Shorts films are films, too

There are Oscars for animated film shorts? Surprised I was to find this out so I Googled them shits and spent 40 minutes watching all five nominations and questioning why the bathroom lady in “Lavatory — Lovestory” sexually assaults a man in a bathroom stall in the name of love (I promise the short is a romance) and how a female octopus in “Oktapodi” basically catapults herself into a seagull using a clotheslines and why a five-minute movie was created about a magician’s bunny that wants a carrot. Then I watched the other two shorts. You see, they had substance, they boasted narratives more thought-provoking than the three just-a-string-of-scenes-that-happen-to-be-animateds. In “This Way Up,” by Smith & Foulkes, a pair of coffin bearers struggle to transfer a dead granny from the funeral home to a gravesite. They also end up in River Styx somehow. (They died-ish.) It is a beautifully crafted (almost a carbon copy of “Nightmare Before Christmas”) story of friends (not much else). In “La maison en petits cubes (Tsumiki no ie),” by up-and-coming Japanese artist Kunio Kato, a grandfather’s village in France has been flooded, and he repeatedly reconstructs a house over his house. When a pipe falls through the floor of his most recent house into the depths of the blue forgetful waters, he swims down to find it, discovering old parts of his memory, and his solitude, and the colors are pale, and the style is avant-garde, and the water flows and bathes the setting in brilliant blue and despite the fact that my impression of Japanese animation stems from the batshit-crazy anime movies I have seen in my 19 years of life, the movie moved me and I was pleasantly surprised.

Surprise.

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