the academy awards shorts were pretty good, though some were more interesting than others. in a couple of them, not much seemed to happen at all (such as in birthday boy, a 3d-animated short about a little korean boy who puts a bolt on some train tracks so that the passing train will flatten & magnetize the bolt... then proceeds to wander around and play with his toys for another 5 minutes. the animation was lovely, but it came off more like an animation exercise than any sort of actual story). then others were really far out, like ryan:
In Ryan we hear the voice of Ryan Larkin and people who have known him, but these voices speak through strange, twisted, broken and disembodied 3D generated characters... people whose appearances are bizarre, humorous or disturbing. Although incredibly realistic and detailed, Ryan was created and animated without the use of live action footage, rotoscoping or motion capture...but instead from an original, personal, hand animated three-dimensional world which Chris calls 'psychological realism'.
that "psychological realism" is wild: heads and bodies are deformed, warping and collapsing as their moods shift. it's surprisingly surreal and yet very linear at the same time.
and perhaps most oddly of all, two of the shorts involved parents who go out to a bar and leave their kids waiting in the parking lot... when i was watching the first one (two cars, one night) i was thinking "what kind of parent leaves their kids in the car while they go get drunk?" then later, wasp came on and the parental behavior there is much worse... is this some kind of weird coincidence, or do a lot of parents behave that way?
overall i would definitely recommend seeing this if it comes to your town. i'm glad i went.
now we just have to wait until the animation show comes to town next month... that will be awesome. and while i'm thinking of it, i really need to pick up the dvd from last year's animation show as well... i totally loved those don hertzfeldt cartoons.