Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend my first ever screening of Oscar Nominated short films. The live action shorts will screen next weekend for more information you can visit the official site.
Madagascar, a Journey Diary (2010): Bastien Dubois (France)
While this is a very interesting film in terms of technique narrative-wise its nothing much to write home about. In fact, it plays sort of like a documentary except without disseminating nearly enough information.
Let’s Pollute (2009): Geefwee Boedoe (USA)
This film is truly a hysterical one. It’s in the format of an educational video in which it instructs the audience how to pollute and further degrade the environment. Of course, while you’re laughing the effect is that of reverse psychology and you start thinking about how you can better conserve resources.
The Gruffalo (2009) (TV): Jakob Schuh, Max Lang (UK/Germany)
There are two standout reasons that garnered this film its nomination: the first is the voice cast. There are a lot of recognizable names attached such Helena Bonham Carter and Robbie Coltrane. However, what is even more impressive is the animation. it’s perhaps the most impressive 3D animation I’ve ever seen (it’s not projected as such I’m talking technique). Having said that the story is far to simplistic, repetitive and downright redundant to be as long as it is. It could’ve have used some tightening up.
The Lost Thing (2010): Shaun Tan, Andrew Ruhemann (Australia/UK)
This would be my second choice as winner. It is without question the most subtle of the candidate films. There is some creativity in technique as well as story-telling here, principally in storytelling it tells of odd creatures showing up and no one knows where they belong. There is definitely a non-blatant parallel to humanity drawn which is just great.
Day & Night (2010): Teddy Newton
I have linked above to a full review of this film I was prompted to view upon its release. This screening reiterated my belief that it should win. Not only is it a truly smart idea but it’s classical Disney which is what draws people to Pixar. This film plays like the old free flowing montages Disney was famous for such as those in Alice and Wonderland and Dumbo. While it’s not as subtle as the above film its message may have even more resonance and is not so on the head such that it detracts from the film.