Watch Madonna, at age 16, star in a high-schooler's experimental film

In 1974, Wyn Cooper, one of Madonna's fellow students at Adams High School near Detroit, invited the 16-year-old pre-material girl to star in his experimental film. The Super 8 short is titled "The Egg." "We developed a friendship and hung out," Cooper, now a poet in Vermont, has said. "I had a Mercury Capri with an eight-track tape player. Madonna and I would hop in the car, drive around and listen to Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars while enjoying a little marijuana." (via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

"Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase," a wonderful claymation from 1992

Joan C Gratz's animated short "Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase" is a lovely and trippy 2D claymation of iconic artworks transforming one into another. After spending a decade on the piece, Gratz won the 1992 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Gratz called her animation technique "clay painting." From Educational Media Reviews Online:

“Clay-painting” is a unique process that blends film and painting, and an innovation that garnered Joan Gratz’s Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase a 1992 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. In this true landmark of animation, numerous famous and iconic paintings from 20th century art are “reproduced as exactly as possible but the transitions between these paintings [are] used to communicate the relationship of artistic movements” as Gratz has stated. “In the clay painting technique, which I began developing in 1966, I work by painting directly before the camera, making changes to a single painting, shooting a frame, repainting and shooting, etc. In the end there is one painting with the process recorded on film, the product is the process.”

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Watch Spike Jonze's short film about cannabis

Trailblazing filmmaker Spike Jonze made this short film, titled "The New Normal," about how America's relationship to cannabis has changed from the days when George Washington grew hemp. Co-written and starring Jesse Williams, it's a commercial for MedMen Cannabis Dispensaries. From AdWeek:

"We had a desire to create a commercial with a profound message,” said (MedMen CMO David) Dancer. “Our core value is around ensuring that people can lead safe, happy, healthy lives with cannabis being a part of it. … Here we wanted to not only destigmatize and normalize but really, as you’ll see in the spot, highlight what has been unjust about the treatment of cannabis whether it is stop-and-frisk and unjust criminalization, whether it is this propaganda in Referer Madness, quite frankly leading to the Schedule One classification of cannabis as a federally illegal substance sitting next to heroin."

Dancer said (the film has) been in the works for roughly four months, adding that the company worked to make sure everyone involved with the spot had a tie to cannabis.

"The highly selective criminalization of one plant, with flagrantly harsher punishments for one community, must be acknowledged and left behind for something more reasonable, realistic and fair,” said Williams in a statement. “It’s pretty clear that Americans are ready to exist beyond a few inherited hypocrisies. We deserve the opportunity to make this right. We can do, and feel, better."

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"Recorded Live": a short film about murderous video tape reels

SS Wilson's fantastic 1975 film, "Recorded Live," was a classic of early HBO's interstitial "Short Takes" segments.

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Tank: an excellent animated short paying homage to 80s vector videogames

Red Giant's chief creative officer Stu Maschwitz used Adobe After Effects to painstakingly create Tank, a fantastic tribute to 1980s vector graphics videogames like Battlezone, the Vectrex system, and the original Star Wars coin-op machine. Below, "The Making of Tank."

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Short film of drivers making last minute decisions

"Terminal Communication"(2007) is a film made from found security camera footage, accompanied by accordion music that drives home the idea that life is absurd.

From the YouTube description:

Terminal Communication is a fixed-frame work featuring the actions of drivers as they approach a badly signed junction leading into Rosslare Harbour ferry port, in County Wexford. Filmed from a vantage point overlooking the junction, the camera captures the incidents which locals then claimed was an everyday occurrence. Since the work was made the temporary blockade has been removed.

This work was made with the assistance of Mike Kavanagh and commissioned under Wexford County Councils Per Cent for Art Programme in 2007. Music used in the work is by Valerio.

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Watch the short film adaptation of William Gibson's "The Gernsback Continuum"

NSFW: Tomorrow Calling (1993) is a short film adaptation for television of William Gibson's 1981 short story "The Gernsback Continuum," from the seminal cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades (1986), edited by Bruce Sterling, and Gibson's own Burning Chrome (1986) collection. Directed by Tim Leandro, Tomorrow Calling was first shown on Channel 4 in the UK.

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A comedy about a robot struggling to find acceptance in the human world

From KQED’s Film School Shorts, "a forlorn/funny Frankenstein style tale called Timmy II, directed/written/starring a Pakistani-American filmmaker named Imran J. Khan."

Timmy II is a comedy about a robot struggling to find acceptance in the human world. But when he’s given a Pakistani face on the same day as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he learns that fitting in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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'Ghostfish: Catfished By A Ghost' is a masterful dark comedy in five minutes

This quirky short film was made in just 48 hours, and was named a national runner-up in The HP 48Hours Filmmaking competition. Read the rest

Wrapped: magical short film about mutant monster ivy that engulfs New York City

"Wrapped" is a short film created by Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann from Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, at the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction. Read the rest

“Wire Cutters,” a wonderful short film on the rough lives of off-world robot miners

“A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.” Read the rest

Short film: "Denali"

“There's no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they've supported you through your darkest times.” Read the rest