Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Short Things I Want

Like I said, TIFF starts up this week. Tomorrow night I've got Waltz with Bashir and JCVD to see. I'm looking forward to both for very different reasons. I'm glad I've got 90 minutes between screenings to flush one before seeing the other.

But the artwork for Waltz with Bashir got me thinking of past things I've seen that I want. Specifically - Destino and At The Quinte Hotel.

Destino was a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. It was completed in 2003 by Roy Disney and has made the rounds at animation and short film festivals. I caught it at the Worldwide Short Film Festival years ago and LOVED it. It's a beautiful piece of surrealistic animation. I immediately went looking to see if it was anywhere. It wasn't.

But then it was supposed to be part of a Disney DVD series (True-Life Adventures I think?), then another (Treasures), and eventually was to be released on DVD in November of this year. There's also talk it will be released as a short with a Disney Feature film (Wikipedia claims Beverley Hills Chihuahua, but I'll take that with an ocean's worth of salt... and if it IS the case, I'll weep a little). Now they're promising a release at the same time as Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 in 2010. The Fantasia releases are on Blu-Ray, they aren't specific if Destino will be available on DVD as well.

I hate waiting.

Then there's At The Quinte Hotel. A poem by Al Purdy, filmed at least twice now. There's the easy to find live-action interpretation with Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip, but that's not what I'm looking for. No, I want the Bruce Alcock-directed animated short that I also caught at a Worldwide Short Film Fest. Here's a clip. It's Al Purdy reading his poem, and set to some captivating interpretation.

On the plus side, my search did lead me to the Movieola site (no idea if it plays for those in the US), and the Worldwide Short Site, both of which host some short films, if not the ones I'm looking for. It does show that short films are finally getting some play in a medium that works for them - online. The goal of a short film is seldom to make money, so the creators and copywrite owners should be happy to get it out there however they can - compilation DVDs from the festivals, online distribuition, etc..

I do own a copy of Two Soldiers, which is one of the most heart-wrenching things I've seen, maybe because I have younger brothers. I also found L'Homme Sans TĂȘte (yet another site with some shorts to enjoy), which is another short I really enjoyed at the same screening I saw Destino and Two Soldiers at (easily the best collection of short films I've ever seen).

It's compartively easy to find the TIFF films I liked, there are always imports and bootlegs if you look hard enough, but shorts get so little distribution, that you have to know they exist to find them. In the meantime, I'll once again wait for Destino to hit the shelves...

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