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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Five featured movies

It’s been about a month since we updated the featured movies properly, and in that time we’ve seen some fantastic work submitted to the site. 

Last week we showcased the five winners of John Herd’s Gestures contest, and now we’ve chosen five more excellent movies, covering comedy, sci-fi, horror, and music.  (If you’re interested, Kate Fosk posted something on the Pineapple Chunks blog about how we select the featured movies, extracted from a long conversation in the forums in the last couple of weeks.) We have quite a few longish movies this time, so if you want to watch them all, set aside at least an hour - longer if you want to catch up on earlier episodes of some of the series!

We’ve already written a piece about Iain Friar’s Trichophagia, so we won’t repeat that here. If you haven’t already seen it, do so.

Next, we have the next movie about bumbling Norman, by Si Stanisauskis (kv), Get A Job, Norman. This time, as you might guess from the title, he’s off to find a job so he can get his car back. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from this wonderful series - superb characterization, beautifully filmed, masterful use of sound and music, and plenty of laugh out loud moments. It’s also a perfect example of how to make things happen off-screen. We won’t spoil it for you, but we’ll just point out one thing that sums up what makes this series so good. When he gets fired from his first job, there’s a glorious moment where Norman pauses, and then walks away with as much dignity as he can muster. It’s that kind of touch that shows how much you can do with simple body language, even with the simplicity of machinima-styled animation. We’ve loved watching Norman develop from a simple test character into a magnificent comic creation, and we’re definitely looking forward to more.

The Tree of Life (Part 1), from kibishipaul, is a short music video he made last year but has only just submitted to Moviestorm. The use of cel shading is excellent, and the surreal camerawork perfectly matches the music, the soundtrack to The Passion of Saint Sebastian by Garrett Fisher. It’s very different to most of the music videos we see, both in the style of the music and the visual style. Once you’ve seen it, carry on and watch Part 2.

Star Wreck, Episode 4, continues this brilliant sci-fi comedy series. It’s been about 18 months since the last episode, so you may want to remind yourself of what’s happened so far. There’s a 15-minute catchup version of the first three episodes if you don’t want to spend an hour watching everything that’s come before, but we recommend taking the time to enjoy the whole series in all its glory. This new ep is nearly half an hour long, so sit back with a pile of snacks and make an evening of it. The sets are wonderfully detailed, including some well-designed mods, and the Cardassian characters in particular are nicely done.  It’s an ambitious project, and we hope we don’t have to wait so long for the next episode!  (Note: some of the dialog may not be appropriate for pre-teen viewers.)

Lastly, we picked BILLS, from newcomer Daisy Wendell. It’s a beautifully executed short character sketch about an old lady who gets a nasty surprise in the post. This one’s definitely in the “just because” category. This is only Daisy’s second film, and she’s done a great job creating the atmosphere with nice camera angles and good use of both sound effects and music. It’s a silent movie, and it shows how much you can portray without dialog and just using simple techniques. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing more from Daisy!

That’s only a small selection of what was on our short list this month. We’ll have some more featured movies for you soon - probably in a couple of weeks.

(0) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

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