Lost in the Movies: #WatchlistScreenCaps: Live-Action Shorts

#WatchlistScreenCaps: Live-Action Shorts

Short Films (Live-Action)

The following is a chronological collection of screen-caps from every single live-action short film I watched between February 12, 2013 and February 12, 2014 (not including music videos). I've organized the titles into three categories: narrative, documentary, and experimental. I've drawn the line at "under 40 minutes" for runtime and (mostly) not included home movie-type YouTube videos in the documentary category. For a chronological lineup including feature films and animated shorts as well, visit my complete #WatchlistScreenCaps chronology. Links lead to previous pieces on a given film.


Voyage to the Moon (1902), dir. Georges Melies
Moonbeam monsters just missed the magic bullet

Rescued From an Eagle's Nest (1908), dir. J. Searle Dawley
And he will lift you up, on eagle's wings...

The Curtain Pole (1909), dir. D.W. Griffith
The comic mob mobilizes & star Mack Sennett learns his future style

The Lonely Villa (1909), dir. D.W. Griffith
One of the less delicate methods of home invasion

The Night Before Christmas (1913), dir. Wladislaw Starewicz
The devil gets a piggyback ride

One Week (1920), dir. Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline
Perfect punchline to Buster's home improvement project

Show Kids (1935), dir. Ralph Staub
Sparkle Motion, avant la lettre

Watch the Birdie (1935), dir. Lloyd French
Comedy too busy amusing itself to amuse us

Sheik to Sheik (1936), dir. Roy Mack
We can wire cars for radio, so why not camels?

Hotel a la Swing (1937), dir. Roy Mack
Maybe if they're real quiet, no one will notice they've gone

A momentary fissure amidst the frozen grandeur
La Jetee (1963), dir. Chris Marker

The Junk Shop (1965), dir. Juraj Herz
Represents Czechoslovakian penchant for fantastical surrealism

Patriotism (1966), dir. Yukio Mishima
The awful, beautiful purity of bloodshed

Paddle to the Sea (1966), dir. Bill Mason
"Someone might find you someday in a cold fjord in Norway, or a warm beach in Africa"

 Amblin' (1968), dir. Steven Spielberg
Long before the sharks, aliens, and dinosaurs, 2 kids smoked grass & guarded a guitar case

 Away From It All (1979), dir. John Cleese, Clare Taylor
"Here certainly we have peace, and tranquility, and also, more of those fucking gondolas"

 All Summer in a Day (1982), dir. Ed Kaplan
Remembering the green amongst the gray

 The Children's Story (1982), dir. James Clavell
Anti-brainwashing message movie that feels oddly like it's trying to brainwash you

An Exercise in Discipline: Peel (1982), dir. Jane Campion
Abrasive yet meditative study of the usual family road-trip misery

The Haircut (1982), dir. Tamar Simon Hoffs
The longest 15-minute haircut in history

A Girl's Own Story (1984), dir. Jane Campion
"I feel the cold/I feel the cold is here to stay/I feel the cold/I want to melt away

12:01 PM (1990), dir. Jonathan Heap
Cover of the early edition. And the late edition...& the one after that & after that...

The Awakening (1990), dir. Ignacio Cerda
The eye on the pyramid sees all

Lick the Star (1998), dir. Sofia Coppola
The auteur emerges fully-formed, smirking at her haters

The Accountant (2001), dir. Ray McKinnon
An anachronism and proud of it

Ambush (2001), dir. John Frankenheimer
What happens when you cut off certain vehicles

Chosen (2001), dir. Ang Lee
Unusual cargo, from the Far East

The Follow (2001), dir. Wong Kar Wai
"Don't get too close...never meet their eyes"

Copy Shop (2001), dir. Virgil Widrith
Hiding on top of the world

Star (2001), dir. Guy Ritchie
Not exactly a love letter to his wife

Sounds from a Town I Love (2001), dir. Woody Allen
"Then he did Donald Trump's hair too...yeah, but then they caught him & put him back in jail"

Ticker (2002), dir. Joe Carnahan
Running like Roger Thornhill, firing back like General Patton

Wasp (2003), dir. Andrea Arnold
The flimsy prize still entices

7:35 in the Morning (2003), dir. Nacho Vigalondo
Choreography under duress

Two Cars, One Night (2004), dir. Taika Waititi
Road rage from a parked car, with a smile

Tetra Vaal (2004), dir. Neill Blomkamp

Finding Kate (2004), dir. Katherine Brooks
Daydreaming on the chilly seashore

Black Button (2007), dir. Lucas Crandles
Could have been more disturbing without the twist, actually

Inseperable (2007), dir. Nick White
As with many shorts, I wish there was more time to explore the ramifications of the hook

Spider (2007), dir. Nash Edgerton
Fake spiders can be just as dangerous as real ones

Dennis (2007), dir. Mads Matthieson
Gimmick (big man with little ego) earns pathos as it goes

Hotel Chevalier (2007), dir. Wes Anderson
L'Amour Mélancolique

The Key to Reserva (2007), dir. Martin Scorsese
Has the MacGuffin becomes the sine qua non?

Mama (2008), dir. Andrés Muschietti
An effective exercise in terrifying movement

Panic Attack! (2009), dir. Fede Alvarez
An unusual roadblock

 The Sun Thief (2013), dir. Jason Giampietro
Oboes and surfboards mock Brooklyn lovers at Rockaway Beach

Check (2013), dir. Salim Garami
Puts a whole new emphasis on the word "Checkmate"


L'arrivee d'un train en gare de la Ciotat (1896), dir. Louis & Auguste Lumiere
A 19th-century train pulls in to my phone - where will it go next?

The Battle of Midway (1942), dir. John Ford
"Yes, this really happened."

Torpedo Squadron 8 (1942), dir. John Ford
Shapes in the sky echo shapes in the sea

December 7th (1943), dir. John Ford
Family of the fallen in Castalia, Iowa

The House is Black (1963), dir. Forough Farrokhzad
Pausing at the moment of expression

Liquid Crystals (1978), dir. Jean Painleve
Crystallization as hallucination

A Weekend at the Beach with Jean-Luc Godard (1979), dir. Ira Schneider
Wim Wenders, dressed for the beach

 The Solar Film (1980), dir. Elaine & Saul Bass
Despite title, more about industrialization & subsequent malaise than making case for solar

 Act of God (1980), dir. Peter Greenaway
Greenaway does a for-real doc (I think). Btw, I too was (almost?) struck by lightning

Larisa (1980), dir. Elem Klimov
Moving tribute from one filmmaker to another, but also from a husband to his wife

New England Time Capsule (1987), dir. unknown
Love that dirty water

The Making of "Gorillas in the Mist" (1988), dir. Robert Nixon
The real Fossey, briefly observed amidst movie promotion

Isle of Flowers (1989), dir. Jorge Furtado
What's worth more: a chicken or a whale, a person or a pig?

I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009), dir. Richard Shepard
Seventies cinema's lonely man

On the Cusp (2009), prod. Issa Clubb
Pushing himself over the edge

A Cautionary Tale of Campus Revolution and Sexual Freedom (2009), prod. Criterion Collection
Jack Nicholson recollects Keith Richards' child disrupting the Cannes screening

Henry Jaglom Finds A Safe Place (2009), prod. Criterion Collection
Explaining how Anais Nin provided free publicity for his movie

Antonio Campos and the Case of the Conscious Camera (A Mystery) (2013), inter. Zach Wigon
The subject begins directing the interview

San Francisco (2013), dir. Jason Bellamy
Video postcard from the city of odd angles


Emak-Bakia (1926), dir. Man Ray
Time isn't real

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), dir. Maya Deren
What does the key open?

Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965), dir. Kenneth Anger
Sleek, soft, sumptuous, and slightly sinister

Emotion (1966), dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi
Fuses A Hard Day's Night w/ Dracula, climaxes like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Big Shave (1967), dir. Martin Scorsese
Advertising aesthetic stained by forthcoming violence of '68 & scored by haunted swing of '39

Carrots & Peas (1969), dir. Hollis Frampton
The vegetables are beautiful, the voice is annoying

The Discipline of DE (1982), dir. Gus Van Sant
Van Sant & Burroughs don't cry over spilt milk

Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1990), dir. Tracey Moffatt
An eerily beautiful landscape, with an interior outhouse

 Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998), dir. Martin Arnold
Only unique shot identifiable by screen-cap. The experiment is folded/hidden in the original.

De l'origine du XXIe siecle (2000), dir. Jean-Luc Godard
"The Garden of Eden is the garden of earthly delights"

Darkened Room (2002), dir. David Lynch
I don't know what it is or how he does it, but it's always so incredibly effective

Now (2003), dir. Simon Staho
We are being watched

Submission (2004), dir. Theo van Gogh
Someone to watch over her

La Morte Rouge (2006), dir. Victor Erice
The malevolent master of disguise, lurking in the light

And We All Shine On (2006), dir. Michael Robinson
A lonely video game landscape, haunted by shadowy memories of a civilization which created it

Boat (2007), dir. David Lynch
"We're gonna try to go fast enough to go into the night!" The home movie as surreal dream trip

Eurydice...She, So Beloved (2007), dir. Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay
Enveloped in death's comforting embrace

A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (2009), dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Peace and quiet in a village knowing neither

 Prom Night (2011), dir. Celia Rowlson-Hall
The ultimate, ironic selfie

These Hammers Don't Hurt Us (2011), dir. Michael Robinson
Rabbit ears on a pyramid, picking up signals from the other side of sanity

The Ghost of Love (2011), dir. John Levy
Tendrils of melancholy memory in the evening atmosphere

Swimmer (2012), dir. Lynne Ramsay
Swimming through the sights & sounds of British cinema

I Had a Heart Once (2013), dir. Josh Lewis
The man whose soul slid down behind the sofa seat cushion

Memoires (2014), dir. Bruno Noaro
"Now I'm going to close my diary, with tons of feeling...I will just follow the natural flow of life."

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