Reviews of Brevity

None of you were there, but that’s okay. I’m growing used to the abandonment. It helps to watch a lot of indie film when dealing with tough feelings, like abandonment.

Oscar-nominated short films – Animated (2008)

  • Ubornaya istoriya – lyubovnaya istoriya (Lavatory – Lovestory) – Independent animation plot 14c: A dumpy woman whom you can totally identify with passes her days in an unfulfilling job and falls in love somehow. There are some laughs light chuckles along the way.
  • Oktapodi – I tried and tried to come up with a line for this, but it’s hard to develop an opinion in three minutes. Sorry, guys, there’s nothing to say. This might win, maybe?
  • La maison en petits cubes – Indie film plot 31a: It sure sucks getting old, but there are a lot of memories of the past to keep you company as you die a slow, lonely death.
  • This Way Up – It ended kinda… twice? I like the second ending, really, but all these years of watching short film, I expected credits to roll when they had the opportunity to take the easy way out of writing an ending. But they didn’t, and the real ending may have been the only time I laughed out loud at any of the nominees.
  • Presto – I do love Pixar, and this was a good short film, but I’m just glad to see that Pixar doesn’t just automatically take this category every year. That’s what Best Animated Feature is for.

Other “Commended Films”

  • Varmints – Cities ruin everything, trees are completely and thoroughly bitchin’, pollution is bad, and soon the giant space jellyfish will save us all and poop dandelion fluff everywhere.
  • John and Karen – Nothing this year has made me happier than John and Karen. It’s incredibly British in its humor, but that’s okay. I wanted it to keep going, but part of its charm was that it was exactly as long as it needed to be.
  • Gopher Broke – This was nominated for an Oscar four years ago? Really? And we dug it back up to show now? Were we that desperate for filler? I would learn later that, yes, we were.
  • Skhizein – I wish there were such a thing as animated tattoos. I would have this playing on my back for the rest of my life. I’d have to get a couple of mirrors, but it’s worth it.
  • Hot Dog – I don’t know who at Magnolia Pictures has a boner for Bill Plympton, but I wish they’d stop packaging that fucking dog of his with the animated shorts every year. It’s not funny, the animation is terrible and hideous, and the sound is some of the most nerve-grinding noise I’ve ever heard. Memo to Bill Plympton: Please die.

Oscar-nominated short films – Live-Action

  • Auf der Strecke (On the Line) – It’s very long. It’s very German/Swiss. Hey, did I mention the self-congratulatory interstitials? Before each short film, they displayed a quote about short film and indie filmmakers. The first one–played during the animated set–was a quote from someone in the Academy about what a fucking honor it is for an animator to win that Oscar.
  • New Boy – Indie tip: try setting your story in a classroom. Grade school is such a novel and clever microcosm of society. Also, teachers are useless, and you might as well not have them.
  • Spielzeugland (Toyland) – I’m issuing a moratorium on Holocaust movies. This one did a fine job, but the genre is tired, and I’ve seen way too many movies that seem to rely too heavily on gut reactions to the subject matter.
  • Grisen (The Pig) – I don’t know all the Academy rules, but I’m beginning to suspect there’s a rule that there must be at least one short film on the ticket about an old man in a hospital. This one, however, may have also been this year’s film with an actual point.
  • Manon sur le bitume (Manon on the Asphalt) – Not sure why I liked this one. It was described–accurately–as “visual poetry,” and I hate poetry. Can’t read the stuff. But then, my favorite poetry, if I can be said to have a favorite, is of similar material. Maybe I think about death too much.

Lent is coming.

10 thoughts on “Reviews of Brevity

  1. shinichiki

    See, now I am sorta sad. I have seen oktopodi only on Youtube, and seeing it big would have been awesome. I really liked that short :3 I am sorry that I abandoned you Ryan. I am so sorry 🙁

    1. MacCrocodile Post author

      I didn’t really expect anyone to show, and it’s not like I was going to talk to them during the show anyway. It’s just that some of my friends always ask to know ahead of time what I’ll be watching when, but they almost never show up when I actually bother to plan ahead.

  2. yampowered

    Nobody? Really? That sucks. People suck. I’m having the same problem today. Two days ago everyone was all like “yeeeesss I’ll see Coraline with you!”, but today? They’re all like “whoops, no I won’t”. Bah humbug.

    Bill Plympton
    Who? *wiki* Okay I still don’t know who that is, but he’s wearing a tropical fish shirt and I hate him for that.

  3. yampowered

    Oh! Ryan! I finally have a recommendation! One you might actually like this time!

    Withnail & I

    Haven’t seen it myself, but you know how sometimes it seems like suddenly everyone you know and everything you see is talking about one specific thing? Yeah, that happened to me today. Apparently it’s a huuuuuuge British cult film, considered one of the best comedies of all time. Up your alley, y/n?

    The Wikipedia article mentions a drinking game. Obviously you don’t want to read the whole thing, ’cause spoilers, but you might want to check that part out!


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