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Cinema16: European Short Films

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Sep 25, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cinema16 is pleased to announce the US release of Cinema16: European Short Films. This two-disc edition features previously unseen short films and early works by some of today's most notable filmmakers, as well as award-winning films from its rising stars. In addition to the films, the set contains over three hours of commentaries and a 16-page color booklet.

Film Listing:
1. The Man Without a Head- Juan Solanas (France)
2. Wasp- Andrea Arnold (United Kingdom)
3. Doodlebug- Christopher Nolan (United Kingdom)
4. World of Glory- Roy Andersson (Sweden)
5. Je T'aime John Wayne- Toby MacDonald (United Kingdom)
6. Gasman- Lynne Ramsay (Scotland)
7. Jabberwocky- Jan Svankmajer (Czech Republic)
8. Fierrot Le Pou- Matthieu Kassovitz (France)
9. Rabbit- Run Wrake (United Kingdom)
10. Copy Shop- Virgil Widrich (Austria)
11. Boy and Bicycle- Ridley Scott (United Kingdom)
12. Nocturne- Lars Von Trier (Denmark)
13. Before Dawn- Balint Kenyers (Hungary)
14. Election Night- Anders Thomas Jensen (Denmark)
15. Six Shooter- Martin McDonagh (Ireland)
16. The Opening Day of Close-Up- Nanni Moretti (Italy)


A film school on one DVD. -- The BBC

A must have for any film fan. -- The Telegraph

A unique collection of exceptional short films. -- Dazed and Confused

The quality of this collection is exceptionally high. It's like having a complete film festival in the comfort of your own home. -- Empire (UK)

The range of work is rich and remarkable. Essential. -- i-D Magazine (UK)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Andrea Arnold
  • Directors: Christopher Nolan, Lars Von Trier, Lynne Ramsay, Ridley Scott, Mathieu Kassovitz
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warp Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 218 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UX6TNE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,487 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cinema16: European Short Films" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Flipper Campbell VINE VOICE on October 1, 2007
In the U.S., at least, people who don't go to film festivals rarely see shorts. "Cinema16" certainly works as a high-impact advertisement for the art. Every film is worth seeing. No shrug-inducing student films. All have major festival awards as calling cards. Two won Oscars.

Most of the shorts have commentaries; a few do not. This makes for two experiences -- the viewing, and then the director explaining what was what with the film. Some of these films are abstract or just plain odd, so it's interesting to put your perceptions to the test right away.

Series producer Luke Morris unspooled the "Cinema16" DVD series in Europe a few years back, compiling award-winning British shorts and first films from top U.K. directors. His next DVD reached out to European directors. (Neither was region 1). This "Cinema16" is tailored for the U.S., and it looks like we got the better deal -- the double-disc set contains the greatest hits from the first two editions and then some. Eleven European nations are represented.

My favorites:

"Je T'aime John Wayne": Stylized, high-energy profile of a London hipster who fantasizes he's living in Paris as a way-cool Jean-Paul Belmondo clone -- until his mum calls.

"Wasp": Won the Oscar for short film in 2005. A young single mom of four yearns to party at the pub, but can't afford to feed her kids, let alone get child care. She cleans up real nice and drags the children to the local bar, where they wait outside while she keeps a date with an old flame. The film's magic is in its slightly sympathetic portrait of the lousy mother.

"The Man Without a Head": Everyone needs a head, but our hero is fresh out. A date with a beautiful woman looms; he decides to splurge on a head. So many to choose from ...
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There is enough variety here that I can almost guarantee that everyone will find something essential to their collection. Reading the other customer reviews, I see that my preferences are so different that my naming them can only illustrate my point. I will name them anyway.

From the first disc, Roy Andersson's "World of Glory" and Lynne Ramsay's "Gasman" are what I would consider the best work on display. But then, I went into it believing them the best filmmakers represented. If, for example, you think Christopher Nolan is a visionary, you will probably find that "Doodlebug" confirms your opinion.

Disc Two has a greater concentration of interesting work. "Copy Shop" shows how a film can be wholly experimental while still being immensely entertaining. "Boy and Bicycle," made so long ago that director Tony Scott (TOP GUN, etc.) was young enough to play the part of "boy" in his brother's film, is one of film history's brave follies, in that it taps Joyce's ULYSSES as an influence. Sadly, the mumbling stream-of-consciousness voice-over just gets in the way of its eloquent images, more reminiscent of Joris Ivans than of the Scott Brothers' advertising or feature work. Still, well worth seeing as representing a path not taken.

"Before Dawn" is done in a single, ten-minute take, and is remarkable for it's interior dramatic construction; "Election Night" is at once excruciating and hilarious; similarly, "Six-Shooter" is a well-constructed drama that mixes hilarity and the macabre in unexpected ways; and finally, "The Opening Night of Close-Up," shot on video, documents the behind-the-scenes agony of watching Kiarostami's masterwork open in a London movie house, defining the expression "pearls before swine" to a "T."
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This is, like the other Cinema 16 shorts collections, an excellent compilation. I've not yet used it in my intro screenwriting class, but I look forward to my students' reactions next month when I show them several of the films throughout the semester. If you're into Cringe Cinema, as I am, then "Wasp" will astonish you. Call it a prequel for "Fish Tank." 'Nuff said. "Doodlebug" is Christopher Nolan's first foray into Movieland; it's rather preciously Kafkaesque, but it's 3 minutes long, and students need to see that they can tell a complete story in 3 minutes. "Je t'aime John Wayne" is a very effective parody of New Wave cinema, and its protagonist is appealing. "Fierrot le Pou" is... fun. And sans dialogue, which makes it a fine example of what beginning filmmakers can do without benefit of sync sound. "Before Dawn" is a gobsmacker about illegal immigration, shot in spare, lean style, yet rich in subtext. And "Six Shooter"... after watching this one you can understand how Martin McDonagh made a deal with Focus to write and direct "in Bruges," despite the fact that he had no feature experience. Both story and plot go places one doesn't expect them to go; when a film is capable of surprising its audience, I can't help but admire the filmmakers' skill.
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For those who want to see filmmakers in the making, this is a great start. Though all the films do not follow a typical narrative structure, they are all noteworthy and interesting to watch, especially in light of who made them. There are several Oscar-winners, as well as one of my favorites, J'Taime John Wayne. A must for filmmakers and story-tellers alike.
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