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Entries in short films (70)

Saturday
Jan182014

The 2013 Best Animated Short Oscar nominees

Mickey Mouse is up for his first gold in agesTim here. Having already looked at the newly-minted Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees, let's turn for a little bit towards that category's older, smaller sibling, Best Short Subject - Animated. We already briefly discussed these films back when the 10-title shortlist was announced, but now that it has been whittled down to five, let's take a more in-depth look at each of them.

Feral (Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden)
For solely aesthetic purposes, this would be my favorite of the nominees. It's a simple enough story: a boy raised by wolves is brought back to civilization and has a hard time of it. The greatness lies in the marriage of that scenario with rough impressionistic images, some which look like extra-bleak newspaper comics, some which look like somebody was trying a sheet of paper apart using a pencil.

It's the most distinctive of the five by far, looking handcrafted because it so emphatically is: some of the images are drawn on computer, some are hand-painted, but they all have a desperate crudeness that lacks the polish of most animation, and this couldn't be a better fit for the material. It's available to rent for $1 on Vimeo.

Mickey Mouse, friendly witches, and more below the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan032014

Cartoons for a cold winter's night

Tim here. With a huge portion of the United States either under a heavy cover of snow, or about to become that way, it’s been hard to think about anything else but the deepest, coldest kind of winter. And with Frozen in a shockingly good place to win the weekend box office (in its sixth weekend!), even the movies themselves seem in on the act.

So I figured, why not give in? Frozen reminds us, after all, that wintry conditions can make for some beautiful cinema in the hands of the right artists. Think of Roger Deakins’ unmatchable cinematography in Fargo, or the vivid frozen hell of The Shining. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov272013

Reader Spotlight: Michael Bina

In the reader spotlight series we celebrate YOU, the reason The Film Experience keeps chugging along. Today we're talking to Michael Bina who just produced a well received short film! Let's meet him.
 

Nathaniel R: We met a couple years back at a guild screening for Coriolanus's tiny Oscar-qualifying run I believe? 

MICHAEL BINA: Yes, that’s right! I remember you... loved it?

Well, Vanessa Redgrave in it! Otherwise not so much. How long have you been reading the site?

I’ve probably been reading The Film Experience for a little less than a decade. I was a huge fan of the Academy Awards growing up, so I began reading Oscar blogs. I stumbled upon yours and loved your insight on films, and just the way you wrote about them. The site's great at showcasing all aspects of the industry (film, theatre, television).

I understand you recently produced a film that was honored by the Producers Guild ? I'm fuzzy on details. Fill us in!

Every year the Producers Guild of America has a Weekend Short Competition. So over the course of one weekend you have to write, shoot, edit, compose and complete a film no longer than 5-minutes. This year the theme was Romantic Comedy in honor of Laura Ziskin. The film I made was called ‘The Squeeze’, inspired by my little cousin who has a Lemonade stand every summer.

That sounds fun. Let's watch it!

 

MICHAEL BINA: I used my cousin in the film, and made him a mafia-loving kingpin who runs all these lemonade stands in Beverly Hills. One day, this cute little girl opens an opposing stand, basically killing his business. So he tries to take her down, but falls in love with her. We ended up as one of the Top 10 Finalists, winning Honorable Mention. James Franco and Tom Cruise’s producing partner Paula Wager were two of the judges, so it was surreal knowing that they watched a film I wrote and produced.

Nathaniel: Congratulations so much. Okay, name 3 movies you've seen a bajillion times.

MICHAEL Movies are always playing in the background while I write, so this is easy.

X2:X-Men United
Moulin Rouge!
... and lastly (I know it’s cheating) but the four Disney Renaissance films: The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

Take an Oscar away. Regift it.

  I want to say The Artist’s Best Picture win to A Separation, which is my favorite movie of all time. But, instead I’m going to make one choice that affects three outcomes. Take Hilary Swank’s 2nd Oscar and give it to Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This way Kate would lose for her work in The Reader, meaning the Oscar would have gone to Streep. Thus, Streep would have lost for The Iron Lady, meaning Viola Davis wouldn’t be Oscar-less! (And even if Streep didn’t win, it probably would have gone to a very, very, very deserving Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married).

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So to wrap up, do like we did on sunday's podcast. Name your favorite turkey, succulent ham, and something you're sweet on for dessert.

Turkey: Independence Day
Ham: Jim Carrey
Dessert: Emma Watson

Thanks, Michael, Happy Thanksgiving!


Previous Reader Spotlights

P.S. If you'd like to be a reader spotlight, stay engaged! Like us on facebook and follow Nathaniel on Twitter. Don't be shy.

Saturday
Nov232013

Live Action Short Finalists

One of the most confounding things about following the non-marquee categories at the Oscars is that not every category operates by the same rules. For example they released the super long eligibility list for Best Documentary Feature but not the super long eligibility lists for the live action shorts. To further complicate matters, this doesn't seem to be the same strategy each year.

Tim recently shared the finalist list for Best Animated Short nominations and now we have the ten Live Action hopefuls from which Academy members will nominate three to five. I personally hate it when categories have a fluctuating amount of nominees. Commit AMPAS! There's no excuse for it really in short films since there are thousands made each year and certainly at least 5 of them would have to be great.

10 FINALISTS FOR BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) Esteban Crespo (Producciones Africanauan)
The always heartwarming topic of child soldiers. I honestly can't deal with these films and is it just my imagination or is there one on this topic every year in the shorts categories? It's just too overwhelmingly tragic for me.

Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything) Xavier Legrand (KG Productions)
a woman and her kids, who have pretended to go to school, are in a desperate rush. But to where and from what?

Dva (Two) Mickey Nedimovic (Filoufilm Dani Barsch)
A Serb and a Croat step on a landmine simultaneously as they attempt to kill each other and realize their lives are now intertwined. I don't know how you sustain that for nearly half an hour but maybe they can!

Helium Anders Walter (M & M Productions)
A sick boy in Denmark hears magical stories from a hospital janitor 

Kush Shubhashish Bhutiani, director (Red Carpet Moving Pictures) 
a teacher protects her sikh student from riots on a field trip 


Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) Selma Vilhunen (Tuffi Films)
A comedy about a family who wakes up late on the morning of a wedding 

 

RECORD/PLAY from jesse atlas on Vimeo.

 

Record/Play Jesse Atlas (Collaboration Factory) - complete film embedded above
For what it's worth, Focus Features is planning to adapt this sci-fi tinged short about a mysterious walkman that can transport you to the recording into a feature length film.


Throat Song Miranda de Pencier (Northwood Productions)
This one is about an Inuit woman with an abusive husband and a circle of supportive friends she finds.
 

Tiger Boy - Official Trailer [HD] from goon films on Vimeo.

 

Tiger Boy Gabriele Mainetti (Goon Films)
a young boy won't take his favorite wrestler's mask off. 


The Voorman Problem Mark Gill (Honlodge Productions)
Martin Freeman stars as a man interviewing a prisoner (Tom Hollander) who claims to be God

WHICH DO YOU THINK HAVE THE BEST SHOT? 

UPDATED CHART
Best Shorts, Animated Feature, and Documentaries

Thursday
Nov212013

Link File

Balder & Dash Dan Callahan on Alfre Woodard's contribution to 12 Years A Slave
Pixar Times on The Blue Umbrella failing to make the Academy Animated Short finalists
Huffington Post wants a return policy on Dallas Buyers Club's AIDS history


Awards Circuit notices some campaign trickery chez TWC. Fruitvale Station's lead actor is now supporting? and it's screenplay is Adapted. Whaaaa? 
Man at Arms crafting Mjölnir, Thor's Hammer
THR on the success of black cinema this year. I'm alarmed at some of these clickbait (racebait?) headlines lately on this topic but i love sentences like "The Butler's success in crossing over is attributed to Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, mainstream stars who relentlessly promoted the film"... relentlessly sounds so threatening given the context/headline. LOL!
AV Club kicks off a series of "firsties" with Guillermo del Toro. I'm not crazy about his films (I know this is an off consensus opinion) but he's always a good listen/read. Like this quote:

I’m not a brand. I’m an acquired taste. So who’s going to buy this? I’m a caviar-filled doughnut. There’s not a huge demand; it’s not going to be in every supermarket.

It would only take her 49 more years to get her ownFinally...
If you're still thinking about The Governor's Awards which brought us this hot pick, a smart off-mainstream honor, and those wonderful acceptace speeches, make sure to read Mark Harris's piece on why it's a travesty that these awards aren't still part of the Oscars. He calls it the worst decision the Academy ever made and I wholeheartedly agree. As stated in the comments of an earlier post, my whole indoctrination into cinephilia was prompted by the Oscars and I sought out and learned so much Old Hollywood BECAUSE of the ceremony's focus on multiple generations.  Meanwhile if you're still smiling from Angela Lansbury's win enjoy this old haiku for her at Dial M for Movies that's a sweet reminder of the anticipation.