Multi-Oscar-winning director Brad Bird once said that, “Animation is about creating the illusion of life, and you can't create it if you don't have one.” It’s a simple observation that is often taken for granted, one that nonetheless highlights the detectable traces of life found in every pen stroke, clay imprint and line of code collected together to produce this year’s nominees for the Animated Short Films Oscar.
If you’re in the market for a more obscure ’80s slasher, featuring a creepy killer, ridiculous dialogue and predictably silly ending, Edge of the Axe is worth a look and is certainly a step above the rest of the derivative genre titles we saw in the waning moments of the decade.
Although it nearly doesn’t stick the landing, with things culminating abruptly and ending with less gravitas than the build-up had me anticipating, Sanzaru remains a thoughtfully crafted story that combines dread with melodrama to deliver a creepy, nuanced horror tale.
Sometimes the simplest stories can be the most endearing; such is the case with Ben Mullinkosson’s slice-of-life documentary Don’t Be a Dick About It. Hilarious and touching, this brisk little story follows two brothers simply living their lives, an act that proves
Despite being a bit rough around the edges, Daniel Isn’t Real adds enough unique properties to the psychological horror genre to warrant a recommendation, if for no other reason than to experience that wild finale.
Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe is a caustic riff on the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers motif but takes aim at the pharmaceutical industry, specifically antidepressants and the act of altering one’s mood with the use of chemical aids.