minutes of incoherent mumbled interview followed by a music video for the song "Got My Eyes On You"

The disc uses some fun and stylish intertitles to combine these disparate elements, but I'd have preferred more shorts and less filler. I was pleased that short documentaries have a forum in this series alongside the traditional animation and live action shorts, but I would relegate the interviews exclusively to alternate audio tracks, minimize the music videos, and completely eliminate the snippets of features and the commercials. There are so many great shorts that deserve to be seen, and so few venues to see them, that a series like this would be better served to focus on them.

This title is currently unavailable on disc or is no longer in-print.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.50)
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Short but Well Worth Your Time
Best Shorts on dvd - no particular order.

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