Crime fiction short films

Crime fiction has a lot of mediums by which to express itself, flex it’s muscle and tell a story. Most of the mediums are familiar to us even if we don’t explore them. Great crime fiction can be found in novels, comics, movies, television shows, short stories, plays and novellas. Every medium has it’s strengths and weaknesses and they all have been utilized to craft masterpieces not only of the overall genre, crime fiction, but of each respective medium and form as well.

Now I think we have a new medium to watch because the short film is starting to establish itself as a breeding ground for original crime fiction stories.

From light hearted to intense; from inept small town cop to the greatest foiled robbery ever; from comedy to tragedy; from bumbling robbers to hardcore robbers; from comedy to hard-boiled; from surrealism to realism already a broad selection of ideas is presenting itself for inspection.

And I think that, as a form, it deserves to be watched because some really interesting things are happening.

So after the jump let me have about a half hour of your time.

Born That Way directed by Tony McNeal

Born That Way probably has the slickest production values of the bunch. It looks gorgeous. Even though he isn’t recognizable it stars Kevin Gage who played Waingro in the movie Heat. He plays an tough ex-con named Jake Green who finally sees his daughter after a period of time. While getting some food from a drive through he and his daughter find themselves caught up in the middle of an armored car robbery. The violence that unfolds forever affects the daughter and we see how, as a grown woman, the earlier incident has influenced her.

I see some real potential with this story in one regard. It feels very much like a crime fiction short story put to film, like it could be found on a zine somewhere. So imagine the benefits if this type of collaboration was encouraged in the future. If actual adaptations of short crime fiction were made it would be a win win. Other avenues would open themselves up as well. Like a collection of adapted crime shorts presented as a kind of anthology.

Born That Way from Tony McNeal on Vimeo.

Cafe Serre by Vincent E Sousa, Bertrand Avril, Yann de Préval and Denis Bouyer

Cafe Serre is a Pixar type animated short that is all about the pratfalls and physical comedy as a robbery is foiled without even trying. Let the kids watch this one with you.

Café Serré from Denis Bouyer on Vimeo.

Carousel by Adam Berg

This video is just insane. It’s a genius example of compressed storytelling that shows a Dark Knight influence, specifically the opening sequence. It is also the most ambitious of the bunch. The whole this is a frozen moment in time in an epic battle between cops and robbers. What starts off as being a cool visual experience though picks up some unexpected depth as an actual narrative begins to unfold.

Just brilliant.

Philips Carousel from the Foundry Labs on Vimeo.

Adicolor Black by Samain Chow

Three words for you. Surreal. Panda. Noir. Yeah, go ahead and take a minute to let that marinate because I did actually say that. One of the coolest, strangest things that I’ve ever seen. Not for everyone admittedly but very cool nonetheless.

“Adicolor Black” from deus-x on Vimeo.

So what do you think? Does the short film lend itself to crime fiction? Could there be a future here?

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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About Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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