By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com April 25, 2011 at 2:12AM
Considering the volume of short films that are being made, and their necessity as calling cards for anyone who wants to work in the industry, it's frustrating that there's no real market for the form. You would think that the bitesize nature of the format would be perfect in the internet age, but outside of the few that make it on to iTunes, normally thanks to festival success or awards nominations, most filmmakers are reduced to lumping their baby on Vimeo and hoping it reaches the right pair of eyes to help them up the ladder.
So we're glad that one of our favorite shorts of the last few years is finally seeing the light, and from one of our favorite outlets for short films. Wholphin is the quarterly DVD magazine from Dave Eggers' publishing house McSweeney's, which in the past has featured short fiction and documentaries from names like Spike Jonze, David O. Russell, Miranda July, Adam Curtis, Ramin Bahrani, Natalie Portman and Jonathan Demme, among many others. The 13th issue is now available, and is headlined by "Successful Alcoholics," the excellent short from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts that proved something of a hit with audiences at Sundance and SXSW last year.
The film stars "Cloverfield" supporting players T.J. Miller ("She's Out Of My League") and Lizzy Caplan ("Party Down") as the titular high-functioning drinkers, is written by Miller, and was produced by its two stars and Vogt-Roberts (who's since gone on to work on a string of "Funny or Die" shorts). We called it "hilarious, and then kind of heartbreaking" when we caught it at SXSW, and we're glad it's finally widely available -- we've been predicting big things for all involved ever since we saw it. Check out the trailer below if you're not yet convinced.
You can get it individually from Amazon, or as part of a subscription from Wholphin themselves, and at $50 dollars for four issues, it's more than reasonable, and there's plenty more on the 13th edition alone that makes it worth taking the plunge, including Jeremy Engle's award-winning short "Mosquito," Dash Shaw's animation "The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D," and "Crossbow," a hard-hitting short from "Animal Kingdom" director David Michod. [USA Today]