The LAMB Devours the Oscars: Best Live Action Short Film

by Rachel · February 18, 2012 · LAMB Devours the Oscars · 5 Comments
Editor’s note: Welcome to the twenty-fifth of a 32-part series dissecting the 84th Academy Awards, brought to you by the Large Association of Movie Blogs and its assorted members. Every day leading up to the Oscars, a new post written by a different LAMB will be published, each covering a different category of the Oscars. To read any other posts regarding this event, please click the tag following the post. Thank you, and enjoy!

By Jason of The Videovangaurd

This is the only category at every award show I have a difficult time predicting a winner. I can’t even tell you what should be nominated, because not much promotion is given to these types of films. This is very sad because I’m sure most audiences would rather watch a ten minute short than have to sit through tons of commercials or answer those bad trivia questions as well. Studios should get behind these movies more and release them in front of their main features. Disney has released a few shorts in front of some of their features and most of them were quite good. So why can’t Sony Pictures or Magnolia Films pick up a short as well and show it with one of their main titles too. The only way most of us get to catch these movies is if they are online or if they are released together on a compilation DVD. I was lucky to catch all of the nominees in theatres at one time but there are a lot more that I probably won’t get to see because I have no way of knowing when they are released. I hope theater companies and studios will help spread the word and release more of these short films in the future. After all, one of these directors, writers, or cast members may just be the next big thing.

Here are the five nominated short films.

Raju

Cast:  Julie Richter, Woltan Wilke Mohring
Writers: Florian Kuhn, Max Zahle
Director: Max Zahle

A German couple travels to India to adopt a small boy from an orphanage. While out running errands, the father looses track of the small child and frantically seeks to find him. But no, one including the police, is really interested in helping him.   
Of all the nominated shorts, this one was just one story instead of just being one scene from a longer film. The plot was concise and to the point without any major holes in it. Although some may argue the ending is open ended, I felt everything was wrapped up quite nicely. It does address a serious topic that will have you debating after it is over.
Time Freak

Cast: John Conor Brooke, Michael Nathanson
Writer and Director: Andrew Bowler

Very funny tale of a man who invents a time machine but instead of going way into the past, he decides to fix common problems with his life that happened yesterday. This includes him loosing his temper at the dry cleaners for not having his shirt ready, and trying to impress a girl he likes. Each time he goes back to fix one problem, a bigger problem emerges. 
When it was over I felt like I was watching a promotional clip to get these filmmakers more funding to finish their feature rather than watching a completed short. A movie like this could have introduced other time paradoxes to the story that would be very entertaining. This is a very funny flick that I hope gets extended into a feature film because I want to see more of these characters and their involvement with this time machine.
The Shore
Cast: Ciaran Hinds, Conleth Hill
Writer and Director: Terry George
 
A man (Ciaran Hinds) comes back to his home in Ireland to make peace with his best friend after he moved away for many years. 
I’m not going to give away the reason for why he left, but I was disappointed that nothing was really resolved at the end. The two had a misunderstanding when they were boys, and they still have the same misunderstanding now. What the hell was the point of dragging us along with it? The movie starts off as a serious drama and then becomes a slapstick comedy for no reason close to the end. There is resolution at the end between the two brothers, but I never saw the conflict.
Pentecost
Cast: Andrew Bennett, Scott Graham
Writer and Director: Peter McDonald

Quinn (Andrew Bennett), an altar boy, gets a chance to redeem himself after he injures a priest during a previous mass. While backstage, the priest gives him and the rest of the altar boys a little talk before the event. Since Quinn is a huge football (soccer) fan, he imagines he is in the locker room before a big game, and the priest is a coach giving him a pep talk. It’s a pretty funny moment, but that’s all it is. Just like Time Freak, I felt like I was watching the first ten minutes of a movie that had to end early because there was no more funding left to complete it.
 
Tuba Atlantic

Cast: Edvard Haegstad,Ingrid Viken
Writer: Linn-Jeanethe Kyed
Director: Hallvar Witzo

Oskar (Edvard Haegstad) has been told he has six days left to live. Things don’t get any better when he is visited by Inger (Ingrid Viken), a young woman who wants to stay with him until he dies, so she’ll be able to become an angel. Not the actual ones with wings, mind you, but the name of a teen church group to which she wants to belongs. Staying with Oskar is part of her initiation process (I hate to hear what else they make you do). Oskar has a brother who he hasn’t talked to in years because of an argument, but he still has kept all of their invention ideas from when they were young. He has even invented a large 2 story high tuba in hopes he can communicate with his brother before he dies. 
Why does he go through all of this instead of just picking up the phone and calling his brother? I don’t know. They never explain what they fought about all those years ago either. There are nice comedic moments between Haegstad and Viken that made this more enjoyable than The Shore. I also liked that it was a complete story with a beginning a middle and an end.

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5 Responses to The LAMB Devours the Oscars: Best Live Action Short Film

  1. Shep. Burman says:

    Nice post Jason! I’m totally with about distributing short films before features in theaters. Unfortunately distributors aren’t to keen on it. I actually have some experience from it myself.

    Of these films the first two nominees are the ones that capture my attention!

  2. TheVern says:

    Thank you Shep. Burman for that nice comment. I saw that there is a new cable station that is dedicated to short films, but they would benefit more at a real theatre. Thanks for reading.

  3. Great post. To be honest, I would actually show up to the theater early if they started playing shorts before the films.

    Time Freak and Pentecost seem like they’d be the most fun to watch, but I’m pulling for either Tuba Atlantic or Raju.

  4. Joel Burman says:

    NTEMP: That’s a very fine idea to put them up before the commercials even though I for some reason would like to skip the commercials I mean I’m paying for the movie to begin with. If I’m gonna watch commercials I want a discount!

  5. Yeah, I was hoping that they might replace the commercials altogether, but that’s probably unlikely.

    And while I hate the commercials, I do realize that in the twisted logic of the theaters, they *think* that they are already giving us a discount. Just imagine how much they’d charge if they decided to get rid of the commercials, and instead tried to get that money by increasing ticket fees!

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