rubs hands with glee
I’ll second Meshes of the Afternoon. A fantastic short.
Night and Fog clocks in at about half an hour and, in my opinion, is the best documentary film I’ve made. It’s about Resnais’ attempt to make a documentary about the holocaust. It’s released by Criterion and you can watch it on Filmstruck.
In the early days of Disney, they produced a series of shorts set to music called Silly Symphonies. There are so many of these that are absolute gold and I’d argue some of the best stuff Disney ever made. I’d say choice shorts are The Old Mill, The Tortoise and the Hare (1935), and The Ugly Duckling (1939).
Outer Space is one of the most aggressive and didactic things you’ll ever watch and I absolutely love it. At 10 minutes, it’s worth a watch.
Buster Keaton’s early shorts are all lovely and most are public domain. One Week, Neighbors, and The Scarecrow are probably the three best.
I could keep going on and on. The Man Who Planted Trees, Balance, Vincent, The Red Balloon, The Wrong Trousers…