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FilmBuff Shorts on Hulu (Free Online Viewing)

Cinetic FilmBuff has partnered with Hulu for FilmBuff Shorts, a channel devoted exclusively to—you guessed it—movies of the shorter variety. The plan is for new titles to be added on a consistent basis, but for now, there are eight to choose from. Here are some personal favorites (though I’m embedding them below, be sure to visit the FilmBuff Shorts site to watch all eight):

The Rambler (13:25) — If you haven’t seen Calvin Lee Reeder’s gritty, gleefully hallucinatory nightmare, be forewarned: it gets messy. Reeder’s alter-ego, The Rambler, is a side-of-the-road drifter who’s looking for a ride. When he gets picked up by a kooky scientist, he ends up at his truly bizarro domicile, which makes the households in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Twilight Zone seem tame and staid. After meeting the scientist’s daughter, The Rambler ends up tied to her bed, where things get out of control. Reeder uses grainy 16mm, in camera trickery, and a trippy, assaultive color scheme to set his blackly comic tone. If exploding boobies are your thing, don’t miss The Rambler!

Cricket Head (19:02) — Grant Greenberg’s short might very well be my WTF?! revelation of the year. You might as well consider this part of a trilogy with other FilmBuff entries Sick Sex and Sex Tape: Acting for the Camera, as the principal players in each are Greenberg, Justin Nowell, and Thomas Nowell. But whereas Greenberg was the producer and cinematographer for those latter shorts (which were co-written by both Nowells and directed by Justin), he took over the directorial reins for Cricket Head (which was also co-written by the Nowells). Cathy Curtain is a just-released-from-prison teacher who disobeys orders and tracks down the young student with whom she’s obsessed. It’s a cringingly naked performance in the tradition of Chris Penn in The Funeral and Brittany Murphy in The Dead Girl, and I honestly don’t know if I even like it, but I will say that it packs a genuine WTF?! punch.

The Elephant Garden (19:25) — Sasie Sealy’s The Elephant Garden is a short film with a feature-length gravity. Kelley Mack shows star promise as a sensitive young girl who doesn’t know how to reconcile her emotions when her older sister gets a new boyfriend. I haven’t seen any of Sealy’s other work, but The Elephant Garden is a very fine calling card that bodes well for a successful feature-length future.

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest—http://blogs.indiewire.com/tully—for more sporadic personal updates.

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