Monday, February 26, 2018

Oscar-nominated Shorts, or The Film Industry's Best Kept Secret

Every February for the last decade, I've looked forward to watching the Oscar-nominated live action short films. I tend to take Oscar nods with a grain of salt (See Movie Review: The Artist), but when it comes to the Oscar-nominated shorts, I am all eyes and ears. Because they are not mainstream and because they are often directed by new filmmakers, I think short films have more latitude in tone and plot. The Academy's pet is Best Picture, and as such, they don't have time to be as pretentious about the side act that is Best Short Film (Live Action).

Here's the thing, though: Short films––live action or animated––are amazing. If you are lucky enough to live in a city with a strong independent theater or film society, you should take advantage of the fact that they will play the Oscar-nominated short films. Occasionally, you can find the films online, but more often than not, they are not easily available. February may be the only time you can watch them.

If you're not familiar with short films, let me tell you how it works: Short films, or "shorts," are films no longer than 40 minutes, and I'd say they are usually 10-20 minutes. So when you see the Oscar-nominated shorts at a theater, you'll sit in your seat for about an hour and a half or two, but you'll see five consecutive films that are each about 10–20 minutes long. You can choose to see the live action shorts, which are made with actors and actresses, or you can see the animated shorts, which are animations, of course. You can also see both! (But you will have to get separate tickets.)

To whet your appetite for short films, I've compiled a list of my favorites over the years:

*It looks like these are no longer free. "Auf der Strecke" is available for $1.99 on YouTube, and I'm not sure where to find "God of Love."

Thing I'm thankful for: imagination

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Winter Wonderland, Pt. 2

I'm convinced that one of life's finest pleasures is taking a midnight stroll through snow. It's been a few years since my last really good quiet walk, but tonight, I had to make time.

The Beehive House always seems to get the best icicles. (In case you can't tell, the longest icicle is about two feet long!)



The prettiest little snow-covered tree

More icicles!

What a funny-looking organization of snow!

I didn't understand powdery snow until I came to Utah. It really is like powder! It is dry and light and fluffy. You know that fake snow you can buy from craft stores? It's just like that! Truly!

And it glitters. :)

(See Winter Wonderland for more snow thoughts and pictures.)

Thing I'm thankful for: warm socks and hardy boots