Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 6:30 pm
Instructor: Gary M. Kramer, Author and Film Critic
Although they are rarely screened outside of film festivals, these easily digestible mini-movies are often “calling cards” for burgeoning directors who want to showcase their talents in a modest—and modestly budgeted—form. Andrea Arnold (American Honey), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) all have won Oscars for their early short films.
Short films do not require the same investment in character development that features do, but viewers’ emotions—from amusement to sadness to discomfort—can be effectively evoked, nevertheless. Indeed, short films can be more satisfying than feature films as they offer a dramatic slice of life or a simple joke, eloquently told. They are brief, intense snippets of a larger world. A good short film works with quiet efficiency to hook viewers, carry them through the story, and deliver a satisfying payoff; the best shorts prompt us to reassess our conceptions of cinema.
This seminar will showcase a collection of short films including “The Thread” (2023) and “The Year of the Radio” (2022), among others, that highlight the strengths of the format. This seminar will provide students with a greater appreciation for short films that deserve anything but short shrift.