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The Shorts – 2018 edition

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  • ZegemaBeach
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    #1202487526

    Thought I’d start a separate thread for this season’s shorts, the pesky difference between winning your Oscar pool or not.

    Live Action Short is a lot healthier this year than previous but I’ve only seen three of the five nominees. Pending seeing DeKalb, I’m leaning toward The Eleven O’Clock as it’s the only comedy amongst a bleak bunch of films, a point of difference that might be enough, especially one in O’Henry-style. Might also help that its director has a father who is an Oscar winner, who might be able to rustle a few votes. (Anecdotal evidence suggests only a fraction of Oscar voters bother to vote in the shorts categories.) The Silent Child hits a few buttons (kids, challenges etc) and will no doubt garner plenty of British votes, if they bother to make the screenings. Watu Wote is a nice try but the acting is fairly under-graduate standard.

    Animated Short is always a great category and well worth buying the set when it drops on iTunes after voting closes if you can’t catch them at a cinema. I don’t get the fuss about Dear Basketball, Pixar’s Lou is a by-the-numbers tale but done pretty well. Negative Space is the only stop-motion but I haven’t seen it. Nor Garden Space but I’d almost give it the win on the trailer alone. I seem to remember someone, maybe Beachum, arguing that ones with animals have an advantage. That might also help Revolting Rhymes, which is about as long as the other four put together, and, like Dear Basketball, won an Annie. Tough category.

    Harder still is Doc Short. Heroin(e) fits the climate and an issue of importance. I’ve only seen it and Edith+Eddie and am leaning toward the latter with little confidence. Hopefully see the other three in the next week or so to make a better appraisal.

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    Teridax
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    #1202487550

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09M3C4VD1Fg

    “Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405 — Short Film”

    Enjoy! I almost cried at this beautiful and well-made film, which is thankfully nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary Short.

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    Filmatelist
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    #1202487894

    The Oscar nominated shorts (all 3 sets) start making their theatrical rounds this Friday. I’ve seen THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK (which I liked, though they telegraph the ending far too early), LOU (better than most Pixar shorts, especially PIPER–blech) and DEAR BASKETBALL (perfectly fine drawings but dragged down by terrible, self-important John Williams score).

    Looking forward to seeing the rest in the cinema soon.

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    AnDres Gtz
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    #1202487965

    Anyone has links to watch them online/download/VOD?

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    pulp50
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    #1202487999

    After Dear Basketball won at the Annies I think the Oscars will follow. Kobe’s popularity will be enough for it to win.

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    Brennan Merone
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    After Dear Basketball won at the Annies I think the Oscars will follow. Kobe’s popularity will be enough for it to win.

    Plus, I imagine lots of Academy members are Lakers fans.

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    GusCruz
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    Okay, so I have seen all the shorts from all three categories.

    LIVE-ACTION

    The original poster makes a smart point about The Eleven O’Clock being the comedic one, which could certainly help it stand out. My issue is that it looks, by comparison, thin and unimportant. It’s also not really funny, but rather just light. It helps that the father of the director (John Seale) is a very respected name. I tend to believe that Watu Wote and DeKalb Elementary have no chance of winning, so I won’t bother commenting on them. The Silent Child reminds me of Sing, last year’s winner. But the dramatic structure is very pedestrian, and the title cards at the end may rub people the wrong way. It still is probably the likeliest to get people crying. The sleeper here is My Nephew Emmett, which is a Student Academy winner, and the most American of them all. It’s about African American history, and is shot a lot like Mudbound (by the way, it also has a female cinematographer). Right now I’m taking a chance by predicting that one.

    Current predictions:

    1. My Nephew Emmett
    2. The Silent Child
    3. The Eleven O’Clock
    4. Watu Wote (All of Us)
    5. DeKalb Elementary

    ANIMATED

    This category is very confusing to me. I can’t figure out just how strong Dear Basketball is. Right now it has all the buzz, the household names attached to it, and people seem to want to see it win; however, if you watch all five of these shorts at once, you would have to make a real effort to state that that’s the most deserving one. Lou is moving, competent, and Pixar has a history of winning this category (though far from unbeatable). Garden Party is by far my favorite, but it has an ending that seems to turn people off; the animation itself is spectacular and I see a lot of love online. Negative Space, I fear, is more cerebral than your usual winner for this category, but it might touch older voters in a deep way by the end, if they are open to it. Revolting Rhymes is super conventional, but it did pick up an award at the Annies. You have to understand that this was originally shown as a two-part tv show in England, and they somehow qualified the first part as a short, which is bizarre because it’s 1) the weaker part and 2) might not be satisfying experience. But I wouldn’t be shocked if it won.

    Current predictions:

    1. Dear Basketball
    2. Lou
    3. Revolting Rhymes
    4. Garden Party
    5. Negative Space

    DOCUMENTARY SHORT

    Let me start by saying that, although I liked it the best, Traffic Stop isn’t winning. The other four all have a shot. My current prediction right now is Knife Skills: it’s very emotional while also offering hope, it presents characters that people can relate to, and ends on a positive note. Heroin(e) is a little bit like that, but maybe slightly bleaker and more distant in its approach. You just can’t discount Netflix, the current winners of this category. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 is the longest of these films, and overstays its welcome if you ask me. But it offers the main character a full arc, and has some gimmicky storytelling devices that might impress some, so who knows. No short will make you cry harder or break your heart more than Edith+Eddie, which is my number two right now, and could easily climb to number one. I just wonder if voters might notice how unsophisticated the filmmaking is.

    Current predictions:

    1. Knife Skills
    2. Edith+Eddie
    3. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
    4. Heroin(e)
    5. Traffic Stop

    These predictions are likely to change as more people watch these shorts and we start to get more feedback. The ratings on IMDb and Letterboxd are always something to keep an eye on to get a real feeling to how these films are being received.

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    Paul Hardister
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    #1202488206

    When the Annie Award winning short is nominated for the Oscar, it has won 50% of the time. Not a slum dunk stat.

    I got burned with Get A Horse and World of Tomorrow so I’m not ready to pick Kobe as the winner just yet.

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    Teridax
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    #1202488293

    When the Annie Award winning short is nominated for the Oscar, it has won 50% of the time. Not a slum dunk stat.

    I got burned with Get A Horse and World of Tomorrow so I’m not ready to pick Kobe as the winner just yet.

    Pick Revolting Rhymes, it also won a Short Annie and feels like it could have the most universal appeal of the bunch. I have only heard positive things, it is about a half hour long, plus there are animals in it like every previous winner of this Oscar category for the past few years. Mr Hublot had a dog, Bear Story had bears, Piper had birds and I think crabs, Feast also had a dog. Bet on the cute animals, since those are the films that seem to win this Oscar category in recent years. 😉

    Or pick Garden Party, which I have in #2, since that one is literally nothing but cute animals from what I’ve seen. I still think Revolting Rhymes will have wider appeal, but I’m prepared to be wrong.

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    Sagand
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    #1202488626

    I’ve seen 4/5 of the Animated (haven’t seen Negative Space) and 4/5 of the Docs (haven’t seen Traffic Stop). I’ll watch the live action together when they are released VoD.

    With Animated I struggle with who is watching them and what they are looking for. I have Lou winning currently because I think it’s strong both on complete package and quality of animation. If judged on quality of animation alone I’d go for Garden Party, which is impressively lifelike. (Garden Party isn’t going to win on cuteness factor, you’ll understand why when you see the ending.) I could see how the ending could be off putting, but makes it memorable. Revolting Rhymes and Dear Basketball won at the Annies (Lou and Garden Party weren’t nominated, Negative Space lost). When the Annie winner doesn’t win the Oscar it loses it’s to something that wasn’t nominated at the Annies so I feel safe with Negative Space at 5. Revolting Rhymes could only enter part 1 (due to length) I think that’ll cost it votes ending on a cliffhanger moment. The animation itself is passable. They’ve been here before with The Guffalo and Room on the Broom. Dear Basketball could win but shouldn’t imo. I’m trusting the people watching all five will see that. It’s leading the odds now as it has the highest profile but as The Post proved big names doesn’t always lead to results. Kobe Bryant’s name isn’t necessarily a positive in the year of #metoo.

    1. Lou
    2. Garden Party
    3. Dear Basketball
    4. Revoltuting Rhymes
    5. Negative Space

    For Documentary I have Traffic Stop leading as a place holder based on being the most political subject matter, but I’ll be able to better judge after I see it. I have Edith+Eddie second based on people’s strong emotional reaction to it. As Gus described it as ” unsophisticated filmmaking” I’d definitely agree with that but I found that with last years winner too. Heroin(e) has netflix, has a relevant subject and has women front and center which doesn’t hurt in a year like this. I’d be voting for it currently. Knife Skills was well made (I can see why this Director has three nominations in this category (one win) and a doc feature nomination). A network could easily order a 10 hour series looking at all the stories from this restaurant and it would be incredibly watchable. I don’t think it evokes enough passion to win though. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 will be hit or miss; it’ll get votes from people who relate to the protagonist and ‘an artist’s struggle’ but I can see the most common reaction being so what? It doesn’t have any importance outside of ‘this is a story of an interesting woman’ like it or not that does make a difference here.

    1. Traffic Jam
    2. Edith + Eddie
    3. Heroin(e)
    4. Knife Skills
    5. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

    Completely ill-informed guess at Live Action

    1. The Silent Child
    2. DeKalb Elementary
    3. The Eleven O’Clock
    4. My Nephew Emmett
    5. Watu Wote/ All of Us

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    GusCruz
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    I have Traffic Stop leading as a place holder based on being the most political subject matter, but I’ll be able to better judge after I see it.

    I also thought it would be a strong contender on paper, but when you watch it you’ll see: it’s A LOT of footage by the police cameras (available on YouTube) and interviews with the woman, so not a lot of filmmaking. The story itself (a case of police brutality that is more stupid on the policeman’s part than really brutal) isn’t really extraordinary, which is precisely the point this doc is making, but it will not stand out with the Academy. What I appreciate about it is how it’s structured and edited, and how they allow the real footage to speak for itself, but even that isn’t showy enough to get votes with the Academy.

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    Michael Norris
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    #1202490193

    Am I missing something with Dear Basketball’s chances? I feel like there’s no way they’ll give an Oscar to anything with Kobe’s name on it.

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    pulp50
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    #1202490217

    Am I missing something with Dear Basketball’s chances? I feel like there’s no way they’ll give an Oscar to anything with Kobe’s name on it.

    Why?

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    Michael Norris
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    #1202490273

    He’s almost certainly a rapist.

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    pulp50
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    #1202490276

    He’s almost certainly a rapist.

    But does anyone care?

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