Whereas they do not are likely to get as a lot love as feature-length movies, brief movies are sometimes simply as fascinating in their very own methods, with the great ones at all times delivering a lot in so little time. Initially, the medium of movie as a complete solely comprised brief movies, due to technological limitations 100+ years in the past. Function movies grew in recognition at a sure level, overtaking shorts, however brief movies proceed to be made to this present day, and are included alongside longer motion pictures to price/evaluation on film-related websites like Letterboxd.
What follows are a few of Letterboxd’s most favored movies that are not feature-length, and particularly people who really put the “brief” in “brief movie.” All the next titles run for 10 minutes or much less, and ship distinctive, participating experiences that will not waste any of your time. Because of their brevity, many are simple to seek out uploaded to official channels on YouTube, and are excellent to look at for anybody who has a couple of minutes to spare. A group of fascinating brief movies are ranked beneath, primarily based on their common scores from Letterboxd customers.
10 ‘C’est la Vie’ (2016)
Letterboxd Score: 3.4/5
Ari Aster has made some unusual and darkly humorous shorts/options all through his nonetheless comparatively younger filmmaking profession, with the 2016 brief C’est la Vie being the final he made earlier than his 2018 characteristic movie debut, Hereditary. It performs out virtually identically to a different brief movie of his known as Mainly (2014), however whereas that one sees an emotionally distant and rich younger lady speaking to the digicam about her life, C’est la Vie is centered on a homeless man ranting concerning the worst components of recent society.
It takes place in a very chaotic model of Los Angeles, with the indignant commentary by its lead character getting complemented by scenes of background violence and anarchy. It is an deliberately abrasive brief, however manages to be pretty digestible due to the runtime of simply eight minutes. Those that need a barrage of Artwork Aster-directed chaos that lasts longer, alternatively, would possibly properly discover 2023’s Beau Is Afraid value testing, as that one runs for nearly three hours.
9 ‘Bambi Meets Godzilla’ (1969)
Letterboxd Score: 3.6/5
All through the historical past of the Godzilla sequence, the titular monster has fought loads of fascinating foes, with a few of his biggest battles being criminally missed. Nonetheless, few showdowns have been fairly as novel as Bambi Meets Godzilla, which is an unofficial (clearly) brief movie made with out the permission of Toho (the corporate that owns Godzilla) or Disney (the corporate that owns Bambi).
Nonetheless, credit score must be given the place it is due, as a result of filmmaker Marv Newland predated the type of weird, hilariously jarring humor that might change into common on the web within the twenty first century by a long time. Bambi Meets Godzilla is barely two minutes lengthy, however nonetheless manages to really feel ridiculously drawn out and deliberately anti-climactic, serving as a humorous and silly brief movie that is completely a joke – it is humorous as a result of it exists. It is change into a cult traditional brief movie, and regardless of its crude animation/presentation, is amusingly uploaded on YouTube with a “4k remaster.”
8 ‘The Key to Reserva’ (2007)
Letterboxd Score: 3.7/5
Everybody is aware of about Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed characteristic movies (many, however not all, belonging to the crime style), and his documentary options are additionally fairly well-regarded (although not as well-known). It is Scorsese’s numerous brief movies which might be least more likely to get the appreciation they deserve, nevertheless, with a wide selection of genres and kinds lined all through. One among his shortest and most fascinating is 2007’s The Key to Reserva, which features as an Alfred Hitchcock homage and a champagne industrial concurrently.
It begins as a mockumentary, with Scorsese discovering what’s allegedly an unfinished script by Hitchcock, with that then inspiring him to remake it in a method that the legendary filmmaker would possibly’ve. The second half of The Key to Reserva then presents this hypothetical brief movie, and it needs to be mentioned that Scorsese mimics Hitchcock’s model remarkably properly. It is an commercial in the long run, certain, however a really well-made one made by a beloved and remarkably proficient filmmaker.
7 ‘The Maker’ (2011)
Letterboxd Score: 3.9/5
Many acclaimed brief movies are additionally works of animation, which might clarify why the Academy Awards, for instance, has two brief movie classes: one for live-action shorts, and the opposite for animated shorts. The Maker is one such animated brief movie, and tells a fantastical story a few rabbit-like creature that, for causes initially unknown to the viewer, is attempting in useless to create one thing in its personal picture.
With its placing presentation, character design, and fantastical story, it is simple to suggest The Maker to followers of the animated/live-action movies of Guillermo del Toro. This 2011 brief does nonetheless really feel distinct, although, and it packs a terrific deal right into a runtime that solely quantities to about 5 minutes lengthy. It definitely leaves an impression, significantly with the ending that The Maker patiently builds as much as, and is a superb instance of how a compelling story typically solely wants minutes to be instructed.
6 ‘Pingu’s The Factor’ (2012)
Letterboxd Score: 4.0/5
It is at all times good when a title tells you precisely what to anticipate with only a handful of phrases (or much less), and that is positively the case for Pingu’s The Factor, which is usually additionally identified by the even-better title of “Thingu.” Clearly, it takes one of many scariest science fiction motion pictures of all time – 1982’s The Factor, directed by John Carpenter – and retells it utilizing the characters and animation model of the kids’s program Pingu.
It is a very well-made parody of each properties, and does successfully condense the plot of The Factor into a really brief runtime, because it performs out over simply two minutes. It will get darkish, creepy, and grotesque in locations, and would doubtless traumatize any baby who stumbled throughout it pondering that it was an everyday episode of Pingu. However for older viewers, it ought to show entertaining and really humorous, particularly with the working gag of Pingu being very eager to blast any signal of the alien creature with a flamethrower.
5 ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’ (2011)
Letterboxd Score: 4.0/5
When you had been on YouTube within the early 2010s, you virtually positively had somebody share Do not Hug Me I am Scared with you, or maybe stumbled upon it by yourself. It went viral due to how meticulously made and surprisingly creepy it was, starting like a parody of an academic youngsters’s present (suppose one thing like Sesame Avenue) earlier than spiraling into chaotic, surreal, and nightmarish horror territory by the brief’s finish.
The shock issue it had has most likely worn off in any case these years, however Do not Hug Me I am Scared can a minimum of nonetheless be appreciated for what it does, and for a way a lot it freaked numerous folks out upon its launch. When one thing seems brilliant, pleased, and kid-friendly, however then descends into unsettling territory, it could actually show all of the extra horrifying than a film or brief movie entered into the place you realize the style is “horror,” and therein lies the mortifying fantastic thing about Do not Hug Me I am Scared.
4 ‘Darkness, Gentle, Darkness’ (1989)
Letterboxd Score: 4.0/5
Jan Švankmajer is a kind of uncommon filmmakers who’s most likely higher identified for his brief movies than his characteristic movies. He is made some nice ones so far as the latter class is anxious (particularly the horror/drama movie about parenthood that’s 2000’s Little Otik), but it surely’s his shorts that really feel much more ingenious and groundbreaking, as a rule. Probably the greatest he is made – and maybe one of many extra accessible ones – was 1989’s Darkness, Gentle, Darkness.
This one solely takes about eight minutes to look at, and has a fairly easy premise, specializing in numerous physique components in a single room that need to merge collectively to type a person. It is like Frankenstein if Frankenstein’s Monster did not have Dr. Frankenstein round to assemble him, with Darkness, Gentle, Darkness being equal components humorous and unsettling. The comedy and delicate horror components work in tandem, and the straightforward premise right here is completely explored over the brief’s temporary runtime.
3 ‘Skinny Watermelon’ (2010)
Letterboxd Score: 4.1/5
One of many shortest brief movies on Letterboxd (with a runtime of lower than a minute) can be one of many highest-rated on the positioning. The brief in query comes courtesy of Nathan Fielder, of Nathan For You fame, and is solely titled Skinny Watermelon. The brief comprises only one scene: Fielder standing exterior, holding a chunk of watermelon that’s purportedly skinny. Simply how skinny is the watermelon? It’s a must to watch all the way in which till the top to seek out out.
It is doubtless that Skinny Watermelon has achieved success solely as a result of Fielder has constructed up a powerful following, and the brief movie in query is absurd, silly, and maybe secretly sensible. It might be seen as avant-garde, or just one thing that solely exists as a joke, however both method, Skinny Watermelon has clearly meant one thing to varied Letterboxd customers, and stands as one of many highest-rated – and shortest – brief movies on the positioning to this present day.
2 ‘Save Ralph’ (2021)
Letterboxd Score: 4.1/5
Save Ralph is extremely blunt in terms of its stance on animal testing. The central premise is that Ralph is a rabbit whose “job” is getting examined in a laboratory each day. He goes by his day by day routine, talks to the digicam about how he struggles with the assorted merchandise/chemical substances he is uncovered to, after which will get thrust into the lab for one more nightmarish day. It is bleak, simple, and definitely will get the purpose throughout.
Taika Waititi – between making the warfare/dramedy movie Jojo Rabbit and the MCU’s Thor: Love and Thunder – lends his voice to the titular character, with Ricky Gervais voicing an off-camera interviewer all through. Save Ralph does admittedly really feel easy, and people wanting any factor of debate or nuance to the subject of animal testing will not get it right here. But it surely’s potential to admire the way in which its easy message is introduced right here regardless, and it manages to be a tragic, scary, and efficient brief movie with a message.
1 ‘Coming Out’ (2020)
Letterboxd Score: 4.1/5
An exquisite stop-motion brief movie that sees the Godzilla sequence taking a break from the same old sci-fi, horror, and motion genres, Coming Out makes use of collectible figurines of iconic Godzilla monsters to inform a heartwarming and human story. It runs for simply two minutes, with the story right here specializing in Godzilla’s baby popping out as transgender, and the way in which that Godzilla helps this determination. That is actually all there may be to it, and one thing concerning the presentation and elegance of all of it makes it surprisingly transferring.
It is transferring in a method that feels pleased, although, fairly than unhappy, and it is superb what number of emotional moments it could actually pack into such a brief runtime. If it could actually depend as a Godzilla fan movie, then Coming Out is definitely among the finest ever made, and it deserves its excessive ranking on Letterboxd. There’s extra emotion right here than many regular-length characteristic movies handle to pack into two hours, which is definitely saying one thing.
NEXT: Each American ‘Godzilla’ Film, Ranked