Short Films & Life Stories

by The Dreamer

Hey everyone! Honestly, I should REALLY be doing my work and revision, but my urge to blog is like, ugh. And I’ve been pushing off organizing my “Cambodia” file which takes up a whooping 8 GB on my hard-disc. Today I’ve decided to mix things up because I’ll be recommending 5 of my favourite short films/videos at the moment, and then I’ll be relating my life stories or musings to jazz everything up, and hopefully this will be interesting, yeah? Okay, so firstly, we have the appetizer:  

Paris by Will Darbyshire

He is a new Youtuber that I just found out about, and I simply fell in love with everything in this video. I loved the slow, lazy feel of the music, loved the old-film effect and basically loved how romanticized Paris is in this video.

To me, travelling is one of life’s biggest pleasures, but sadly my travel adventures have been so scripted and sorted out, there wasn’t a real chance to wander. Everywhere my parents traveled, even if they insisted that it had to be “relaxing”, it was constantly jam-packed with activities. There had to be a structure to the trip, and there had to be stiff family pictures, which I felt really let the essence of travelling slip through our fingers. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy the trips, but I do wish that one day I would be able to travel alone, or with someone I like (romantic/non-romantic way) and immerse myself in the culture and the people, instead of zooming straight to the tourist destinations and taking pointless pictures available on Google, but with our faces imposed inside in a uncomfortable smile.

11 Paper Place by Daniel Houghton

I adored this short film so much. It was so intricate, so phenomenal and the visuals were stunning. But what really struck me was the simplicity of it? The colour scheme was basically just white, and I don’t know about you, but based on my observations, many people around me need colours to trigger their interests. However, I was completely captivated by this film. The storyline, the animations – just wow.

Recently I borrowed a library book for my four-year-old cousin. It took me approximately 25 minutes to scour through the shelves before finally seeing this thin, dog-eared book tucked, almost devoured by the other larger, more intimidating picture books. It was none other than my childhood-favourite: Harold and the Purple Crayon.

I literally lived for this book. I think I read it about five times each night, before I finally reluctantly went to bed. Then I would stare outside at the moon, pretend there was a purple crayon in my hand, and drew my wonderland in the air until I dozed off with fatigue. Harold and the Purple Crayon was a simple book – purple, white and grey. Simple drawing, simple words, but I was so awed by it, and it opened so many doors to my creativity. I think this was actually one of the books that contributed to my overflowing mind of ideas. But moving on. I was over the moon to have found the book, but when I excitedly introduced it to my cousin, he didn’t even give it a second glance. “Why?” I asked, confused. “No colours. No nice pictures. I don’t like!”  He replied, almost indignantly. “You don’t know what you’re missing!” I countered, pushing the book to him. “Let me read it to you.” I open the book, but before I even have a chance to open my mouth, he shuts it close. “No. So boring.” You can’t blame a kid for being straightforward. But I just think it is a pity that kids nowadays are so exposed to and stimulated by moving images and bright, colourful visuals that they constantly need these razzle-dazzle to hook their attention. They really don’t know what they’re missing out. But no loss. I read and re-read Harold and the Purple Crayon to myself at least ten times before I went to sleep that night. I dreamt of good things.  

The Fatherhood Project – Liam Oakes by Soul Pancake

 Soul Pancake is one of my favourite youtube channels, and every single video never fails to make me shed tears of joy, or maybe sometimes of sadness and realization. But this episode of their new item, The Fatherhood Project, made me bawl my eyes out. It talked about our daily heroes, and one of them is 4 year old Liam Oakes, who has autism and is unable to speak. When I saw his desire to voice out his opinions, my heart collapsed. It was heartbreaking, but you could see from Liam’s determination and courage, how a four year old kid can have more strength than many of us. I don’t really have a back-story to this, but I just thought it was very inspirational and motivating, so I just wanted to share this with you guys.  

Space Adventure! by PJ Liguori 

I lovelovelovelovelove KickthePJ. He has one of the most creative brains in the entire Youtube industry. His videos are stunning, breathtaking and hilarious – sometimes deep. But no one can fathom what runs through his brain. He’s like a kid in his 20s, and I love that about him. Almost all of his videos have the element of fun and innocence, yet they are skillfully crafted and edited to perfection. Space Adventure is a more lighthearted video from him.Plus, he’s a piece of eye-candy and his voice makes me swoon, so I always watch his videos repeatedly and they never fail to keep me entertained.

This video, in particular, makes me think back of my childhood. I used to play Noah’s Ark with my Auntie and my sisters/cousins. We would buy ourselves a huge-ass baguette from Delifrance, find a huge-ass box and squeeze ourselves into it, then we would put all our stuff toys inside, make a checklist of all the animals present, then we’ll set sail. My Aunt would cut little pieces of colourful paper rain to sprinkle all over us, and we would take turns holding the umbrella and rationing the bread. It’s one of my most deeply etched  memories, and I cherish it so much.

Pupa by John Lee

Haha, this video is not for the fainthearted. It staggers back and forth the line of thrilling,psychedelic and creepy. It talks of a little boy who is ready for puberty, but is afraid to step into the realms of adulthood, which he thinks is full of monsters and will turn you into one. I thought this short film was incredible, exciting and fun. It did scare me a little, but honestly, it accurately portrays the overactive and imaginative mindset of children.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with my young cousin, and the latest game I’ve invented for him (which I also really like playing and will always bug him to play it with me, heehee. No shame.) involves the dark. We’ll turn off the lights, make a fortress out of our duvets and pillows, then I’ll tell my 4-years-young cousin to close his eyes.

“Right now, we’re on a pirate ship.” I’d say. Or, perhaps. “We’re stuck on the desert of cannibalistic fairies.”

We’ll come up with scenarios together in the dark. When everything around you is pitch black, it’s surprisingly easy where your mind wanders off to. I’ll conjure images and scenarios and it’s just freaking cool, I tell you. It feels literally as if I’ve transported myself back to prehistoric times or to Ancient China. This may not be fun to you, and you’ll probably think I’m a nutcase, but perhaps it’s because I’m still a child at heart.

All it takes is a trigger-sentence as above mentioned, and I’ll let my cousin lead the story with his imagination.

“Oh no! The shark-head zombies are attacking us! We must use our laser-beam eyes to shoot them away! FOLLOW ME! “

Our final destination is always the same – to find the light.

“We must wish with all our heart, ” He’ll whisper. “I wish for the light.” I can tell from the way he squeezes my hand especially hard that he’s really earnest about this, and through the dark I can vaguely see his eyes shut throughout our entire journey.

It’s really enthralling to see what goes inside his teeny tiny brain, and I think he has a wonderful imagination. Plus, it’s really brave of him because he’s dead scared of the dark. But, I guess the fun will cancel off the cons of being unable to see your five fingers. When you’re in another world, it’s not that scary anymore. Then, when I think he’s ready to end the story, I’ll creep over to the switch and turn on the lights, returning us back to reality.

He’ll shrill in delight, every single time.

“Ready?” I’d say.

He nods.

We’ll take a deep breath, and jump back into the rabbit hole of darkness again, only to discover a different wonderland.

I wonder…which of these short films were your favourite? And were any of my musings in any way, relatable to you? Or made you smile?

钧 xx

jean xx