The best jokes are short. Ditto for cruise vacation stories. When I was a reviewer for this journal, my biggest problem with the pieces I saw was that they were too long. For the most part, 20 minutes of insufficiently stuffed and rambling could have been cut.
For those of you thinking, “Well, look at your loooong columns, Ms. Shakalis,” I say this: I hate the delete button too. It hurts more than throwing away the cake you made because no one at the table is eating gluten. I understand. We think what we think is interesting.
Ah, anyway, here’s a chance to see all 15 short films nominated for this year’s Oscars. You can also vote for the one you like the most, or at least think you’ll win. The 2022 Oscar Shorts Film Festival runs Sundays March 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at Bloomington’s Ryder Film Series.
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This year, movies in the anime category are darker, and not all of them may be suitable for kids. Although not rated, two of them would most likely receive an “R”. But Ryder’s management admits it has been accused in the past of being prudish about what might offend. So email [email protected] ahead of time if you want advice.
Last year I saw all the shorts before writing about them. This year I haven’t seen them all, but so far I think there may be just one that many would be hesitant to show their children. Bear in mind that my own unsuspecting mother took me to see “Psycho” when I was 5 – she had no idea how terrifying Alfred Hitchcock’s imagination had become – and I don’t have not been the same. Don’t judge, just say, “If there’s any doubt, why care?”
“This year’s list of nominees includes fewer kid-only selections than usual,” said Dan Kois (who has kids) of Slate magazine. animated story “Robin Robin”, about a baby bird adopted by a family of mice.”
The (good) shorts are straight to the point. Usually they only need to give us one big surprise or a red herring. They can experience more than a feature film (much more expensive). They can tell stories that a feature film wouldn’t dare.
One of this year’s animated shorts, “Bestia,” uses creepy porcelain dolls, including a dog. According to aldianews.com, a Philadelphia-based media company, a female torturer who is surprisingly good at cruelty led a posse of women who had committed crimes in the Chilean military. Ingrid Felicitas Olderöck Benhard, born in 1944, had moved to Chile with her German parents towards the end of World War II. As her power grew, people called her “The Dog Lady”. And not for a good reason. Google, because that’s all I’m going to say.
Many people today have never heard of her, and this film is good at revealing her repulsive story.
“Lead Me Home” is a documentary about homelessness. Directors Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk use contrast by juxtaposing shots of men in tidy suits sitting in comfortable office chairs with scenes of people rummaging through trash cans nearby. “Is it any wonder I wander?” sings a woman in the underscore. Twilight has always been a sad time of day for me, and its rendering here, as a man and his dog settle in for the night, in his car, is as dark as the lamp-lit sky.
On soft.tv, George Miller expresses the irony of moviegoers who routinely ignore shorts, or “shorts”: “most Hollywood action movies, which have plots…could actually easily fit in 30 minutes “.
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The shorts, which are usually up to around 30 minutes, the industry standard, have to snare us before we’ve passed through the top layer of popcorn. The script and the cast must be solid. Farewell, superfluous. Ditto for tedious details and backstories. If something interesting doesn’t happen in the first 10 minutes of a movie, I disconnect.
Guess the three winners and you get two free tickets to another Ryder movie. The three categories of short films are animation, live action and documentary. (The 2022 Oscars take place March 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC-TV.)
The Ryder Film Series has brought top quality work in independent, global and classic American films to Bloomington for over a quarter of a century.
If you are going to
WHAT: All 15 Oscar-nominated shorts, in three different categories, can be viewed through the Ryder Film Series.
WHEN: March 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 29. Find the schedule with times, dates and location on theryder.com.
OR: IU Fine Arts Theater, up and down, 1200 E. Seventh St., 812-339-2002 and IU Radio and Television Building, 1229 E Seventh St, between IU Fine Arts Building and the Global and International Studies building.
TICKETS: $12 for three programs; $25 for all, the “Oscar Pass”. Available at the door or on theryder.com.