The Cinemark Oscar Shorts program also gave viewers a chance to watch the five nominated Live Action Shorts. I’ve never watched the Oscar shorts before and was thrilled to take the time to see them this year.
This Short centers around a man who captures shadows at the moment of death. It’s dark and pulls you in. The story, while self-contained, gives you only enough to understand what’s happening but not why it’s happening. It leaves many unanswered questions, but the good kind where you want to know more background and the why of matters. And I clearly was not the only person who found it to be Neil Gaiman-esque.
This short film tells the story of Henry, an ageing pianist. It is heart-breaking to watch the memory struggles Henry and his daughter go through. It’s beautiful and had my eyes watering and my heart hurting. I think this is the winner in this category. Although, it may be challenged because Amour has a similar topic.
Curfew tells the story of a man who agrees to watch his niece and pause his plans to kill himself. The color contrasts in this film are fantastic. The red blood witnessed at the very beginning immediately draws you into the story. The little girl is a treat to watch and the dance sequence in the bowling alley is absolutely fantastic. Why can’t people break into choreographed dance during an evening at my bowling league? To me, this short is a perfect example of how much can be implied in 20 minutes – like the importance of relationships and support in hard times. And the need to get away from your own life every once in a while.
This is the story of two young friends, one the son of a blacksmith and the other an orphan living on the street. The story shows the life of each and how in a respite from life they attend a Buzkashi match. It’s a tale about dreams and reality and the daily life in provincial town in Afghanistan (though the title claims it is in Kabul, the end credits say otherwise by thanking a smaller village). Its beautifully shot and the performances are nuanced. If Henry doesn’t win, my money (if I were a gambler) would be on this one.
This film follows Asad and his wishes to be a Somali pirate and overcome his bad luck fishing. There are some tough scenes to witness, not so much because of what is shown, but because what is implied. Its especially hard to watch at times knowing the truth behind the story. But the film is also funny. It’s worth it to see the ‘white lion’ that Asad finally catches at the end.
Now, I didn’t get a chance to watch the Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts, which may be a good thing because I probably would have cried, a lot. But, someone over at ComingSoon.net did and they did a write-up of all fifteen shorts. Take a gander to see if you want to see a different opinion (which varies from mine significantly in some cases).