If you’re trying to pick winners for the 2013 Academy Award Oscars, short films, especially the Live Action shorts, are usually the toughest to game, and this year is no exception.
This year I’d put “Asad” and “Curfew” in a hat and pick one. Good luck!
See Oscar-nominated animation shorts HERE.
Director: Bryan Buckley, South Africa. “Asad” stars an all Somali-refugee cast. The film is set in a small fishing village, where the streets are lined with rusting, bullet-ridden buildings and dilapidated cars. The elder Eresto, trying to make a living catching fish, is the role model for young Asad. Eresto wants to make an honest living catching fish, but the lure of fast money that piracy brings is not easy to resist in a broken state and comatose economy.
Notable excerpts of Lebanese composer, singer and oudist Marcel Khalife shine.
Director: Shawn Christensen, USA. Richie is in the process of checking out for good when he receives a very reluctantly placed call from his sister asking him to take care of her nine-year old daughter, Sophia, whom he barely knows. Can the pain of loneliness and alienation be soothed in a bowling alley? Sometimes love and redemption work in strange ways.
Director: Sam French, Afghanistan. Contemporary Kabul, Afghanistan and the national sport of Buzkashi provide the backdrop for this coming of age tale of two best friends dreaming about their futures.
A combination of polo and rugby, Buzkashi employs a dead, partially dried goat instead of a football. Super Bowl pig skins, Buzkashi goat carcasses – what’s the difference?
A climatic scene with a boy on a horse ends up at what appears to be an elephant graveyard for buses that have run out of gas in every sense of the expression.
Death of a Shadow
Director: Tom Van Avermaet, France and Belgium. Steampunk fantasy about Nathan, a WW I casualty, who has earned a temporary stay against mortality from a literally shadowy collector who gives him the chance to briefly return to the past in exchange for 10,000 captured shadows. Can he reunite with Sarah, the woman he loved before he “died”?
Director: Yan England, Canada. Henry is a great concert pianist. At a café, he is warned that his wife is in danger. Henry returns home to find two strangers who inexplicably subdue him with a narcotic-filled syringe.
He awakes strapped to a hospital bed and blanks out, then it’s WWII; his wife playing her violin at a recital, suddenly bombs are falling all around. A poignant blend of fading memories, the horror of war and the beauty of music, achingly amplified by their juxtaposition.
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