Shorts Round Up of the Week (11/9/2018)

Most of the time we get such a backlog of short films and feature length indie films that we work hard to take them all on and review them before the year is up. In what we hope will become a new feature, “Shorts Round Up of the Week” is a column where we’ll be reviewing a round up of short films of varying quality.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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The Bootleg Files: In Search of Historic Jesus

BOOTLEG FILES 652: “In Search of Historic Jesus” (1979 feature from Sunn Classic Pictures).

LAST SEEN: On DailyMotion.com.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It was never released on DVD or Blu-ray.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It could happen.

During the 1970s, movie audiences were bombarded with a parade of weird documentaries and docudramas from a Utah-based company that went by the names Sun International Pictures, Schick Sunn Classic Pictures and Sunn Classic Pictures. This company tapped into the growing public interest in the paranormal and historical revisionism by offering films aimed at challenging scientific and scholarly traditions.
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Hunt for the Skinwalker (2018)

The mystery of the Skinwalker Ranch is one of my all time favorite paranormal mysteries right up there with the Hopkinsville Goblins. It’s a phenomenon that’s caught my attention over the last two years that’s left me absolutely gobsmacked and a tad bit obsessed to boot. I’ve looked up everything I can about this seemingly insignificant ranch land in the middle of Utah, because everything about it is fascinating. Whether it’s one elaborate hoax or one of the most incredible pieces of proof that the paranormal is a very real element of our world as we know it, people won’t soon forget the Skinwalker Ranch any time soon.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is the movie that the world needs right now, it’s the ultimate superhero tale. It’s about a man who grew up experiencing nothing but pain that decided one day to take his ability to talk to children and his education and use it as a tool for good and for changing the world. And change the world Fred Rogers did, as he one day took a step back and decided that the world needed some kind of force for good. He knew that could mold children and use the medium of television as a valuable tool that could turn every single child, no matter what race or religion, in a neighbor and a friend.

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The Coolest Guy Movie Ever (2018)

John Sturges’s “The Great Escape” is easily one of my favorite action movies of all time, and one of my top five McQueen pictures (“The Getaway” takes the number one prize). It’s legacy and influence on pop culture and action cinema as a whole has been lasting, with John Sturges presenting a slew of brilliant actors at the top of their games in what is a very intriguing tale about escaping Nazi clutches, and fighting for freedom. “The Coolest Guy Movie Ever” is a fine and entertaining historical documentary for anyone that fancies themselves a fan of the movie. It’s exhaustive, meticulous in its detail, and we even get some candid stories about the cast.

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The Bootleg Files: Hitler Lives

BOOTLEG FILES 644: “Hitler Lives” (1945 short film that won the Academy Award).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
A mistaken belief that it is in the public domain.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

When the 18th Academy Awards were presented in March 1946, much of the attention was devoted to Joan Crawford winning the Best Actress Oscar for her comeback performance in “Mildred Pierce” and to Billy Wilder’s “The Lost Weekend” winning the Best Picture honors. Less attention was given to the Warner Bros. short “Hitler Lives,” which won the Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar. Unknown to the Oscar audience that night, “Hitler Lives” was not an original film, but rather a rehash of an Army training film. And calling the film a documentary was charitable, as the film was clearly more of a propaganda essay than a serious nonfiction production.
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