I was having an argument with myself yesterday on the way home from work. It got quite heated. I was assessing the length of time it takes me to get home, and thus attempting to gauge roughly how much free time I would have before sleep stole me away for the night. I realised that it was perfectly possible to estimate the journey to a fairly accurate time-frame: between 50 and 54 minutes. That means that, leaving work at bang on six like any other dispassionate employee, I must arrive home between 6:50 and 6:54. The automatic reaction to this was to simply round up to 7 o’clock. And surely this is the normal thing to do?
I wasn’t exactly going to say “right, its 6:54 now and I’ll probably hit the sack around midnight, so that gives me 5 hours and 6 minutes of free time”. That would be absurd. Rounding my time down to 5 hours created a much more intelligible time-frame and one that was more easily divided into eating, showering, and absorbing a medium if my choosing (be it a novel or whatever 4OD had on their homepage).
But then another, less rigid and middle-class, part of my self sprung up with an impassioned cry of disdain, “how could you throw away six minutes of your life without a fight!” he cried. And I suddenly felt ashamed at having so listlessly rubbished a whole six minutes of my precious time upon this emerald planet of ours. Of course, I hadn’t physically or empirically thrown away time. But as far as my life, and my cognitive understanding of the world, was concerned, I had just edited my life, creating an awkward jump-cut between 6:54 and 7 o’clock. And I stood, speechless, staring at the six minutes of life that I had ruthlessly thrown onto the cutting room floor.
I might seem insane to you, but I assure you that at some point in your life, in some part of your brain, you have made this very error. In this modern world we are all forced to manage and assess our time with increasing accuracy. It is only natural that we should trim away the awkward minutes and odd numbers to make everything a bit more manageable.
But if you throw away six minutes of every day for twenty years, you have thrown away exactly one month of your life; and that really would be a shame.
So the question is, what can we do to save these wonderful pockets of ’six minutes’ of each day? Six minutes isn’t enough time to have a meal. It isn’t enough time to shower, or go to the gym. All you can really do in six minutes is worry about things. But I think I may have found the answer to our problems… short films!
I have spent the past few weeks surrounded by these droplets of entertaining, informative, uplifting, and heart-warming media. I have thus decided to gather up a handy collection of these short films for you to enjoy during that six minutes that you would have spent wondering what to do.
You can thank me by pasting the link to this page to all your friends on facebook, and recommending that they follow my advice. Together we can save a month in the life of every embittered and desperate commuter in every metropolis on Earth… added together we would be saving decades of human life!
… it will also have the added benefit of increasing my ‘hits-per-page’ tally, which can’t hurt.
Dir: Oren Lavie, Yuval and Merav Nathan. Music video for Oren Lavie using stop frame animation, mind-boggling imagination, and infinite charm.
Dir: Spike Jonze and Ty Evans. Music: Unkle / 2009. The Lakai skateboarding team amaze as they navigate around an apocalyptic skate park. The Unkle track makes the experience completely amazing and surreal.
Dir: Marc Isaacs / UK / 2001. Filmmaker Marc Isaacs sets himself up in a London tower block lift. The residents come to trust him and reveal the things that matter to them creating a humorous and moving portrait of a vertical community.
Dir: Lev / USA / 2007. Life’s dating ritual… in 64 east steps.
Dir. Michael Davies / UK / 2008. Sometimes little questions need big answers.
Dir: Phil and Olly / UK / 2008. A sleep-deprived office worker accidentally discovers a black hole – and then greed gets the better of him
Dir: Si & AD / UK / 2008. Shy girl meets shy boy in the office, and they find a new way of expressing their affection in this endearing film.
Dir: James Lees / UK / 2009. An exciting and poetic short documentary exploring the four minute mile, the perfect race. Englishman Roger Bannister was the first to break it and now it is considered the standard for any competitive long distance runner to master.
Dir. Michael Krivicka / USA / 2005. An inventive look at life in the city of opportunity, told by many people through one voice.
Dir. Wade Shotter / music Fujiya & Miyagi. A playfully literal interpretation of the easy going Fujiya & Miyagi track
Dir: Hannes Häyhä / 2004 / Finland. Music video for the band ‘Lodger’ – bass player Hannes Häyhä created this flash music video featuring a hapless one-eyed stick man which proved so popular he set up “One-Eyed Films”. The song details the drudgery in life of the average person and “God Has Rejected the Western World”, an anthem decrying the superficiality of western society.
Dir: Tomek Baginski / Poland / 2005. In an old forgotten military base far from civilization, a group of deranged military officers nurture their insanity.
I will also offer up some more highlights on this page in the future, so check back and say hi!