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Beyond the Feature

Five great short films to discover #1

Within the realms of short films, great works can be found that, distilled down to their essence, convey a kaleidoscope of ideas and feelings that allow for a form of cinematic expression that can be distinctly different from feature films. We introduce five of these outstanding short films

Written by


Jul 29, 2023

A Short Story, Bi Gan (China, 2022)

This wonderful, and there’s barely another adjective to describe it more aptly, magical fable evolves from the perspective of a black cat and invites us on it’s poetic journey in pursuing the question: “What is the most precious thing in the world?”.

Watch it on Mubi

Tuesday, Charlotte Wells (United Kingdom, 2015)

Coming from the director of the exceptional Aftersun, this 11-minute short film also focuses on a father-daughter bond. Candidly and with a similar sense of intimacy to the one she created in her feature debut, Charlotte Wells achieves a profound connection to her protagonist. With a keen eye for nuance, compelling acting and unobtrusive observation, this short creates an astonishingly empathetic picture of interpersonal vulnerability.

Watch it on Mubi

All the Crows in the World, Tang Yi (Hong Kong, 2021)

Through the eyes of a teenage girl, this short film from Hong Kong captures a razor-sharp view of male chauvinism and, in the middle of a night, a reflection of its tensive dynamism on those who experience it, endure it, but also practice it. A delightfully witty mise en scène that skilfully illustrates this vicious circle.

Watch it on The Criterion Channel

The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, Ari Aster (USA, 2011)

Best known for his horror hits Hereditary and Midsommar, Aster already revealed his ability to shock in 2011 with his thesis film. I won’t even go into further detail, enjoy.

The Recorder Exam, Kim Bora (South Korea, 2011)

Kim Bora bridges the experiences of a girl growing up with the political circumstances of Seoul in the 1980s during the Olympic Games. This 27-minute short film creates a sensitive look at the sincere taken struggles of a child and places them in contrast to the political and social dynamics. It is a beautiful and powerful short film about the fundamental need for space and human warmth.

Watch it on YouTube

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