March 05, 2006

Boobs and a badger

So today I had the privilege of enjoying an afternoon of Oscar-nominated shorts alongside Sterfanie (not to mention Onyah and her clan). This is the second annual free program offered at the National Archives. It's definitely a blessing to be in DC and have this opportunity! The SNU and I went last year and had a blast.

Here's a quick recap/review of what we saw. But first a correction - in my previous post with my Oscar selections, I picked Die Ausreisser, but accidentally described to you the plot of another film in the category - Six Shooter. So I did mean to in fact pick the German film, but I was doing it from memory, and blah-de-blah, I'm sure you could care less...

Live Action Short Films

Cashback - This was a British film that felt like two movies in one. At first we're watching a comic piece on how grocery store workers burn time on the graveyard shift. But then it breaks into the lead character's obsession with the female form - the NAKED female form. He imagines that he pauses time and undresses all the women in the store. Basically at this point it's boobies, ass and va-jay-jay everywhere! LOTS of it! And as Sterfanie pointed out, all the women were gorgeous and had Brazilian waxes. So I guess if you like the comic/soft core porn genre, then this film would be for you.

Our Time Is Up - This is a simple comic film - Kevin Pollak plays an uptight psychologist, who never really cures his patients - just tells them "it takes time." But when he finds out he has six weeks to live, he starts getting all Dr. Phil on their asses, telling them like it is. To the man who just can't get into a bed with a woman, Pollak responds, "Hey, this is homosexuality calling - it's FOR YOU." A great film, which gets bonus points because it features Jorge Garcia of Lost!

The Last Farm - This is in the moody/depressing Scandanavian genre. A very old man in Iceland continues to work on his farm, as his daughter prepares to move her parents into a nursing home. But before she can, the man buries his wife (who was apparently dead for a few days), and himself...alive. Beautiful landscapes, VERY sad. If the Academy goes the sentimental route, this will be the winner.

Six Shooter - A hard to explain Irish film, this one is full of death, death, death. And a lowbrow moment where a cow explodes because it's too bloated with gas. Seriously! Bizarre, doesn't quite work. (This is the one about strangers on a train.)

Die Ausreisser (The Runaway) - What this film is actually about is an architect that contends with a mysterious child who keeps following him around and calling him, "Daddy." Just in case you see this, I won't reveal the plot twist. But this one really had it all - a little emotion, a little suspense, a little humor. I standby this being my pick for the winner!

Animated Shorts

The Moon and the Son - This was another one that tried to be two films in one. First, it's the animator's attempt to expunge the anger he holds for his deceased father. Then, it's the father's ENTIRE lifestory. Animated "shorts" should not be 40 minutes long! Especially if they kind of suck! It also bothered me that there were so many types of animation thrown into one piece. Hated it.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello - While I admire the clockwork and shadow puppet type animation, the plot was really bad. Sterfanie said it was like H.G. Wells meets Aliens. It really was not enjoyable, and yet I find myself drawn to this website. Kidding! But I do have to admire a film that uses the term "Piscean pile of carnage" without laughing.

Badgered - I loved this one - it has simple animation, and a simple plot. A badger tries to sleep but is bothered by squawking birds. Solution? A set of rocket missles that just happened to be deposited in his hill. Seriously funny and smart - it reminded me of my favorite last year, Guard Dog.

9 - I picked this beforehand, and again, I'm not changing my vote. It features great 3-D animation and an interesting plot. In a futuristic world, a small ragdoll creature must outwit a dangerous skull creature to release the spirits of his fallen comrades. Hard to describe, but it was awesome!

One Man Band - The obligatory entry from Pixar Studios, this one was great - better than the one last year. To sum it up - even if you're a poor guy who's a one man band, don't fuck with the little girl holding a coin.

Tomorrow's the night - don't miss it!


Stef said...

Oh my God, I tried to resist, but I clicked on the link anyway. So there's an entire site providing context to the world of Jasper Morello? With journal entries from the year 1277? What-evs. I see you called it by its traditional name, rather than my version, "The Mysterious Geographical Adventures of My Butt." Hated it.

Nice recap. While we disagree on the animated short (I thought 9 was good, but One Man Band is my pick), I'm totally with you on the live action category. Kevin Pollack's film was funny and clever, but the German entry, Die Ausreisser, felt like a complete story with a full emotional journey in just about 15 minutes. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to go ice skating.

Good times!

ScottE. said...

So bummed I had to work. Sounds like some good films compared to last year.

Dancer in DC said...

On a side note, ScottE informs me that you can now download the live action short films on iTunes. Check them out! (Well, maybe not ALL of them. Especially if you don't like seeing tootie. Yeah, I'm talking to you Anne Slowey.)

ScottE. said...

I downloaded Our Time Is Up in the Live Action Short's from iTunes...good. Best part, had me laughing out loud...when the guy who is afraid of the dark and it's clap off! tee hee.

Dancer in DC said...

Hee. My favorite was the germophobic woman. "I have a soap to clean the soap, but what do I use to clean THAT soap?"

HyunChard said...

oh men. I really wanted that british film, I love to watch gorgeous women that undergone brazilian bikini waxing.