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021Instead of Abracadabra by Patrik Eklund

From Sweden, a very funny comedy about a 25 year old wannabe magician (with the competence of Napolean Dynamite) who tries to whoo the beautiful next door neighbour with his talents. Chimay!

Patrik Eklund has directed several shorts including his most recent Seeds of the Fall.

This movie comes in three parts.

Instead of Abracadabra continued »



020Madame Tutli-Putli by Chris Lavis

This is a dark and wonderfully hyperbolic movie about a tense and, in many ways, perverted train journey. The detail and characterisation in the stop motion is amazing.

Clyde Henry Productions (Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski) and the National Film Board of Canada deserve the multiple international awards they received.

This was followed up in 2010 by the release of Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life.

Madame Tutli-Putli continued »



019Beginners by Raymond Carver

raymond carver

Beginners is the original version of the title story from What We Talk About When We Talk About Love before over half it was controversially cut and changed by his editor Gordan Lish.

Carver is considered one of the most important short story writers of the 20th century. He employs a concise, minimalist style similar to Hemingway and Chekhov; and is associated with the Dirty Realism movement of the 70s/80s with the likes of Charles Bukowski, Tobias Wolff, Richard Ford and Cormac McCarthy.

Cathedral and Chef’s House (podcast read by David Means) are two more important Carver stories. If you like them, I’d recommend The Library of America’s Carver: Collected Stories. It contains both versions of the Beginners collection as well as his short story collections Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, Cathedral and other stories and essays.

There have been several movie adaptations of Carver’s stories. The latest is Everything Must Go based on the story Why Don’t You Dance?

Beginners continued »



018Fluent Dysphasia by Daniel O'Hara

Imagine waking up to find you could only speak Irish (in Ireland). A funny little comedy starring Stephen Rea about the neglect of Gaelic.

Daniel O’Hara also directed Yu Ming is Ainm Dom, another satirical short about Ireland and its mother tongue.

Fluent Dysphasia continued »



017La Maison en Petits Cubes by Kunio Katō

A beautifully metaphorical Japanese animation about defiance and reminiscence. It won an Academy Award in 2008.

Kunio Katō is also known for The Diary of Tortov Roddle.
La Maison en Petits Cubes continued »



016Childcare by Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is a great contemporary writer. Her stories are witty, poignant and delivered with very little fuss. Like everything I’ve read of hers, Childcare is a pleasure to read.

If you want to read more, I recommend her short story collections Birds of America and Like Life. I also enjoyed her short novel, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Her latest novel is called A Gate at the Stairs.
Childcare continued »



015Six Shooter by Martin McDonagh

An Oscar winning Irish movie from the writer/director of In Bruges.

Wait for the gag about the cow with trapped wind.

Another movie that comes in two parts, click the title above for or continue below.

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014Old Man and the Sea by Alexander Petrov

Alexander Petrov has a beautiful contemporary style. For his adaptation of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, he painted onto an illuminated glass surface with his fingers and photographed the results. The twenty minute piece took three years and 29,000 takes to complete, and in 1999 he won an Academy Award.

He continues a long Russian tradition of ground breaking and beautiful animation with a list of international awards.

This movie comes in two parts. Click the title above or the continue link below

Old Man and the Sea continued »



013The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol

Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said, “We all come out from Gogol’s Overcoat.” The Ukrainian’s is one of the most influential figures in world literature and The Overcoat (also translated as The Cloak), one of his most significant works.

Amongst many others, he is also famous for The Nose, the novel Dead Souls and the play, The Inspector General

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0127:35 de la Mañana by Nacho Vigalondo

From Spain, a dark comic short about getting the attention of a lady.

Funny stuff. It got nominated for an Academy Award in 2004.

7:35 de la Mañana continued »