Unkle and Future Shorts

We have teamed up with Unkle to release four music videos (well, one’s really a short film) to celebrate the new Unkle album, ‘Where Did The Night Fall’. Yesterday, we released ‘The Answer’, directed by John Hillcoat (of The Road), on our Youtube channel (click below to watch)…

Today’s video is perhaps a little, erm, sensual for Youtube’s censorship policies, so we’re uploading it here… Check out below the Unkle video for ‘Follow Me Down’, directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, a featuring a performance by the model, Liberty Ross…

The Arcade Fire…

We at Future Shorts are fans of The Arcade Fire. We’re also fans of Terry Gilliam. So when we heard about Terry Gilliam directing a webcast of The Arcade Fire’s show at Madison Square Garden, our ears pricked up and our fingers moved to our mice and keyboards (not quite in unison) to find out more. Having discovered this Behind The Scenes video, though, we feel like the live show was not the main event – the backstage coverage stands up by itself. So check it out below, and be prepared to be amazed by Terry Gilliam’s pretty good piano skills…

Also, an Arcade Fire/Terry Gilliam bonus (we’re not obsessed) – a little animation created as a trailer for the show…

Walking Across America…

Is it a commercial? Well, yes, for Levis. Made using 2,770 frames, a team of 5 people travelled across the US in a campervan stopping periodically to take photos. The entire shoot took 14 days. How tired they must have been (a lot less tired than if they’d have actually walked it, I suppose). We think it’s cool, and the Edward Sharpe soundtrack definitely helps…

Hamburg

Hamburg! Germany! Quite a change from Krakow. Really quite rowdy in comparison. My time here began with a visit to the accreditation desk, to be greeted by the 35ml Club. Each accredited person is requested to bring a bottle of schappes from their own country. People then proceed, armed with a shot glass to drink their way through these bottles, being supported by some pretty dirty electro music. Fun times! At 7pm!

Went to a screening at 10pm, which included the brilliant Golden Bear at Berlin winner, Incident By A Bank, a single shot reconstruction of a failed bank robbery in 2006.

Some serious video library action took place on Friday. I became pale due to lack of sunlight. Saw some great stuff though, such as a Finnish student animation, called Benigni, about a lonely musician befriending a tumour that grows on his arm. Strange, but very engrossing.

Another of note was a British short by a young filmmaker, Alex Barrett. His ‘Paintbrush: The Epitaph’ was a comic, and moving tale of Facebook existence.

After a bit more 35ml Club action (and experiencing drinking a shot of Russian vodka out of a bottle the shape and size of a shotgun), it was time for a very interesting Thai shorts screening, in an amazing little cinema called B-Movie.

Four Boys, White Whiskey and Grilled Mouse was here again, but was followed by a very interesting and original short set inside a chat room, Bangkok Tanks.

More, more, more video library action on Saturday, so many films, so little time… A great film called Rita, about a blind girl in Sicily, briefly experiencing freedom was a stand-out choice.

Later a screening in the main cinema, Zeise 1, included a film of Sol Bondy, the producer of a Future Shorts favourite, The Girl With The Yellow Stockings. His new film, Sparrows, aside from looking extremely difficult to make, was a very clever, one-shot story of a man and woman meeting in a bar and spending the night together.

After a night spent in the festival club (but no fish market at 6am – apparently essential if you visit Hamburg), Sunday was leaving day. Awards (announced when I was at the airport), went to the Korean ‘A Perm’, and the Estonian ‘Angry Man’, both very worthy winners…

Krakow

Monday:

So after getting up at an easyjet hour I have now arrived in Krakow! Went to get my accreditation pack, and found this cute bottle of champagne (don’t worry, it’s not actually the size of the building behind, it’s just perspective…).

After settling in, I checked out the a screening from the Polish national competition, which featured a quite leftfield animation about a town full of people with no heads, called Danny Boy.

Then, after an early dinner at a little salad bar called Chimera (has to be my food find of the month!), it was time to check out the first of the student programmes at the festival. The screening was taking place inside this gorgeous retro cinema on the main square (I’ll post some pictures tomorrow), and was going well until half way through the second film, an funny short about a man with Tourette’s (Bad Lyrics), there was a techical programme and the English subtitles disappeared. Time to head home and brush up on my Polish…anyone have any phrases for me to use?

Tuesday:

Tuesday began by heading to the aptly named Kino Mikro, through a lovely green park. The cinema itself was another attractive one (I’m not just writing this because they gave me free coffee), but I realised how quiet films are screened in cinemas in Krakow – has anyone else noticed this or is my hearing going? The line-up of shorts was excellent, starting with the Oscar-winning Logorama, which seems to get better on every viewing. I would say it would be a fun game to count how many brands you recognise, but this would spoil your enjoyment of the film (maybe try this on the third viewing). Also showing were the wonderful ‘Mother of Many’, and the moving ‘Prayers For Peace’, which Future Shorts has recently acquired.

A tiny industry screening was next, of some very bleak, quite intense Polish films. One did stand out though, ‘Hanoi-Warsaw’, a quite moving story of a Vietnamese woman trying to meet her boyfriend in Poland. Then it rained (maybe symbolic). It rained hard.

Thank goodness for Lodz film school then. Their evening screening was very strong. The first film, Through The Glass, was hilarious, …. Anyone looking to go to film school should look at Lodz, they produce so much of quality. It was still raining after the screening (so maybe not symbolic then), so I ran back and dried off with BBC News 24 in the background. Anyone who denies the glamour of going to film festivals should read back that last sentence…

Wednesday:

The weather forecast was wrong! No heavy showers! Instead it was bright sunshine! Surely no time to be inside then, I hear you say, but the industry video library beckoned. After a quick lunch of dumplings filled with cabbage (oh so much better than it sounds), it was off to another cinema to see a retrospective of classics from the Krakow Film Festival. The standout film here was a Dutch/UK production called Father and Daughter.
A quick coffee and jog to the next screening (jogged a bit quickly and spilt of lot of coffee) allowed me to see a wonderful Thai film, ‘Four Boys, White Whisky and Grilled Mouse’, about hanging out on a lazy afternoon, eating mouse (nice).

Then an hour of sightseeing! Kazimierz, the Jewish district, was a highlight, though I missed the recommended baguette/pizza thing sold on the square as I was still full from the dumplings (tasty and filling!)

One more screening before dinner let me see Tussilango (look out for in a future FS screening) at the Kino Centrum, a huge screen and the HQ of the festival.

Next up – Hamburg…

FS present Paradise Circus

Future Shorts have teamed up with Massive Attack to release the videos for their new album, Heligoland. Most of these will be shown on the Future Shorts YouTube channel except for this one as it’s too racy…

‘Paradise Circus’
Directed by Toby Dye

A frail little old lady looks straight down the lens of the camera as she describes the fuck of her life from nearly forty years ago. Intercut with her frank confession is actual footage of the intimate moments she describes; for this senior citizen is none other than the star of one of the most infamous pornographic films ever made, 1973’s ‘The Devil In Miss Jones’.

FS at South by Southwest Festival, Austin, Texas

Welcome to Texas…
One epic journey later including an unexpected detour via Dallas, we arrived in Austin for what is one of the most exciting and visionary festivals of the year. The festival covers three key areas of creative media across 10 days – Film, interactive and Music each showcasing new talent and developments in each field and discussions relating to the future of each medium. With constant showcases, shows, screenings and panels, it is impossible to see everything, but we’ll give it our darned best…

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Friday
The first thing that hits you here is the inescapable presence of technology and constant flurry of twittering – the convention centre is littered with people on laptops – blogging, reporting, seeding… and on the receiving end, we’re getting twitters every second – this is serious information overload. It is fascinating to see how twitter has become such a key tool in arranging your time at the festival – setting up meetings, connecting with other people and planning your schedule.

I Love You, Man premiere

I Love You, Man premiere

We attended the first couple of introductory panels and caught the opening film, the witty and sharp American comedy I Love you, Man by John Hamburg (writer of Zoolander, Meet the Parents) which went down a real treat to a rapturous audience. The film screened in the exquisitely beautiful Paramount Cinema and was probably the first time Ive ever been ordered to “Turn your f**king cellphone off or you’ll be out on your ass”. Then on to a series of festival opening parties, the key one being in the Buffalo Billiards, which is about as American as you can get.

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The Paramount Cinema

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Saturday
Saw a couple of the shorts programmes – one of which featured a documentary from our catalogue ‘Peter and Ben‘ by Pinny Grylls which had a great response. After spending time in the Film and Interactive Trade Show – a space for companies to exhibit their latest products and services, we headed over to the Alamo Theatre. This is undoubtedly one of the best cinemas in the US – the owner being a lively character who likes to give his audiences a real experience. Not only can you order food and drinks from the comfort of your cinema seat, if you have a ‘noisy neighbor’ can simply “raise a flag” on your table to have them removed! We were there to watch All Tomorrow’s Parties – a collaborative documentary about the super-cool UK music festival held in Butlin’s resorts. Featuring brilliant footage from the likes of Iggy Pop, Beth Ditto, Nick Cave and Sonic Youth, this very well realised film really captures the essence of the festival – would highly recommend checking out both the film and the festival. The film is produced by Luke Morris, whose shorts you may have seen at one of our events over the past few years – “Heavy Metal Drummer” and “Je T’aime John Wayne“. After the film we caught a live VJ set by UK duo The Eclectic Method before partying on down at 6th Street.

6th Street

6th Street

Sunday
The morning brought more shorts programmes and a great selection of animation. Fabien attended a panel on the future of branded content and how artists and companies are working together to bring messages to the world (Watch it here) Panellists included representatives from Youtube, Britdoc and the Independent Film Channel.

sxsw panels

sxsw panels

The afternoon we partook in the Shooting People pop quiz and a game of egg throwing before watching Jamie Johnson’s “Sounds Like Teen Spirit” which follows three teen/pre-teen singers and one band from across Europe as they compete in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. We were absolutely blown away by the film and would really highly recommend going to see this – it engages brilliantly with the kids and is thoroughly entertaining. Leaving the screening hungry, we went to a party hosted by Film Florida and ate some free fried fish meanwhile Fabien headed out to catch an exclusive 22 minute preview of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new “Bruno” material. After which we headed over to the Winnebago Man premiere party. Although we haven’t had chance to catch the film yet, there has been a lot of buzz around it at the festival – the feature film originates from an infamous youtube clip of a foul-mouthed, frustrated Winnebago salesman. Watch it here

Austin building

Austin building

Monday
This was the day when the weather literally did a u-turn and went from wet and cold drizzle to glorious sunshine and the city of Austin really cam into its own. Spent the morning at the last day of the trade show followed by a really interesting panel on The Future of DVD and Digital Distribution. Many comments about the inevitable demise of hard goods and how this will affect our sense of ownership and how we will handle media. Headed down to the Filmmaker BBQ run by the Director’s Guild of America to meet directors with films in the festival. Then on to play Rock Band (badly) at a Marketing Mixer on the 17th Floor of the very Metropolis-esque Frost Bank Tower with stunning views across the city. Then on to a British party, followed by a trip South to the San Jose Motel, a gig at the infamous Emo’s, then on to an open air party hosted by US free publication / online magazine – The Onion. Phew

Tuesday
After catching up with some work at the convention center, saw two more programmes of short films – was particularly impressed by these programmes – Reel Shorts 3 with some entertaining US comedies and Global Shorts with some brilliant documentaries. These included some Three Minute Wonders – one by James Lees whose film The Apology Line we represent who had created a brilliantly colourful short about the contents of people’s pockets on the streets of London – James has an incredible ability to divulge some of the most personal stories from complete and utter strangers! Then headed over to Emo’s for the ATP film party featuring live music from The Drones followed by the Film and interactive closing party on the rooftop at Maggie Mae’s.

Austin Sunset

Austin Sunset

Wednesday
Took a much needed day off to cope with the barrage of information and lack of sleep and decided to indulge in some Texan tradition… we hired a car and drove out to the Austin lakes where we stumbled across a beautiful enclave called The Hippy Hollow. After some swimming and lazing about, we hired a speedboat and jet ski from the eerily abandoned Volente beach and had an hour of high speed adrenaline kicks.

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Road trippin

Austin Lakes

Austin Lakes

Speed boating

Speed boating

What better to do next than to head to a traditional Texan Rodeo… and we were not disappointed! In a stadium full of cowboys and cowgirls, the event began with bucking horses, followed by some lassoing calf action, obstacle races and finally after a laser-show to rival the Superbowl they brought out the bulls – highly entertaining stuff. The event finished with a performance by country and western legend Clay Walker.

Rodeo Austin

Rodeo Austin

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To finish the night off, we snuck through the back gate and caught Echo and the Bunnymen at Emo’s who despite sounding a little rough round the edges, proved they still have it.

Thursday
Fabien saw Joe Swanberg‘s latest indie feature “Alexander the Last” and I watched experimental shorts, one stand-out film being the brilliant “Cattle Call” by Matthew Rankin and Mark Maryniuk (was that influenced last night’s rodeo by any chance…). Followed by screening ‘Rip: A Remix Manifesto‘ by Brett Gaylor which raised some really current and valid questions about the state of copyright in music and rights ownership. The film’s main protagonist is ‘Girl Talk‘ a mash-up artist creating tracks from samples of existing recordings and Gaylor highlights the flaws in rights control through Girl Talk’s experiences. What really gets to Gaylor, though, is that much of today’s music is derived from previous releases. The Rolling Stones have perhaps inadvertently borrowed riffs from old blues legends and have evaded the long arm of the law. Plus, the Stones have been able to sell these tunes to, say, Nike for commercials use and prosper even more. So the line between inspiration and infringement is often blurred. The film is a real edgy and fascinating glimpse into one of the more pressing issues of our Internet Age.

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The evening was spent firing around venues to catch as many bands as possible, these included Akron/Family, Bang Bang Eche, Efterklang and Passion Pit.

Queue for Emo's

Queue for Emo's

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Friday
Began the day with a tour around the infamous Flatstock exhibition and had to seriously restrain myself from buying something from every stall, the quality of the designs were so insanely high. Fabien attended a panel called “Brands, Bands and Fans” on how consumer brands around the world use music as an effective platform for delivering a brand experience. Featured speakers from Xbox and Coca-Cola. After a few final meetings we headed over to the Cedar Courtyard to catch Razorlight performing their new-ish material followed by a blinding set by post punk rockers White Lies.

Cedar Courtyard

Cedar Courtyard

Cedar Courtyard

White Lies @ Cedar Courtyard

Grizzly Bear at Cedar Courtyard

Grizzly Bear at Cedar Courtyard

Final dinner at Moonshine we checked out a few more bands including Grizzly Bear and Au Revoir Simone. Highlight of the evening was the set by Gallows, Frank Carter leaping around the venue like a crazed monkey leaving smashed lights and broken bones in his trail. We finished the night off at the Red Bull Party which was somewhat lacking in atmosphere and taking branding perhaps a little too far by insisting on an entry pass in the form of a fake tattoo…

Red Bull tattoo

Red Bull tattoo

Gallows

Gallows

Stimulating, inspiring and exhausting, roll on sxsw 2010 – we are ready for you!