A couple of weeks ago I met my friend Karen and her sister Amy in Santa Monica, at the Nuart Theatre. We'd gotten tickets for the earlier evening show of Live Action Shorts. Then got later tickets for the Animated Shorts. The way it worked out, we had about 40 to 45 minutes in between to run across the street for miso soup and rolls! One cannot live on popcorn alone!
Compilation of all of the shorts ...
Before each little film, the screen would say the title, the country of origin and the length of the piece. The longest of the live action pieces was about 30 minutes. The shortest, I think, was 13 minutes.
On the screen ...
Three of the five live action short were very heavy...
The first Live Action short was Ave Maria and I would say it was definitely the lightest and had the most humor ... an Israeli family's car breaks down in front of a convent on the West Bank, and the nuns inside have taken a vow of silence. While the film comments on taking religion to the extreme, it's quirky and humorous.
Here's the trailer ...
This film stayed with me for days and apparently was based on true events, not long ago during the war in Kosovo. It's actually the first ever film nomination for Kosovo. It was rough but possibly the best of the bunch.
Everything Will Be OKAY
This felt very real and the two main characters were so connected. It was intense. A Father going through a divorce wants to take his little girl away. It was stressful but so well done. It was Amy's favorite of the five. It's from Germany.
This was very short, so so well done, and well edited. It was one of my favorite shorts of the year.
This is the whole thing! Watch it fast before they delete it off youtube! It's 12 minutes 30 seconds!!!
This is the story of this woman's first day on the job in Afghanistan, working as an interpreter for the U.S. military. I thought the actress was really good and because of the subject matter it might win but there were some moments that felt a bit like I was watching a movie of the week, and I was taken out of the moment. Not sure if it was the direction or writing or acting or what. I guess I'd need to see it again to figure that out but because of the subject matter I'll pass.
You can watch all the live action and animation shorts for 5.99 on youtube here! Totally worth it!
Sanjay's Super Team
Here's a video of the backstory of the making of Sanjay's Super Team ...
Here's a clip from the film ...
It was very sweet and tender.
World of Tomorrow
This was fascinating ... it takes place in the future where little "Emily Prime" (Voiced by the niece of the filmmaker) meets on of her future clones ...
It was strange and funny and melancholy and I kind of loved it.
You can rent it for 3.99 on Vimeo Here
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
This is the whole film! (below) I loved this. It's a moving and sweet story about best friends, or maybe more? ... I actually cried with this one.
This was beautifully animated and sort of sad. This bear's family was torn apart and he misses them but as it's from Chilé, apparently it's really an allegorical tale about how families were torn apart during the Pinochet regime.
Here's a clip from Bear Story ...
This is really beautifully drawn and tell of violence and its after effects on a small child but feels unfinished. After reading about it, it sounds like it's maybe the beginning of a larger project.
If you want to read a great article with synopsis of these films in Variety, click here.
I hardly get to the Nuart in Santa Monica because, I hardly go to the westside these days, but it was so worth it!
The Egyptian Theater
Last night I went with Lauren to see the Oscar nominated short documentaries, at the Egyptian Theater. Wow. Ebola, Honor Killings, Agent Orange, the Holocaust, and the death penalty. We went for a cocktail after.
Mixed Trailer of the Short Docs
As difficult as they were important, there was a lot inspiration in these films, as well. The screenings were put on by American Cinemateque, so a few of the filmmakers were actually there.
Body Team 12
This was an intense 12 minutes in Liberia, following this group "Body Team 12" around, to take those people away who'd passed from Ebola. The woman at the heart of it, is a badass and a total goddess.
It was picked up for distribution by HBO so you can see it there. I think it was about 12 minutes.
A Girl in the River:
The Price of Forgiveness
The producers of A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness talked to us about the film and that with the attention that this documentary has gotten, a law has actually gone through to help in the prosecution of these crimes.
From what I understand it's airing on HBO, and HBO on demand. (or will be)
Giving voice to those who cannot be heard, Obaid-Chinoy has made over a dozen award-winning films in more than 10 countries. She celebrates the strength and resilience of those fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds — and winning. I dare anyone to watch this film and not be moved to tears and inspired into action. - Angelina Jolie
To find out about Sharmeen Obaid and her films, click here!
Chau, Beyond the Lines
This was about a young Vietnamese boy/young man, Chau, overcoming obstacles and Chau's passion to become an artist.
... One of the producers spoke briefly and asked us to see past Chau's physical handicaps and see how strong he is, and yes, inspiring.
You can stream it on Netflix and to find out more about the film, click here.
Last Day of Freedom "Chasing Shadows"
This was rough. It's about this Veteran, who came back from Vietnam with horrible P.T.S.D. and what happened from there, told by his brother. It was interesting because unlike the other nominees it was animated but with the voice of the brother. It's too much to go into now, but you should watch it.
You can stream it on Netflix Here.
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
This was about what Claude Lanzmann went though over the 12 years of making "Shoah," the toll it took on him and his life. There's some very interesting behind the scenes stuff as well.
It will have its debut on HBO on May 2.
The were all great but it was a little exhausting and I'm happy to say that tonight, Lauren and I are going to see comedy!
After the screening of the docs, we walked west on Hollywood Blvd, to the little Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt, for a cocktail and veggie burger!
On the way back I took a few pics of Hollywood getting ready for the Oscars. As you can see, the street is blocked off, with chain link fencing, and has been for the last week.
The Dolby Theatre where they hold the Oscars ... you can see all the platforms for the press set up for interviews.
Corner of Hollywood and Highland
OH! And I didn't realize last night that yesterday Ennio Morricone (favorite film composer ever) received his star on the Walk of Fame. Can you believe he's never won an Oscar? Not even for The Mission or Cinema Paradiso??
He's nominated this year for the Hateful Eight. Fingers crossed! Give that man an Oscar! (He has an honorary but come on.)
Here he is in ASSISI doing a Christmas concert of The Mission, in the basilica! Just found it and I'm crying. So much beauty.
Here he was getting his honorary ... cheek out the audience and their faces. So sweet.
LOVE him.And lastly ...
In a previous post I talked about two of the feature length documentaries, Amy and What Happened, Miss Simone.
I watched another the other night on Netflix, the other night. Wow, I feel like wherever I was getting my news coverage during the Ukraine demonstrations/revolutions in 2014 really sucked. I had no idea.
This doc was incredible and very worth the watch.
O.K. y'all! Enjoy the Oscars, if you'll be watching!
I'll be back to my New Mexico posting of Taos this week!
Blessing and light!