I’ve spent the last couple days ruminating on my long-time movie-going habits, the ways the changes in my life inform my cinematic practices and vice versa. You could chart the ebb and flow of it all in my annual movie lists, if you knew what to look for. In some ways, my spreadsheet of film titles is as telling a diary as any other I may keep.
And so it goes with the Oscar-nominated animated film shorts. Another tradition that started in 2010, two years after I had first met a former co-worker, right around the same time we transitioned into friends. She introduced me to the short films, and it eventually became a February ritual for us.
Now I enjoy the animated shorts every year for how frequently delightful and unexpected they are, but I also love how I associate them with a person who has become one of my closest friends. We saw the 2018 batch this morning, and I want to share my reactions while they’re fresh in mind.
Overarching Thoughts for 2018
- Why did they stop including the running time on the title card for each short? If a “short” is going to last almost half an hour, I need to mentally prepare myself for that.
- Is this the first year they used additional animated “Petite Interludes” between the nominated films? I feel like they didn’t always do that, but I can’t remember if they did it last year, too. If you remember, let me know in the comments. Regardless, I don’t care for it. Title cards only, please.
- Along with the five nominated films, they always include in the package 2-3 additional “highly commended” films. Inevitably, I fall in love with one of these and question how it didn’t get the official nod. That said, I generally find the whole concept of the Oscars utter bullshit. I don’t watch the Oscars, I typically don’t like the kinds of films that win Oscars, and I don’t know why I’m surprised that I’m not on the same page as members of the Academy when it comes to these short films. For that matter, I don’t know why I abandon my Oscar contempt when it comes to this one category. It’s literally the only one I care about.