The Os­carnom­i­nated films you never see

Lake Worth theater giv­ing you a chance to catch up on rarely screened shorts.

The Palm Beach Post - - ACCENT - By Colin Covert Star Tri­bune

Giv­ing out Academy Awards to the best short films has al­ways felt like pre­sent­ing Na­tional Book Awards to book­lets. Yeah, it’s an out­stand­ing achieve­ment, but the honor seems dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the ef­fort. Be­sides, the short film has be­come a mod­ern rar­ity al­most ev­ery­where ex­cept as a pre­lude to Pixar fea­tures.

That said, there’s some en­joy­able and im­pres­sive work in mini-movies this year. The Os­car prizes go to three cat­e­gories: best an­i­mated short, live ac­tion, and doc­u­men­tary. Com­pi­la­tions for two of the di­vi­sions were screened for crit­ics, and I mostly liked them. Even if you find some of the nom­i­nees so-so, just wait a few min­utes and an­other one will be along.

The an­i­mated nom­i­nees, run­ning a trim 83 min­utes, in­clude the only short with any pop­u­lar recog­ni­tion in the United States. If you saw Pixar’s “Cars 3,” you prob­a­bly also saw its di­a­logue-free car­toon cur­tain-raiser, “Lou.” In pho­to­re­al­is­tic style, it’s a moral­ity tale about JJ, a pri­mary school play­ground bully. A pile of miss­ing knick­knacks in the out­door Lost and Found box unite, trans­form­ing into a close cousin of the Mup­pets’ Os­car the Grouch that only JJ no­tices. He be­gins to see the fa­vorite toys the other kids used to have, ap­pre­ci­ate how spe­cial they made them feel and be­come more sym­pa­thetic.

Much deeper is “Dear Bas­ket­ball,” a sort of au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal love let­ter to the sport writ­ten and nar­rated by Kobe Bryant. Drawn like grace­ful sketches in pen­cil and pa­per, it’s el­e­gant work, slid­ing seam­lessly from when Bryant was a 6-yearold through his adult­hood, nicely scored by John Wil­liams. They shot, they scored.

It’s im­pos­si­ble to say much about “Neg­a­tive Space” with­out get­ting into spoiler ter­ri­tory, but it has a poignant mes­sage about fathers, sons and how much it can mean to pack a suit­case to leave home. Its at­tempt to em­u­late the ef­fect of sketchy hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion un­der­cuts the emo­tional goal.

“Gar­den Party” is an eerie an­i­mal tale. It in­tro­duces us along­side toads and frogs, and through points

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.