Wednesday, July 3, 2013

12 Great Sci-Fi Short Films

There is a good chance that if you like to read sci-fi novels you will be, at the least, partially inclined to watch sci-fi movies. With feature length movies like District 9, Avatar and Looper getting all the hype it is easy to overlook all the cool sci-fi short films that have been released over the last few years. And that would be a real shame. They might only fill one lunch break, but these twelve short  films impress and delight with their special effects and the strange worlds they conjure.

An Isreali short that looks impressively polished and gives us a realistic and slightly scary look of a life enhanced with augmented reality.

Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

Dr. Easy
Sad and depressing. A robot tries to save a man from killing himself. Based on the opening chapter of the 2007 novel Red Men by Matthew De Abaitua.

Dr. Easy from Shynola on Vimeo.

A funny movie about a device that tampers with the speed objects are moving. Witty dialogue and use of special effects. Portal fans will especially like this one.

Tempo from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Zombie in a Penguin Suit
Despite the rather silly sounding title this short manages to be surprisingly emotional.

A short about a military robot developing a conscience. Impressive special effects and there is a good chance that this one will be made into a feature length movie.

A Dutch animation production about a girl and her friendship with a dragon. Only fifteen minutes long but long enough to tell a beautiful and sad story.

This is one creepy movie. A tale about a boy and his abusive relationship with his toy robot.

Blinky™ from Ruairi Robinson on Vimeo.

A story about ecological degradation and irresponsible corporations. This one is heavy with special effects, but it's the locations that have been used to shoot the movie that makes this uncomfortable to watch.

GAMMA from Factory Fifteen on Vimeo.

The Candidate
No special effects whatsoever. Instead this is a tightly plotted movie about ill-intentions and office politics. About halfway through Star Trek fans will get a pleasant surprise.

THE CANDIDATE from David Karlak on Vimeo.

Don't watch the movie for it's story. A bunch of Goth androids beating the crap out of each other. That's it. But what a feast to behold. Stupendous animation and it's all the more impressive if you consider that this one was a one man production.

It takes a special kind of movie to make a story about a guy stuck in one room interesting for over 10 minutes. Vacuity manages that and it is a reminder to us all that updating your OS can be a downright matter of life and death sometimes.

The Last Bookshop
As a bookseller I have a soft spot for this one. Low on special effects it manages to conjure a future in which people can no longer enjoy the simple pleasure of opening a book or creating their own story. Bittersweet.

About the author:
This list was compiled by Tiemen Zwaan, the Sci-fi & Fantasy buyer at the American Book Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He feels very fortunate to have a job that basically lets him geek out for a living. When not working in the bookshop or reading a book, he teaches the occasional political science class at the University of Amsterdam. You can follow him @tiemenzwaan. Feel free to ask for recommendations or pictures of his cat Charles.

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