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2019 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts

2019 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts

Bao (dirs. Domee Shi and Becky Neimann-Cobb)

Okay, I’m not sure how you can experience this film without getting a little misty-eyed. This beautiful short manages to confront the complex emotions surrounding intergenerational culture conflicts, and parent/child dynamics, all within an 8 minute film. Just like Black Panther, it’s a film seeped in culture, and it’s within that framework that we experience the actions of the characters, from the little dumpling boy, yearning for acceptance from his American peers, to the mother that created him, yearning to keep him with her just a little bit longer, fearing that once her dumpling leaves for good, his connection to his cultural heritage, and her, is lost. The film also has a moment that pretty much sums up the meaning behind the old adage, “you’re so cute, I could eat you up”! You, my little dumpling baby, are staying with me….forever, and ever! Oh, and I can’t forget the food. The food in this movie looks crazy good, so don’t watch on an empty stomach! -Jill

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Late Afternoon (dirs. Louise Bagnall and Nuria Gonzalez Blanco)

This film is a beautifully animated story that invokes the process of recalling lost memories. Throughout the film, an elderly woman is prompted into her past by simple objects, or actions, like dipping a biscuit into tea, and is suddenly transported to another time and place that gives the audience a window into her present. The animation style reminded me very much of a meditative children’s book, a perfect choice given the dreaminess of the film, and the feeling one has when slipping into and out of memories. And, as the name suggests, there’s a beautiful golden glow infusing much of the film that gives it a quality of warmth, like being wrapped in a cozy blanket. -Jill

Animal Behaviour (dirs. Alison Snowden and David Fine)

This is the weakest film of the batch, taking the well-trod ground of a group therapy session and layering over it some of the most basic animal stereotypes you can imagine. While competently animated in a style that resembles 1990s animated adult series such as The Critic and Dr. Katz, there’s only one dark moment that elicited any sort of response from me. Even at 14 minutes, it drags until it reaches the most predictable of endings. -Ryan

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Weekends (dir. Trevor Jimenez)

This film is all about a young boy who spends the week with his mom and the weekends with his father. We are thrown into this situation and must figure out the context based on the clues in each scene. Bouncing back and forth between homes and time, the film evokes the experience of being a child and how dreams, memory, and time sometimes blend together during intense life changes. It mostly succeeds at that, but doesn’t leave as much of an impression as some of the others. -Ryan

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One Small Step (dirs. Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas)

A short film so melancholy and sweet you would swear it came from Pixar. Similar to Bao, this depicts the life of a parent/child relationship over the course of years in a way that manages to touch on those complex feelings involved without the use of dialogue. The food-centric short has more twists and potentially more depth, but I found this equally affecting given that the main character in this film dreams of being an astronaut. As a space nerd, I’m biased for sure, but I found the whole thing pretty heartwarming and inspiring. -Ryan

Interview with Jenna Kuerzi of Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late-Stage Capitalism

Interview with Jenna Kuerzi of Johnny Depp: A Retrospective on Late-Stage Capitalism

2019 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts

2019 Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts