Culture, Movies

Oscar shorts as diverse as full-length features

Oscar season is almost here. Full-length films will be the most prominent and popular topics of discussion, of course, but what about those enigmatic shorts?

Fortunately for those who want to know the plot behind the titles, Cosford Cinema will be playing all 15 of the 2015 Oscar-nominated short films from all three categories of Animation, Live Action and Documentary throughout this week.

On Friday, Cosford Cinema screened the Live Action and Animated shorts. The Live Action shorts consist of five mini-films, totaling one hour and 54 minutes. The animated shorts also consist of five features, but they only last one hour and 18 minutes.

The animated shorts bring life to their fictional characters, using different methods of animation and cinematography to create new, captivating worlds.

“The Bigger Picture” tells the story of brothers trying to decide how to take care of their aging mother. They argued on whether or not to send her to a nursing home.

“The Dam Keeper,” a relatively silent film, uses 3-D animation and motion to depict a town in danger. A little pig protects the town by spinning a windmill every eight hours, but, despite this, his classmates and peers bully him.

Anyone who went to see “Big Hero 6” saw “Feast,” the heart-warming story of a dog who loves unhealthy food. In the end, the dog has to choose between his love of food and his love of his human master.

“Me and My Moulton” uses 2-D animation to take viewers back to when they were children and were always embarrassed by their family. The girl notices that her family differs from every other family in their town, from her father’s mustache to their very house.

On the live action side, it should be noted that the films are longer and generally more depressing. Most of them leave ambiguous endings, leaving it up to the viewers to interpret the true meaning of each mini-film.

The live action films begin with “Parvaneh,” or “Pari” for short. An illegal immigrant in Switzerland, Parvaneh needs to find someone to send money to her family back in Afghanistan.

“Butter Lamp” consists of consecutive pictures being taken in front of fake backdrops. “The Phone Call,” a gripping narrative of a lady at a crisis center, immediately captivates the audience, even though one of the main characters never appears on the screen.

When at an airport, the titular character of the film “Aya” meets a stranger and decides on a whim to drive him to his destination. The films end on a light note with “Boogaloo and Graham,” the story of two boys growing up in Ireland along with their pet chickens.

While it is interesting to know what each title of the short films category is about, many moviegoers might not have time to watch all the shorts. If you only have time to watch one category of short films, make time for the animated shorts; they generally tell more positive stories and the animation adds more life to the films than even the live-action films.

Of the live-action films, “Boogaloo and Graham” and “The Phone Call” are must-sees, but it might be better to wait until the films appear on the Internet, where you can watch them at your leisure.

February 8, 2015


Esther Ponce De Leon

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