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.

4 Comments »

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho

“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh