Academy Award Winning Short Films

Paperman - Best Animated Short Film

                        "Paperman" is a simple romantic story, which also looks like a fairy tale. The animation is done in the classic 2D style, a rattling change of pace in the days of 3-D crazy animated film department. Directed by Disney and Pixar animator John Kahrs -- Paperman is a silent black-and-white romantic comedy set in  New York. The nervous protagonist of the animated short meets a girl of his dreams at  a train stop, but could do nothing other than hoping to meet her soon. Later, when he sees her in a building, opposite his office, he makes a desperate attempt to meet and catch her eye by making lots of paper airplanes.

                       This perfect little animated film takes its inspiration from the 1956 classic French short film -- "The Red Balloon." In that movie, a mystical red balloon follows a boy in the streets of Paris. Paperman does a similar thing with papers and you can see a connection with that French classic, when in a brief sequence in the subway train the hero is sitting next to a small child in shorts holding a balloon, who is pulled away by the  mother. This is one of the best short movies from Walt Disney animation studios. It also successfully blends the old-school hand-drawn style with the computer animation.

                      This short film also evokes the classic bygone era of silent films with the belief in love at first sight. "Paperman" is short, sweet and you will feel that you've just gone through an epic love story.

Curfew -- Best Live-Action Short Film

                          "Curfew" is one of the beautifully shot short film in the recent times. Written, directed and starred by Shawn Christensen, it tells the story of Richie. At the start, he is in a bathtub and has slashed his wrist. His suicide is interrupted by the estranged sister through a telephone call. She is in an emergency and asks Richie to watch out her 9 year old daughter, Sophie. He gets out of the tub, wraps his wound and picks up Sophia. It is clear that Richie hasn't met or known Sophie for quite some time. "I'm your uncle" says Richie. Sophia stares at him and replies, "I don't care."

                          The live-action short film, then takes us through New York and gives a slice of the couple of hours in the life of niece and uncle. "Curfew" was excellently written, directed and acted by Christensen -- all the jobs are quite exhausting. He was well supported by the child actor, Fatima Ptacek (has given voice to Dora in "Dora the explorer"). She has a exalted talent and is definitely a cool kid (kind of reminds us "Dakota Fanning"). In its 19 minutes, Curfew shows us some beautiful, diverse shots of New York: the bright penthouse levitating above the skyline, the dream-like underground of an apartment hallway, the estranged aesthetics of bowling alley and the smashed fluorescence of a moving subway train. 

                          This is not about the lives of perfect parents and children. It portrays messed-up lives, where familial love changes the life for better. "Curfew" is a one of those rare short film, which is poetic, dark, redemptive and hilarious. 

Shawn Christensen - Interview at the Oscar's

Curfew - IMDb


thanooj said...

i want to read your review on 26/11 the attacks on india movie.

Haricharan Pudipeddi said...

Such lovely short films. I so didn't wanted "Curfew" to finish. I wish it was a feature film :) Loved watching both the films