Tumbleweed! (2012) – By Josh Samford

Brothers Jared and Justin Varava may not be household names, but with a short film as intriguing as Tumbleweed! turns out to be it isn’t hard to imagine this imaginitive pair going on to bigger and better known projects in the near feature. A short film that defies its audience by jumping around in genre definitions, Tumbleweed! is a faux-documentary project that surrounds its audience with a love for absurd humor and some truly random thought patterns.

The story essentially details the so-called "origins" of the tumbleweed, which is presented as being discovered by a man named J. Herbert Tumble. We discover that tumbleweeds originally grow high on the side of cacti, and after being pollinated by a special form of butterfly they then fall to the ground and begin to tumble forward. They know of no other direction than forward, and thus they simply continue to tumble.

The first thing that will grab you about this short is the polish that obviously went into it. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, and the project looks Hollywood-esque in its quality. There are numerous picturesque shots to be found in this small seven-minute short, and the visuals drawn from the film may be the most impressive from any independent short I have seen in a long time. Packed in with the great camerawork is a pitch-perfect sense of abstract humor that works to tremendous effect. Incredibly witty and seemingly layered with a deep sense of sarcasm, Tumbleweed! is a short film that shouldn’t be missed. If it turns up on a program near you, certainly check this one out.