Also, thanks to Nathaniel over at The Film Experience, a pair of B&W short films (one animated, one live action) are the subject of this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. And, wouldn't you know, both are available online for free! Here and here. Go watch them!
Both the Eagleman Stag and Death to the Tin Man concern the hubris of men and the fate that befalls them after the severing of appendages.
Eagleman is a precocious child that grows up to be a world-famous entomologist (or, in his words–a fucking legend). When he is denied funding for an expedition, he cuts off the heads of all his insects. But, he discovers the Eagleman Stag is able to regenerate an entirely new one. He then begins an experiment on himself...
Bill is "the town pariah, the most hated man in a 20 mile radius". Considered a danger to the community, his girlfriend's father puts a curse on him. His ax causes him to cut off his limbs, but his friend is able to provide him with alternates made of tin...
The Eagleman Stag
Death to the Tin Man
Calling to mind a marriage of Wes Anderson and early Tim Burton, Death to the Tin Man has a wonderful sense of tone and atmosphere. The quirky set-up and deadpan dialogue begin to give way to a heartfelt (but never saccharine) story told through the filter of magical realism. The image I've chosen was, for me, the moment I was hooked. Like the image in Eagleman's Stag, it's a moment of unleashed imagination–but, this time, of the filmmaker. His unique vision is being shared with us through the medium of short film.