If you’re anything like me, when the Oscars roll around to the awards for Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short, you either A) decide this is a good time to catch up on Twitter or B) declare it bathroom break time. Every year, without fail, I completely ignore this part of the Oscars because I haven’t seen a single one of the nominees and I wouldn’t even know where to see them if I wanted to. Which brings me to about a month ago when I saw 12 Years a Slave in a funky little Denver theater and noticed a sign advertising the showing of all the Oscar-nominated shorts and realized this was my opportunity.
On Friday, we saw all five of the Live Action Shorts. They were separated by these brief interviews with a bunch of film makers (Steve McQueen was one of them), which I thought was so interesting. I mean, it’s nice to get some insight into the process of making a short film from the pros and they pointed out some things that I may not have thought about if they hadn’t brought them up. It made for a much more thought-provoking experience than I had expected to have and I genuinely loved it.
The thing I found most surprising and interesting was how powerful the emotion was in each of the shorts. Each film seemed to have a different emotional focus — sadness, fear, happiness — and I think it was because each film was so short that the emotion seemed to be intensified. I also really loved how different all the films were — from the length to the subject matter to the complexity of the narrative. It was pointed out that you can’t really develop characters during a short film so the narrative becomes the most important thing and I thought it was amazing how the films were able to fully develop a storyline in such a short period of time.
We saw the Animated Shorts on Saturday night (yes, back to back nights at the movie theater…) and Joey and I 100% agreed that the Live Actions were overwhelmingly better and more interesting. That being said, we loved the Disney short that blended the old school black and white cartoons with a more modern version of the beloved classic Mickey Mouse characters. Having one of the characters using an iPhone was genius. Also interesting that despite being animated, the subjects of almost all of the films was kind of heavy. I mean, I didn’t really expect a cartoon to be tackling the issues of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and death, but turns out, it can be done.
Overall Favorites: “Helium”, “The Voorman Problem”, “Get a Horse!” and “Room on the Broom.”
Have you seen any of the Oscar-nominated shorts?