short film review

Reviews and news about short films, short film festivals, reviews, links and guides to short films online,images from short films,directors,writers,cinemaphotographers. Copyright 2005, 2006 by Allan Maurer. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

TCM Showing Day of Great Short Films

The Turner Classic Movie Channel airs “The Shorts Circuit” Wednesday, Sept. 15 over a 24-hour period offers a rare chance to view the short films of a bevy of major directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsesse, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Francois Truffaut, Roman Polanski, Chris Marker (La Jetee, done entirely in stills but for one frame), Fred Zinneman, Jacques Tourneur (who directed the Val Lewton produced “Cat People,” and “I Walked with a Zombie,” Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, and Jane Campion, not to mention some of Chaplin and Keaton’s best.

Get your VCR or DVD recorders ready, because this is a veritable college course in the history of the short film.

In several cases, such as the Polanski and Scorsese shorts, the films are the work the directors did in film school, a route still often taken by budding directors today. Polanski’s “Two Men and Waredrobe,” made while he was in film school in Poland in 1958, was once a stable of college film societies.

A number of the French “New Wave” directors of the 1960s, including Truffaut, also began their careers making short films.

Veteran Hollywood directors George Sidney and George Marshall provide diverting entertainments. Sidney’s “Hollywood Hobbies” was written by Morey Amsterdam, who later played a comedy writer on the Dick Van Dyke show on TV. It portrays classic MGM stars such as Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy at leisure.

Several of Tourneur’s shorts are narrated by Pete Smith. Smith, chidf of MGM’s publicity department during the Hollywood studio’s heyday, also starred in a series of his own shorts called Pete Smith specialties, which I remember seeing in theatres as late as the 1950s and which TCM runs fairly often.

The show includes a rerun of TCM’s documentary about “Added Attractions: Hollywood Shorts.”

Look for additional posts before and after this day long festival of shorts.

Here's TCM's guide to the films: The Shorts Circuit


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