The Mystery Of Manifold [Video]

More and more, I find myself just blown away by the quality of the short films on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Whether animated or live action, the work being put up by filmmakers, both up and coming and well-established, is not only entertaining but incredibly inspiring. So much so that I now schedule time into my week for the sole purpose of browsing what’s new or popular in the world of short or independent film. While the Vimeo Staff Picks, for example, are a great place to start, take some extra time to read the comments, which will often cite influences or contain additional suggestions. In fact, that’s exactly how I found Manifold, a wonderful short film by Anthony Scott Burns. If this were a Hollywood feature, a review might read something like “A taut, cryptic thriller.” Yet it manages to seem much deeper and more engaging than what you might expect from a nine-minute film. The film is brilliantly shot and, despite a few reviews to the contrary, I think the black & white works beautifully, much the same way Burns used it in his previous short, Epoch. The story in Manifold raises more questions than it answers but the way it’s told, jumping time and place, leaves the viewer wanting more. According to Burns, there is an “air tight” plot for a full-length feature, but I would almost prefer to see the complete story arc presented as a series, more like the episodic serials of the the 1940s. Either way, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this one to see how it develops.

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