Monday, April 23, 2007

Academy Award Shorts

Mikaela says:
Sorry if you missed them, folks, but 2/3 of mpyre really loved this year's Academy Award-nominated Animated and Live-Action Shorts, hosted last week at the Guild Theatre.

Maggie came down on the side of the Live-Action; I preferred the Animated, actually, which surprised me.

The highlight of the Live-Action shorts for me was the story of the Mormon kid who gets romantically involved with a woman who he's trying to convert. He falls in love, and when he goes to confront the woman's husband, the kid finds out the couple has been infertile for years, but now she's "miraculously" pregnant, and the husband's ready to accept God. It's both funny and a little heartbreaking and quite well-done on all its levels. A rare and wonderful story.

The Animated shorts had some bleak stories, for sure, but they've stayed with me longer than the Live-Action have. The heartbreaking rat story is one example. The story of the Harlem kid who steals from a shopkeeper who later kills himself is another.

A few years ago, I actually bought the animated winner from that year, Harvey Krumpet. I've watched it a kabillion times, and it's just as good as the first time. I think this year's The Danish Poet will be another such must-have. Maggie and I both loved it.

The Live-Action movie from last year about the old guy whose wife has died who digs them a grave and climbs in, pulls rocks down on top of them, just as his daughter drives up to spend the weekend has haunted me ever since. I think it was "Our Time Is Up." Oofda.

Which is all to say: watch shorts when you can! The Academy Awards may be another year away, but you can catch some short films this summer during the Duke City Shootout. The 48 Hour festival provides an opportunity, too.

There's an art to telling a short story. The difference between a short film and a feature film is the difference between five-page eloquence where everything means something and a 300-page novel where much of the richness comes in all the detail that you don't need but settles around you like a blizzard.


Blogger Maggie said...

Thanks for writing about this, Mikaela, and I'm embarrassed it took me so long to see it!

I absolutely adored the shorts this year... they're such a fun way to tell a story, and such a different talent. I was inspired to give four of them as a gift recently (they're all on iTunes!), and I love the thought that this art form is encouraged and rewarded and flourishing.

Check them out, everyone! And as always... support The Guild!

4:35 PM  

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