Hundreds of years ago, when I was small, one of the many delights about going to the cinema was watching the short film before the main feature. These days, short films are hard to find. If you are going to see a Pixar movie, then you are in for a treat, as short films are part of the package, such as Bao, about the highs and lows of being a parent.
Other chances to see short films are at festivals, and in London this month the BFI London Film Festival (until 13 October) includes short film events. Films are always better on the big screen, but if you fancy a movie night at home, you can always download a few films, there are some brilliant ones here directed by our own CM contributor Paul Gowers.
The beauty of small films is that they are an injection of joy and wonder. If you sit through an hour of short films, you have the chance to see a range of brilliant ideas and executions that you could never catch in one standard, feature-length movie. Just as poetry can condense intense feelings into a quick moment of time, short films offer you the chance to feel a full gamut of emotions in just ten minutes or so.
You could say that the ultimate film poems are ads, and this cinema ad, The Seven Worlds, for cognac Hennessy, directed by Ridley Scott is quite the epic. It is seven amazing films condensed into one, with special effects galore showing extraordinary landscapes and it even takes you out into the depths of space. Whether or not it makes you want to try Hennessy or not is by the by, it is an enjoyable cinematic ride. My only criticism, and really I hate to criticise, is that it is almost TOO epic, it is such a visual feast that it always makes me laugh when I watch as it is so over the top.
Now I am a bit on the short side myself, but this is not the reason why I think great things come in little packages. It is more likely because I am impatient, and like many consumers these days, I like a quick fix. Short films give me the hit I need, and during them I never feel like escaping from the cinema as I often do during full-length features.