Another year gone by, and what a year it was for short film online. This is the fourth year we’ve done this top 10 list, and the selection process was more difficult than ever. We recommended over 150 excellent short films on this site in 2010 and while the exclusions were excruciating, with this list, we’ve produced our strongest lineup yet.
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Short of the Year: Winner!
The thing you’ll notice about the films this year is that they’re heavy. This is a lineup of emotional powerhouses. Heartbreaking, passionate, poignant; these are films not content to conform to the sometimes desultory expectations that come with being “short”—these are great films that manage to equal, if not exceed, the emotional weight of any feature.
Some rely heavily on splendid visuals like Pivot, which produces the finest action sequence in all of visual media this year, bringing back rudimentary polygonal styles to celebrate with joy that other dimension of animation—movement. Or Nuit Blanche, a film of enormous romantic lushness, that, amidst the rise of fashion films, might have been the year’s most fashionable.
Others explore the hidden world of the heart with a heartbreaking aplomb: the exquisite depiction of confronting one’s “Big Bad Wolf” in Old Fangs, or the headlong rush of a relationship’s lifetime in Please Say Something, both, like Bottle, telling all too human stories via non-human characters.
On the other hand, a few on this list explore abstraction and seek to connect us with what is universal. That’s what Between Bears accomplishes, the concept of the journey tied close to the epic and the mythic; creating images of such power, one cannot help but connect it back to its country of origin. The Third and the Seventh‘s resolute appreciation of beauty likewise is food for the soul, its simple being a tribute to transcendence in Art.
Even the films that seem at first most conventional, with quaint things such as “actors”, prove to be anything but. D-I-M: Deus Ex Machina, aside from its amazing special fx, is a stirring call to arms for defiance in the face of oppression, and Frank Dancoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer…well let’s just say that “conventional” is not an apt term for this geekily indulgent masterpiece.
However there has to be a film that wears the crown, and this year, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that film proved to be Plastic Bag. This film encompasses all the qualities above and more. Its lovely cinematography was stirring, its exploration of an interior worlds going through existential crisis, bravely true. It connects us to sensations that are mythic and epic, yet in its environmentalist message seeks to embrace us all in a consciousness of our shared community and planet. All this in a flick about a plastic bag. It is the most amazing short film of 2010.