One thing that I love about watching The Academy Awards is getting exposure to new films that I otherwise have heard nothing about. Case in point are the the films that won Best Animated Short, The Lost Thing, and Best Short Film, God of Love.
First thing this morning, I logged into iTunes and bought both films and was pleasantly surprised at the quality, inherent passion and labor of love infused in the execution of telling original and fun stories.
The Lost Thing (www.thelostthing.com)
Being an animation major and a lover of animated film, I was blown away by the art direction and animation in the short clip shown in the Oscar broadcast. Upon buying and watching The Lost Thing, the story was heart-warming and accented by two distinct visual aesthetics: a drab and monotonous color palette to show what is often missing from our “real life” and a vibrant, colorful palette for the world of lost things to show what is there if we truly look for the things that are lost around us.
Infused with a great sense of humor, there are elements of propaganda and a drab view of society that remind me of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. I appreciate the filmmakers’ view that we forget to look for the things that are lost that ultimately bring meaning to our lives.
I would definitely encourage everyone to pick up this short film on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMovie?id=420580932&s=143441
God of Love (www.lukemathenyfilms.com)
Reminiscent of Roberto Benigni’s exuberance in the 1999 Academy Awards, director and writer of God of Love, Luke Matheny, was so excited he commented that he wished he got a haircut. His enthusiasm was so inspiring and infectious that I had to buy his film.
Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, the story speeds by and is just plain funny, expertly told, and beautiful to look at in all its black and white splendor.
Pick up this short film on iTunes in HD, it definitely is worth every penny: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMovie?id=421335326&s=143441
With that, short film is alive and well. There is a labor of love that is infused in each and every frame. Even if you are disillusioned with the films that are being pumped out of the Hollywood sausage machine, you can’t discredit the independent efforts in the Animated Shorts and Short Films categories. It might just give you hope that there are artists out there like Luke Matheny, Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan creating beautiful works of art that look great and tell wonderful stories.