Monday, February 22, 2016

Out of the Sky

I'm not a film reviewer; however I'm feeling emboldened by an interview I heard with Tony Scott on the Book Review podcast.  Turns out that guy's first gig as a film critic was at the New York Times. So, I'm feeling okay about becoming a reviewer of films right here on my niché, self-published, unsponsored website.

Kevin and Mac and I watched 4 of the 5 nominated pieces for Best Short Film - Animation.  We didn't watch the fifth film because there was a big warning on the screen about it not being suitable for children.  Turns out it's about a brutal battle in the ancient world.  I'm sure it was great. I felt like staying, but in the end, we went.

Sanjay's Super Team by Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle: This is a Pixar film in which a kid has a cultural conflict with his dad.  Each feels pulled to his own box - Sanjay to the television where he watches a superhero cartoon; Dad to a prayer shrine that he desperately wants to share with Sanjay.  In the end, Sanjay finds a way to bridge the gap.  The story is sweet and optimistic. Millions of people would enjoy this film as a prologue to the latest Pixar megahit.  Maybe they already have, and I just don't know it.

World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt: This is a weird, existential trip hundreds of years into the future.  It starts with a little girl answering the phone and it takes you through the galaxy and into the consciousness. The three of us were captivated by the stick figures and the fantastical and funny script.  This is Mac's winner.  I also loved it, but in my professional opinion as a film critic, I don't think it's going to win.

A Bear Story by Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala: This is a heartbreaking story of a family torn apart.  The main character is a lumbering brown bear who is stolen into the circus.  When he escapes, nothing is as it was before.  He builds the animatronic story of his life and shows it to citizens on the street.  It's sad and lovely, and both Kevin and I think it's going to win.  It's got everything - story, atmosphere, emotion, beauty.

We Can't Live without Cosmos by Konstantin Broznit: A sweet, wordless story of the friendship between two astronauts.  These guys have risen to the top of their aspiring astronaut class while maintaining their friendship and senses of adventure.  One is chosen for a mission; the other is the reserve.  Their relationship spans the cosmos.  Quirky, heartfelt, and also sad.

There you have it!  4 of the 5 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts reviewed by yours truly, a self-published film critic.  I can't say much about the quality of the animation because I don't know anything about animation. Happy Monday!


mm said...

Where was Shef?

lee said...

I really wanted to see these. I'll be reading your reviews to Husbandman so we can get ready for
the Oscars tonight.

We did see the live action shorts and they were all quite good.