Hello, one and all. Today I bring you lovely people a short film called Six Shooter from the Irish master of dark comedy, Martin McDonagh. It tells the story of Donnelly, played by the incredible Brendan Gleeson, and his train ride to Dublin the day after learning of his wife’s tragic death. On the train he meets an amusing asshole of a kid, Rúaidhrí Conroy, who’s mother just died the previous day and two grieving parents who’ve just lost their infant to a cot death.
From here the film devolves into the usual incredibly dark yet hilarious tragedy that we’ve come to expect from a Martin McDonagh film. However, this movie in many way is about much more than a macabre train ride to Dublin. It’s about death and how we deal with it in a godless world. Donnelly, a man who’s just lost his wife, is completely at a loss as to how he should react to the death around him. Should he morn loudly and passionately like the young married couple do, or should he detach himself from it with cool humor like the boy does? It’s a difficult question to attack, but McDonagh does it with aplomb. He’s able to address the question with biting dark humor without losing the emotional connection to his characters and their central tragedy. This is in no small part due to the brilliant performances by both Brendan Gleeson, who will later co-star in In Bruges, and Rúaidhrí Conroy who bring a tremendous emotional current through out every minutes of the film. It’s really a beautiful film that achieves so much and acts as a great precursor to the incredible films McDonagh will later deliver. Please check it out above.
Hello once again, people of the internet. After a long day mostly filled with the compulsive and unhealthy watching of far too many short films, I came up with the brilliant idea of spreading the beauty of the medium to the unwashed masses via a weekly column on this humble website of ours. This incredible art form has been undercut for too long, and I plan to give it some long overdo exposure. So, with this noble goal in mind, I bring you the first ever Short Film Sunday.
I’ve found that in the modern era of the internet and any number of other newfangled contraptions there’s a pervasive problem with forming actual connections. We may be in the same room or even sitting across from one another, but it seem like it’s harder than ever to actually build up the courage and put yourself out there to form an actual link with another human being. It’s this ever present idea that Don Hertzfeldt attacks with his brilliant short film, Lily and Jim.
Presented in a low budget style akin to the doodles and scribbles that are no doubt familiar to any high schooler who’s ever been bored during math class, Lily and Jim presents the story of the world’s most awkward blind date, ever. The titular characters are so immobilized by their own insecurities and fears that they are unable to connect in any real way, instead spiting out meaningless and really quite awkward small talk. They’re just trying to find someone to be with, but they’re just so incapable that it all at once becomes hilarious and tragic. They both sit there wanting the same thing, just to connect, to not be alone, but they can’t, none of them will take that first step and really put themselves out there. Instead they soak in their own self loathing and neuroticism and end up where they started, alone.
In may way this kind of thing is exactly why I love short films. In these short 13 minutes Don Hertzfeldt is able to build an illuminating microcosm of modern relationships, showing us how much we vie for human contact but tragically sabotage ourselves in a vain effort to not be hurt. It achieves something that most films can’t even get close to in their lofty 120 minute run-times. By simplifying and shortening he’s able to deliver a clear picture without any of the bloat inherent to many feature length films. It really is quite amazing and something that people shouldn’t underestimate for its short film moniker.
Hello once again, people of the Internet. Today we at Simply Film would like to share with you our recent explorations into the always great medium of podcasting, and to begin our epic journey into the annals of podcasting history we start with our review of Evil Dead, not THE Evil Dead like the original, just Evil Dead, because I guess we’re too cool for articles now. Anyway, we’re still just getting the hang of this thing, so please forgive any amateurishness on our part. I hope you enjoy it.
This Week: Gabriel Vogel & Andrew King
What We’ve Been Watching: 0:00 – 13:59
Roger Ebert: 14:00 – 18:29
Evil Dead Review: 18:30 – 38:22
PS: We don’t really have a name yet, and if you have any suggestions we’d love to hear them. I’m particularly partial towards Rampant Cinephilia, but the powers that be don’t really seem to appreciate it much.
I’m sad to announce that a truly great man has died today, a man who was able to spread the greatness of cinema to so many with his beautiful and insightful words. Yes, Roger Ebert has died. The cancer that he’s been battling for so many years has finally consumed him, and he has passed away.
I can’t even begin to express how much this man has personally influenced me. At least, I can say in all confidence that I wouldn’t be here on this website without him. I may have found him relatively late in his career, as I missed much of his show, which granted him fame in the first place, but through the reviews on his website and his incredible blog posts, he really shaped me as a human being.
I remember growing up watching movies everyday and the first thing I would always do after the credits started rolling was run to my laptop and check what Ebert thought. His writing was accessible to a newcomer like I was at the time but also sharp and thoughtful and always hinting at the larger wonder of film. He really acted as a comfortable and fascinating gateway into this weird and amazing world that we call the movies. I’m so totally grateful that he was there when I was growing up, and now I’m filled with a profound sadness to discover that he won’t be there as I continue on as an adult.
If Ebert effected you even close to as much as he effected me than I think you’ll agree with me when I say this is truly a sad day.