Other than regulars on the film fest circuit, few have the chance to see the types of short films from around the world assembled on the recent DVD "Cinema16: World Short Films." Thanks to the folks at Cinema16, film fans can now watch work by the likes of Guillermo del Toro (of "Pan's Labyrinth" fame), Guy Maddin ("The Saddest Music in the World"), Jane Campion ("The Piano") and Alfonso Cuaron ("Y tu mamá también"). Del Toro's contribution is the never before seen, Oscar-winning "Wasp," but it's Ousmane Sembène's contribution that makes me miss taking film classes. The humor of the Senegalese director's style of filmmaking makes for a portrait of African culture that would be impossible for any Westerner to duplicate. Like many of the films included in the collection, its also a great introduction for those unfamiliar with Sembène's work.
The two-disc set includes several director commentaries and is available for £20 from Cinema16, along with other DVDs from the series, all equally rewarding options for cinephiles. (Note, however, that the European and British versions will only work on Pal-compatible DVD players.)