Hollywood heartthrob Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been showing signs of artsiness for quite some time now, from recording acoustic YouTube vids with Zoe Deschanel to directing a "shocking" Sundance film. But JGL is entering new territory with a short film titled "Flickering Lights."
The short, which Gordon-Levitt released with his art collaborative HitRECord, features a dizzying collage of, you guessed it, flickering lights, narrated with a poem of the same name. The poem was written by HitRECord member Wirrow, and includes lines like "light every candle and wave every phone/ glinting and bleeping and/ imprinting glowing circuses/ that linger while I'm sleeping." While at times the whimsical film verges on the twee overload of a Wieden+Kennedy Levi's commercial, we have to admit parts are entrancing.
Is Gordon-Levitt taking cues from James Franco?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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The puzzling thriller by "Primer" director Shane Carruth was far more than an unfolding story. <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/day-five-at-sundance-is-all-about-the-perplexing-o,91442/'">Sam Adams of the A.V. club confirmed</a>: "Having the movie wash over me was one of the most transcendent experiences of my moviegoing life. With piercing bright orchids, trippy visuals and an abundance of cute pigs this time travel film was one of the most talked-about of the festival. (<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/jan/23/sundance-festival-upstream-color-first-look-review">Also, perhaps, because a lot of people seemed not to know what was going on</a>.)
We don't know if a trailer has ever made us gasp before. South Korean director Chan-wook Park, the mind behind "Old Boy," chose Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman to star in his <a href="http://www.foxsearchlight.com/stoker/">his first English language film</a>. The aesthetically alluring gore, thrashing music and an oddly horrific pencil show how an artistic eye can really give us the chills.
A 15 minute short film packed with moments of melancholic beauty, "<a href="http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13163/skinningrove">Skinningrove</a>" explores photographer Chris Killip's black-and-white memories of his time spent in an isolated English fishing village on the North Sea. The short, directed by Michael Almereyda, seamlessly weaves together existing works of art to build another.
"30% (Women and Politics in Sierra Leone)"
Anna Cady directs this <a href="http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13143/30_women_and_politics_in_sierra_leone">visually breathtaking film</a>, at once a documentary and a moving oil painting. The piece follows three women fighting for fair representation in the heavily corrupted Sierra Leone. Between Em Cooper's honey-smooth animation and the documentary subjects' drop dead outfits, you probably don't want to blink much during this one. <em><strong>Correction:</strong> In an earlier version of this slideshow, we listed Anna Cady as the animator. We regret the error.</em>
From the minds of Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva, the filmmakers who made "<a href="http://vimeo.com/30804741">Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke</a>," comes the bizarro tale of two Miami girls dealing with technological singularity. The film lets all the beauty and grotesque excess of the internet wash over you. Did we mention it's a sci-fi musical as told through tweets?
"We Are What We Are"
We wouldn't expect to be blown away by the beauty of a film centered on cannibalism. But Jim Mickles' "We Are What We Are," a remake of the Mexican horror film of the same name, is as visually devastating as it is terrifying. <a href="http://www.indiewire.com/article/sundance-review-jim-mickles-slow-burn-we-are-what-we-are-remake-is-quiet-gross-and-better-than-the-original">As IndieWire put it</a>, "Ryan Samul's dark blue and black palettes take the movie out of its contemporary setting and suggest an ancient dance between the last vestiges of barbarity and the onset of civilized behavior."
"Escape From Tomorrow"
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"Charlie Victor Romeo"
Based on an award winning theatrical documentary, "<a href="http://charlievictorromeo.com/">Charlie Victor Romeo</a>" is made entirely from Black Box transcripts of real airline emergencies. In its adaptation to the screen, Robert Berger and Karlyn Michelson employed stereoscopic 3D technology. It is supposed to be terrifying. <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/charlie-victor-romeo-sundance-film-414218">The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore explained</a>: "Their dialogue, in which words like "speed" are repeated endlessly for reasons we don't understand, becomes a kind of terrifying, avant-garde found poetry."
This 13 minute short by Ghanaian filmmaker Frances Bodomo tells the story of an African family seeking a cure for their daughter's illness in a Louisiana Church. The gripping film stars "Beast of the Southern Wild" breakout actress Quvenzhané Wallis as well as a dream-washed palette that puts all Instagram filters to shame.
Directed by Julia Pott, "The Event" describes itself as "Love and a severed foot at the end of the world." Its mix of cartoonish innocence and artistic melancholy make for a perfectly weird, unnerving and eventually heartwarming short. You can watch the entire 3:23 little guy here.