When the shorts at the NYFF are bad, they're very bad; when they're good, you should fight to see them, because where else will they turn up?
The must-see short is Michael Almereyda's 23-minute The Rocking Horse Winner, a haunting adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence story about a young boy with an uncanny ability to predict the outcome of horse races. Shot with a Pixelvision camera and transferred to 16mm, the film has an out-of-this-world look that's perfectly matched to its subject. (Madame Blavatsky would have loved Pixelvision.) This film has a marvelous economy: every image counts and so does every sound. Almereyda is the Hamlet of indie cinema, and he's finally made a film that expresses how "passing strange" it is to be a human.