Posts from the ‘Short Film’ category

“Play, Games, and Disappearing Reality”

“Play, Games and Disappearing Reality”
Published: March 13, 2010


Considering Play was co-written by Eric Zimmerman, the biggest Ludic Century advocate I know, the short film presents a remarkably ambivalent vision of the future of gaming. Almost nothing in the film is clear, and it revels in this ambiguity to good effect. The viewer is left with space to play with the plot even after multiple viewings. I’ve seen it three times and still can’t figure out who the protagonist is, what the game being depicted is, or what kind of “real” world the film is set in. And all that, maybe, is the point.

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Eric Kohn reviews “Little Red Riding Hood”

“DVD: Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories”
By ERIC KOHN, The New York Press
Published: June 4, 2009

No American filmmaker has expressed the same degree of fascination with the adult themes of fairy tales as David Kaplan. But he deserves the niche. It begs noting that Kaplan staked his claim in this field long before completing his first feature, “Year of the Fish,” in 2007. That movie, a contemporary rotoscoped version of Cinderella set in New York’s Chinatown, offers only one glimpse of Kaplan’s revisionist oeuvre. His landmark short, “Little Red Riding Hood,” recently hit DVD with insightful commentary from the director and a glimpse at his other morbid fables.

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New York Post reviews “Little Red”

By V.A. Musetto, The New York Post
Published: May 31, 2009

WARNING: This fairy tale isn’t meant for kids. I’m talking about David Kaplan’s twisted, 12-minute version of “Little Red Riding Hood,” narrated by Quentin Crisp and starring a then-16-year-old Christina Ricci as a not-so-innocent girl who goes to visit Granny and instead encounters a lecherous wolf.

The black-and-white short, made in 1997, features cannibalism, toilet talk, face licking and a mean striptease performed by the child for the benefit of the wolf, portrayed by sexy Timour Bourtasenkov, an accomplished ballet dancer.

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Hammer to Nail reviews “Little Red”

“Cinematic Fairy Tales”
By MICHAEL TULLY, Hammer to Nail
Published: June 16, 2009

Before becoming a feature film director with Year of the Fish, David Kaplan made a name for himself in the mid-1990s with a series of memorable short films that revitalized the fairy tale genre. Combining elements of German Expressionism with modern dance/theater, Kaplan produced beautifully haunting worlds that lingered beyond his films’ relatively short running times (twelve minutes being the longest). Just over a decade later, these works are finally available on home video for the world to appreciate. While Little Red Riding Hood is the undeniable standout, the others—Little-Suck-a-Thumb and The Frog King—are worthwhile efforts that prove Little Red Riding Hood was no fluke.

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Bloody Disgusting Horror reviews “Little Red”

“Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories”
By TED MASSACRE, Bloody Disgusting Horror
Published: June 16, 2009

Underground filmmaker David Kaplan met 16-year old star Christina Ricci at the Sundance Institute’s Directors Workshop in 1996. The pair hit it off and Kaplan enlisted the actress to star in his most famous and provocative work. An adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood.

Little Red Riding Hood as seen through the eyes of David Kaplan is a lyrical art-piece. Almost a direct descendant of Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bête drug through the Lower East Side transgressive stylings of New York’s underground film scene. The gorgeous black and white photography and the expressionistic set design, make for a truly stunning and surrealistic short film.

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Filmmaker Magazine reviews “Little Red”

“Little Red Riding Hood”
By JASON GUERRASIO, Filmmaker Magazine
Published: June 15, 2009

If you’re not familiar with David Kaplan’s work this is a good CliffsNotes on his talents, which caught our eye back in 1999 when we made him one of our 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

With the main focus put on his 1997 Sundance short, Little Red Riding Hood, a black and white-shot adaptation of The Story of Grandmother folk tale, the disc also includes two other shorts, Little Suck-a-Thumb (1992) and The Frog King (1994). Kaplan’s Riding Hood telling is a mix between Tim Burton and Guy Maddin with a little toilet humor sprinkled in with narration voiced by Quentin Crisp and stars a then 16-year-old Christina Ricci as a not-so-innocent Red. Along with being a calling card of Kaplan’s love for fairytales and his original cinematic eye, the film has turned into a cult classic, even being used as part of the curriculum at Harvard, Oxford and Columbia.

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“Little Red Riding Hood” Press Blurbs

“Sinister fun…. Absolutely gorgeous film… woozy, Murnauesque sets, narration from Quentin Crisp, and, above all, the preternaturally expressive visage of Christina Ricci as an all-too-knowing Red.” – Hazal-Dawn Dumpert, L.A. Weekly.

“In an evening of explorations of Little Red Riding Hood, the most notable is a 1997 short film starring Christina Ricci, narrated by the late, great eccentric Quentin Crisp.” – Choire Sicha, The New York Times.

“The film is beautifully shot and shows great visual acuity… a job well-done.” – Roger Corman.

“A sly, disturbing, variation on the classic fairy tale, with Christina Ricci as an unsettlingly erotic Riding Hood and Quentin Crisp delivering a droll narration… it’s as unsettling as it is artful.” – Shawn Levy, The Oregonian.

“Gorgeous cinematography and art direction…. The centerpiece here is David Kaplan’s Little Red Riding Hood, a gothic and chilling rendition of the classic tale….” – Peg Aloi, The Boston Phoenix.

“Outstandingly sexy short film… expertly directed.” – Leslie Weishaar, Indiewire.

“A wonderful cinematic rendition of Le Conte de la Mére-Grande… great things with black and white, voice, dance, music, and decor… Brilliant.” – Jack Zipes, author, The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood.

“A stylish, scary film for grown-ups, Kaplan’s Little Red Riding Hood gets right to work on viewers’ psyches…” – Heather Wisner, San Francisco Weekly.

“David Kaplan’s short retells the old fairy tale in explicitly sexual terms.  It’s a creepy little piece of work….” – Andy Klein, New Times Los Angeles.

“Expressionistic, perverse… a very self-assertive Christina Ricci in the title role and a collection of sets that appear to be left over from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” – John Hartl, The Seattle Times.

“The most visually striking film of the festival.  Luscious black-and-white cinematography enfolds this perverse retelling of the classic fairy tale.  Quentin Crisp narrates lines like ‘A slut is she who eats the flesh of her granny’ with queenly relish, while a voluptuous Christina Ricci digs into a bowl of granny guts.” – Steve Striegel, The Seattle Stranger.

“Don’t miss this one.  Christina Ricci stars in this silent film that seems to pull influences from all over high modernism – the dancing wolf is Nijinsky, Grandmother’s house is out of The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, Red Riding Hood is Lolita… chillingly beautiful.” – Claire Dederer, Seattle Weekly.

“A clever, wicked live-action short….” – Derich Mantonela, Seattle Gay News.

“Very stylish.  Striking.  Unsettling, creepy.  It’s clearly a remarkable film and many would find fascinating and few would soon forget.” – Bo Smith, curator, Boston Museum of Fine Art.

“Parmi les plus belles suprises, figure Little Red Riding Hood de l’Americain David Kaplan, une merveilleuse et surréaliste adaptation du Petit Chaperon Rouge….” – Laure Bernard, Le Figaro.