Short Film Review: “Smoke” by Grzegorz Cisiecki (NSFW)

Hey!

With no words, a little music, and a lot of interesting visual cuts, Grzegorz Cisiecki has created a story that defies explanation in a surreal world with his short film “Smoke.” The tag line is “The story of a person who became the captive of surrealistic madness.” It definitely captures a bit of madness.

It’s tough to describe even after watching it a few times, but it’s amazingly artful in the mysterious way it gives you glimpses of a story. The glimpses provide bits of a framework and that allows you to fill in the rest in your own mind. So my interpretation of the scenes will most likely be different than yours.

The story seems to focus on a man who drives clients to a club where they can have their fantasies come true – from the usual sexual fantasies involving men and women to a scene where a man lies on the floor with a bullet hole in his forehead. Even during the drive itself where the client is eating some kind of fruit in the back seat of the car with the juice dripping down his chin and onto his chest, there’s a glimpse of gluttony.

As for the women in the story, they seem to be caught in a world they can’t escape. The tears along the side of a couple of their faces and the violent way they’re treated by clients in the fantasy club provide just enough details for you to feel badly for them.

And the man himself seems to have a tape recording of events in the club, and that’s keeping him and his girlfriend from being happy together.

All in all, it’s definitely a very surreal approach to storytelling. I love the silent aspect, with just ambient noise and music in the background. And the soft zoom effects and transitions are enough to keep you guessing as to where you’re going next. In seven minutes, you’re left wondering what you just watched – like a staged crime on Chatroulette without the “live” aspect.

Definitely one of the most interesting short movies I’ve seen in a while. The short film does offer a bit of nudity so it’s probably Not Safe For Work (NSFW). But I’d encourage you to check out Grzegorz Cisiecki’s “Smoke” on YouTube (included below) or Vimeo and let me know what you think!

–Fitz

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Oddities from Around the Net

Yes, it’s time for an “oddities” post… A few of the things I’ve hit upon this week that I think are cool. It’s been far too long since I did one of these…

This one from Russia was pretty awesome. This guy, Alexander Semenov took the actual footage for this in a couple of hours, then took a few weeks to edit it. It’s pretty simple to see why. And honestly, if the last Transformers movie from Michael Bay was like this I probably would have enjoyed it more…

Transformers from repey815 on Vimeo.

(Thanks go to Geekosystem.com for this one.)

If you love music, you’ll love this next one… The Shuffler. Sounds like something you’d hear about in a poker tournament… “And George ‘The Shuffler’ Jungleman has nothing worthwhile in his hand… but he keeps on shuffling the cards around waiting for inspiration to strike…” Okay, maybe not…

Anyway, the Shuffler is a new streaming music service that seems to be connected to the heartbeat of the indie music scene. It’s sort of a combination of StumbleUpon and Pandora, which is a great combo if you think about it. I love indie Folk music and have been jamming out for a couple of hours to this thing since I discovered it!

(Thanks go to TechCrunch for this one.)

And lastly, for those of you who are map geeks or Lord of the Rings fans, this one’s for you. An interactive map of Middle Earth has found its way onto the web at 3rin.gs (fitting URL, don’t you think?). This thing allows zoom, searching, and a cool crinkled paper look that makes you think you’re holding it in your hands (almost).

(This one comes from Geekosystem.com as well.)

Check these out and let me know if you’ve found anything cool in the corners of the web you want me to feature here!

–Fitz

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[Short Film] AVP: Redemption

Hi there…

Yes, I’m a sci-fi geek. I loved the original Alien and Predator movies. But I’ve been kind of lukewarm to the Alien vs. Predator movies of late. They’re ok, but not great. (I have some hope for the upcoming film Predators however.)

When I stumbled upon AVP: Redemption and learned that it was made by fans, I knew I had to check it out. And honestly, it’s better than some big budget flicks I’ve caught on the big screen.

Check it out at Vimeo and see what you think:

AVP Redemption from Alex Popov on Vimeo.

Two years and $500. What are the studios doing with all THEIR money I wonder?

Awesome job!

–Fitz

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