Best in Show: Movie Shorts |


Best in Show: Movie Shorts

With so many shorts to choose from, it’s hard to know where to spend your lunch break. To help micromanage your viewing, here are four of the best. Note that some contain language inappropriate for your office—but you’re not supposed to be watching movies at work, are you? – NR

George Lucas in Love ( Forget whatever you read in George Lucas’ biography—this film school fairy tale, directed by Joe Nussbaum, tells the better-than-real-life story behind Star Wars’ creation: A boy with writer’s block can’t see the drama unfolding around him until a Princess Leia-like beauty unlocks his Force. The spot-on personifications of Obi-Wan, Yoda, Han Solo, and the rest of the galactic cast are flawless. MediaTrip’s next score is a Billy Bob Thornton-meets-Swingers spoof called Swing Blade that premieres in mid-December. A+

Waiting for Woody ( An aspiring actor with a serious case of bedroom performance anxiety finally gets his big break: an audition with Woody Allen. When the 10-second interview ends, our devastated hero (played by director Grant Heslov) retreats to a dream-state matinee in which he learns that getting a woody is more important than winning with Woody. Look for sidesplitting waiting-room cameos by George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston, but talk about delayed gratification: AtomFilms hopes to entice viewers with a one-minute preview of this 30-minute film, which can be seen in full only on a $12.99 VHS compilation. A

Herd ( When a suburban burger cook finds a super-intelligent (and cuddly) alien in his house, they become fast friends and build a strange contraption from consumer-electronics scraps. Only after defending his pal from the Men in Black does the protagonist (Kent Osborne) learn of the apocalyptic conspiracy he’s been drawn into. Director Mike Mitchell’s imaginative low-fi special effects are wonderfully executed in this 18-minute short, which was included in the Hamptons International Film Festival. A

Black People Hate Me and They Hate My Glasses ( Race relations have never looked as nebbishy as through the eyes of a neurotically cool New Yorker (Andrew Gurland) who spins his discomfort with blacks into a conspiracy revolving around his glasses. Basing his tale on real events, director Salamo Levin comes off as a Jewish Spike Lee by turning most of this controversial 14-minute film’s offensive scenes into funny ones at the last second. B