ShortsHD, The Short Movie Channel and distributor of Oscar nominated shorts, will make available for pre-order a collection of six of actor-filmmaker Matthew Modine's short films on iTunes in 54 countries as of Wednesday, downloadable June 4. Three of the six shorts premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, but have never been commercially released. ITunes will release "The Short Films of Matthew Modine" collection the same way they do features.
Modine ("Full Metal Jacket," "Short Cuts"), who has created a wide range of shorts in various genres over the last decade, was given the 2013 ShortsHD Visionary Director award. He likes making shorts, he says, because the medium "frees a filmmaker to experiment with new ideas, stories, and cinematic techniques," and he hopes that people who see the shorts will "share and discuss the content and ideas found within my films."
The actor was most recently seen in Christopher Nolan’s "The Dark Knight Rises," and plays former Apple CEO John Scully in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic "jOBS" opposite Ashton Kutcher. The ShortsHD "Short Films of Matthew Modine" on iTunes include a selection of films that have played at global festivals, the Museum of Modern Art’s New Directors/New Films, and the Tribeca Film Festival. His latest, the controversial "Jesus Was a Commie" (2011), won five film festival prizes including the Founders Prize for Best Short Film at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival. Three shorts from the group played at Sundance: "When I Was A Boy" (co-director, Todd Field, 1993),"Smoking" (written and narrated by David Sedaris, 1995) and "Ecce Pirate" (1996). Also in the collection are "To Kill An American" (2005) and "I Think I Thought" (2007). More details on the shorts are below.
WHEN I WAS A BOY (1993, B&W, 5 min.)
Written, edited, and produced by Matthew Modine
Directed by Matthew Modine and Todd Field
Some boys grow up to be men and some things never change. This is the first short film co-directed by Matthew Modine and Todd Field (In The Bedroom, Little Children) for their production company, Mercury Film.
SMOKING (1995, Color, 14 min.)
Produced and directed by Matthew Modine
Written and narrated by David Sedaris
Matthew Modine directed this short film based on the diary of writer/humorist David Sedaris (originally produced for National Public Radio by Ira Glass). The story follows a man trying to enjoy his smoking habit in a world that no longer tolerates it. The film humorlessly examines freedoms of behavior and personal choice.
ECCE PIRATE (1996, B&W, 21 min.)
Written, photographed, and directed By Matthew Modine
A young boys life is changed when he's kidnapped by sea pirates. A prisoner on board their ship, he learns to accept that his life will never be the same. As he grows older and wiser he becomes ECCE PIRATE, king of all he chooses to reign!
TO KILL AN AMERICAN (2005, Color, 4 min.)
Written and directed by Matthew Modine
There are people in the world that don't like Americans. There are people in the world that want to kill Americans. This film is designed to help those would be killers identify an American. So they know exactly what an American is.
I THINK I THOUGHT (2007, Color, 7 min.)
"Hey, I think if you think you're thinking too much, you probably are!"
Joe is a thinker in a world that doesn't tolerate analytical thinking. His wife, boss, and friends threaten to divorce, fire, and abandon him if he doesn't stop thinking so much. Luckily, Joe discovers "Thinkers Anonymous" where he learns that "we need those special people from television news and especially our government to tell us how to think. They know what's best for us, and the world." Matthew Modine wrote, co-produced, directed, and stars in this sardonically humorous short film co-produced and shot by Adam McClelland and edited by Terence Ziegler.
JESUS WAS A COMMIE (2011, Color, 15 min.)
Written, co-directed, and starring Matthew Modine, this avant-garde story follows "John Doe" as he examines history and science and whether Jesus might have been a utopian-communist. The film is co-directed and edited by Terence Ziegler and produced by Adam Rackoff.