Awards Archive for February, 2011

OSCAR: Animated Shorts

The five films competing for Best Animated Short – which you can now see in markets all over the country c/o Shorts International – are quite remarkable this year.

For my personal tastes, creating a hierarchy wasn’t hard. But the four films really speak to five different kind of animation sensibilities.

I was blown away by Day & Night the first time I saw it, on screen, before Toy Story 3. I have liked all the Pixar shorts. They are really worth buying on DVD/Blu. But this one was one of my favorites ever. Teddy Newton & Co simply came up with a concept that, for me, was singular. I’m not sure I could even explain it here if I needed to… but I don’t need to… you should see it. I love the music (GIacchino, of course). I love the ideas. And the execution is like watching a magic trick you have seen 1000 times, but still can’t quite figure out… and don’t want to. A masterpiece.

I will watch The Gruffalo with my son, in a few years, over and over and over again. It’s a great piece of filmmaking, highly stylized, with a challenging story, and god stuff for both adults and kids. It’s a bit like Bill Goldman’s The Princess Bride, though it never leans quite as far to the adult side.

Let’s Pollute is basic satire with style. It’s a spin on classic public service messages, just with the exact opposite message you would expect. And just when you think you’ve got the gag and it’s getting repetitive, it finds a new spin on the idea. Excellent stuff.

Madagascar, A Journey Diary mixes a variety of animation styles, endlessly jumping from style to style as it offers a Madagascan adventure. Very, very beautiful, eye-catching, with great music, and what feels very organic.

Last but not least, The Lost Thing is a sophisticated children’s book come to life. It feels like the experience of a book that sinks in more deeply as you read it over and over again with your child. There is a lesson, but it’s a subtle as every other element of the film.

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“We don’t have any idea what the universe is. Wise people have always told us that this is proof you shouldn’t think, because thinking leads you nowhere. You just build over this huge construction of misunderstanding, which is culture. The history of culture is the history of the misunderstandings of great thinkers. So we always have to go back to zero and begin differently. And maybe in that way you have a chance not to understand but at least not to have further misunderstandings. Because this is the other side of this question—Am I really so brave to cancel all human culture? To stop admiring the beauty in human production? It’s very difficult to say no.”
~ László Krasznahorkai

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that, [Applause] somebody attacks, somebody attacks me, oh, they’re gonna be shot. Can you imagine? Somebody says, oh, it is Trump, he’s easy pickings what do you say? Right? Oh, boy. What was the famous movie? No. Remember, no remember where he went around and he sort of after his wife was hurt so badly and kill. What?  I — Honestly, Yeah, right, it’s true, but you have many of them. Famous movie. Somebody. You have many of them. Charles Bronson right the late great Charles Bronson name of the movie come on.  , remember that? Ah, we’re gonna cut you up, sir, we’re gonna cut you up, uh-huh.

Bing!

One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
~ Donald Trump