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Turner Classic Movies: The Shorts Circuit

08 May

In another tribute to short film, TCM put together a great event which they called “Behind the Camera: The Shorts Circuit.” In this case, TCM really did the unheard of in the game of shorts, especially for a television network. On September 15, 2006, TCM and it’s viewers celebrated the art of short film for 24 hours straight. Along with many classic films, the marathon featured shorts premiers from six directors: Peter Gilbert, Griffin Dunne, E. Elias Merhige, Mario Van Peebles, Floria Sigismondi and Mary Sweeney.

The films made by these directors were experimental, yet interesting. Here is one of the films premiered on that day: Postmortem Bliss by Floria Sigismondi.

Postmortem bliss was a strange film, but even from the start I liked the effects used with the camera. I really liked the early underwater type filming combined with the reflection effect. The narration in the background is what really gives the film feeling; I would have had a whole different impression if not for the ominous voice droning in the background. It is a film about addiction, but I thought that she might have been able to convey this without actually saying so much.

All in all its an artistic work, and I liked it. It was depressing for the most part, but enthralling at the same time. It tells a story without a plot. The use of the answering machine was most helpful, in my opinion. There was much more than those six films on dispay on TCM, though.

Those six directors made creations on behalf of the event’s sponsor, The House of Hermes, specifically for the television festival. The other 23 hours of the event were filled with an overwhelming pool of talent. David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Martin Scorcese, Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski and Francois Truffant also had short films on rotation during the course of the event. A number of the films that were shown are ones that we have seen previously in class, including David Lynch’s The Grandmother and Truffaut’s Antoine y Colette & Les Mistons.

Here is a link to view Les Mistons via YouTube.

The festival also sprinkled the classics around the day, showing films from Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and George Stevens. The day, as a whole, was a true celebration of the old, new, known, and unknown of film.

Heres the full lineup of films from the event.

7:30 AM Charlie Chaplin Shorts
– The Rounders (’14)
– A Dog’s Life (’18)
– Shoulder Arms (’18)
– A Day’s Pleasure (’19)
– Idle Class (’22)

9:45 AM Buster Keaton Shorts
– The Scarecrow (’20)
– The Paleface (’22)
– Streamlined Swing (’38)
– Hollywood Handicap (’38)

10:30 AM George Stevens Shorts
– Ladies Last (’30)
– Blood and Thunder (’31)
– High Gear (’31)
– Air Tight (’31)
– Call a Cop (’31)

12:30 PM George Marshall Shorts
– Strictly Unreliable (’32)
– Old Bull (’32)
– Alum and Eve (’32)
– The Soilers (’32)

2:00 PM George Sidney Shorts
– Billy Rose’s Casa Manana Revue (’38)
– Love On Tap (’39)
– Hollywood Hobbies (’39)
– Willie and the Mouse (’41)

3:00 PM Jean Negulesco Shorts
– The Flag of Humanity (’40)
– Alice in Movieland (’40)
– The Gay Parisian (’41)
– Those Good Old Days (‘41)
– Roaring Guns (’44)

4:45 PM Jacques Tourneur Shorts
– The Jonker Diamond (’36)
– Harnessed Rhythm (’36)
– Killer Dog (’36)
– The Rainbow Pass (’37)
– The Boss Didn’t Say Good Morning (’37)

5:45 PM Fred Zinnemann Shorts
– That Mothers Might Live (’38)
– The Story of Dr. Carver (’38)
– Way in the Wilderness (’40)
– Forbidden Passage (’41)
– Your Last Act (’41)

7:00 PM Don Siegel Short
– Star in the Night (’45)

7:30 PM Chris Marker Short
– La Jetee (’62)

8:00 PM Hermes Shorts
– There is No Place Like Home (by Peter Gilbert)
– Your Products Here (by Grifin Dunne)
– Baadasssss Grandkids! (by Mario Van Peebles)
– Post Mortem Bliss (by Floria Sigismondi)
– In the Eye Abides the Heart (by Mary Sweeney)
– Din of Celestial Birds (by E. Elias Merhige)

9:00 PM David Lynch Short(s)
– The Grandmother (’70)
– The Alphabet (’67)

9:45 PM Martin Scorsese Shorts
– What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (’63)
– It’s Not Just You, Murray! (’64)
– The Big Shave (’68)

10:30 PM Stanley Kubrick Shorts
– The Day of the Flight (’51)
– The Flying Padre (’51)
11:00 PM Hermes Shorts (repeated)
– There is No Place Like Home (by Peter Gilbert)
– Your Products Here (by Grifin Dunne)
– Baadasssss Grandkids! (by Mario Van Peebles)
– Post Mortem Bliss (by Floria Sigismondi)
– In the Eye Abides the Heart (by Mary Sweeney)
– Din of Celestial Birds (by E. Elias Merhige)

12:00 AM Ridley Scott Short
– Boy and Bicycle (’65)

12:30 AM Tony Scott Short
– One of the Missing (’71)

1:00 AM Jane Campion Shorts
– Peel (’82)
– Passionless Moments (’83)
– A Girl’s Own Story (’84)

2:00 AM Francois Truffaut Shorts
– Les Mistons (’58)
– Antoine and Colette (’62)

3:00 AM Roman Polanski Shorts
– Break Up the Dance (’57)
– Two Men and a Wardrobe (’58)
– When Angels Fall (’61)
– The Fat and the Lean (’61)

4:00 AM Hermes Shorts (repeated)
– There is No Place Like Home (by Peter Gilbert)
– Your Products Here (by Grifin Dunne)
– Baadasssss Grandkids! (by Mario Van Peebles)
– Post Mortem Bliss (by Floria Sigismondi)
– In the Eye Abides the Heart (by Mary Sweeney)
– Din of Celestial Birds (by E. Elias Merhige)

5:00 AM Alfred Hitchcock Shorts
– Aventure Malgache (’44)
– Bon Voyage (’44)

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