Last month, we saw an array of shorts that had toured the festival circuits, and this month, some of the best videos are whisking us away on trips of their own: journey to exotic locations through time-lapse, venture to a galaxy far far away, and zoom onwards into the future. When you hit play on the most outstanding May videos below, be prepared to traverse the video hemispheres far and wide.
Few filmmakers manage to bring story that fit into the travel category quite the way Brandon Li does. His latest film, “Hong Kong Strong,” is a roller coaster ride through Hong Kong that dips deep into the culture and people who call the city home. Rather than focusing on familiar shots of cityscapes and large crowds, Brandon instead balances the bigger visuals with subtle, personal moments. And by doing so, he continues to elevate the expectations of the travel and cultural genres.
When Anson Fogel from Camp 4 Collective releases something on Vimeo, we usually drop everything and await the high alpine, awe-inspiring visuals. But Fogel’s latest offering brings us something a little different. “When We Were Knights” explores love and loss through the story of two friends who are united in their purpose to live a life to the fullest, and so in a manner that’s true to them. Filled with adventure, laughs, and hardship, this video affirms that loving those around us openly and without fear is not only admirable, but it’s actually the qualities that makes life beautiful.
We have come to expect the very best of the graduation films from Supinfocom, a French animation school. Razor-sharp detail, texturing, and lighting are standard — and this video upholds those standards to an impressive degree. It’s a testament to the exquisite craft in this gripping short, directed by a team of five students, that we totally buy into the tense domestic drama-love of a snake, rabbit, and boar.
Kirby Ferguson, a Vimeo favorite, is back. With his eighth Staff Pick, he continues to explore how the act of remixing has defined culture throughout time and resulted in many of the things that we currently hold dear. In “Everything is a Remix: The Force Awakens,” Ferguson digs into the source material that was heavily referenced in the Star Wars saga and investigates just why that galaxy far far away hits so close to home for many of us.
There are plenty of different opinions on what the future of artificial intelligence might mean for humans. Some folks are excited about the possibilities, while others fear them. All we know is, if the AI future has anything as cool as the chill dancing robot in KAYTRANADA’s “LITE SPOTS,”
then we’re definitely on board! In fact, the vibe and action of this video is so much fun, and the song is so damn good, that we’d be down to just jump in and join the party right now if we could.
Keiichi Matsuda paints a picture of the what may lie ahead in a way that feels scarily accurate. Instead of a dystopian world at the brink of destruction, Matsuda envisions a future in which physical and virtual realities have become one. Instead of looking down at your phone for spicy visuals, they now color everything around us in an over-saturated tone. While a trip to the grocery store has never looked brighter, the human experience has never appeared so dreary.
Nida Manzoor’s excellent new video takes us into a British school, where a student with amnesia is on a mission to remember who she is ... so she can avoid being disembowelled before home time. The film’s strong cast (lead actress Cheryl Burniston is a Karate black belt, while world Taekwondo champion Lauren Morgan plays the villain) and sharp edit bring a funny script to life expertly. We especially love the brilliantly brutal fight scenes.
Working on Mars = dream job, right? Not necessarily. Nick and Nate’s short speculates that when we finally make that interplanetary leap, office politics may come along with us for the ride. We love this video for the same reason we love the red planet — it’s spare, close to home, and wonderfully dry.
Most of us have memories of summer days as we were growing up, trying to get the most out of the last bit of sunlight. The video for Private Island’s “Drugs” exists at the end of one of those summertime moments — it just happens to be shown through the mind of a boy full of teenage angst, as he imagines how a day at the pool with friends could play out. The video has no shortage of nostalgia, dreamy cinematography, and unexpected scenes ready to remind us all what it’s like to be young again.
While there’s a whole lot of ambiguity and nuance in this world, there are also fundamental truths, certified facts, and settled science. The truth can be a tough pill to swallow, though. With political polarization nearing all-time highs, people can be too quick to discount evidence that points to the contrary of their own worldview, and the result is that every fact is disputed and we come to a collective standstill as a society. Harry Frankfurt makes a strong argument against this erosion of the truth, and calls it what it really is.
A few years ago, a dark and hilarious stop-motion feature premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to great acclaim from places like The New York Times and Slant Magazine. Last week, the filmmaker Chris Sullivan released that film, Consuming Spirits, online for the first time — and it’s not like anything you’ve seen before. Sullivan spent 15 years, essentially by himself, moving paper cut-outs and models millimeters at a time and shooting the progress frame by frame on 16mm. The result is dense, bleak, and full of sad-sack characters, but once you let the world immerse you, you’ll find unexpected beauty and poignancy.
MEMORY is a production company that’s known to push well past boundaries, and their new 75-minute collection of shorts, Program No. 1, is no exception. The stacked slate includes never-before-seen videos to tons of award-winners, featuring the talents of creators like Robert Eggers, Pippa Bianco, and Celia Rowlson-Hall.
Looking for more Staff Pick hits? Visit our Best of Staff Picks archive and dig into the most outstanding work from the Vimeo community.