"Check out this short film. It's 17 minutes long!"
Nine times out of ten, that statement would fill me with dread. I've championed short films on this blog before - most notably some of the more impressive ones from Campus MovieFest - and I've always emphasized that shorter is frequently better. An old film professor of mine was fond of saying, "Student films come in three lengths: long, too long, and entirely too long."
This is especially true when viewing videos online, where the sweet spot seems to be between three and a half and five minutes. If someone sends me a 17-minute film I'm supposed to watch on my laptop, it had better be really good.
The short NOAH, from directors Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg is that good. Hell, it's fantastic. Ingeniously told entirely from the perspective of a computer screen, we get a window into the title characters relationship with his girlfriend through Skype, Facebook, Google and online chats.
When I watch a long video on YouTube, sometimes I'll pause to send an email. I might even be typing an email in another window, or having a online chat convo while the movie still plays. With this, I'm pretty sure I didn't touch my mouse or my keyboard for more than 17 minutes This is the kind of idea you watch and wish you'd thought of.
I have a feeling Woodman and Cederberg are going to get a lot of notice from this. The film had its world premiere this week as part of the Toronto International Film Festival.