Conversations about shorts.

Shorts as in the films, not the clothes. Specifically we are talking about the Oscar nominated short films of 2016. Because we have hardly talked about the Oscar nominations at all.

We are spicing it up though and for the first time in the history of this blog we bring you,
Rikke and Diana: chat edition.

Before we get started you must be warned. This is a very lengthy post, but we believe it is all worth it. As we begin talking about a new film an image of the film will appear, so you have the option to read some and then come back later – but just please come back because we actually have some interesting points about each of the films.

Also, there are spoiler. You be warned.

Ave Maria – France, Germany, Palestine – 15 minutes

Rikke_round“Well, that was a delightful little film. A Jewish family crashed into the convent of five very silent nuns living in the West Bank wilderness, just as the Sabbath is about to start.”


“I enjoyed that the kicker for this film was the beheaded Maria statue. It was what made the nuns, well at least one of them, break their silence and it is the agitator that drives the story forward. Very enjoyable, and a nice portrayal of the little rules in each religion that makes it difficult to act and react properly around each other.”

Rikke_round “I agree, the beheaded Maria statue was a really nice touch. I enjoyed the scene where Moshe tried to first get a friend and then a taxi come pick them up, but failed. First his refusal to even touch the telephone, because of the Sabbath which lasts all of five seconds when he realises that no one is coming willing to help them for a reasonable price. And his mother refusing to give up the glass of water she was given because she is thirsty damn it and couldn’t care less about it not being kosher.”

Diana_round“Also, the the Jewish family’s reluctance to be mistaken as Arabs, as they drive away, go very well with the nun ending the whole thing with establishing that they must go inside and get to it due to all the hail Marys they have to do after all the talking. The movie is enjoyable. That is my take on it.”

Rikke_round “Quite enjoyable indeed. It was wonderful to laugh after the last couple of downer feature length films and I’m always up for people of different religions working together and accepting each other instead of what usually happens.”

Shok – Kosovo, United Kingdom – 21 minutes

Diana_round“So on your chipper note of before we continue with another film reminding us what a terrible world we live in. I have not had to live in a war zone or even the aftermaths of a war, since the last time Denmark was in anything was World War II and even my grandparents were little kids then. I always get very struck by the stories telling me of curfews and general lack of freedom. This film does that and then adds the kids. A bummer, though a brilliant bummer.”

Rikke_round “A brilliant bummer, you are so eloquent. This film is the first ever Albanian/Kosovan film to be nominated for an Oscar, and good for them. This is a brilliant piece of story telling. It puts us in the middle of the Kosovo war and doesn’t elaborate on anything more. We are as confused as the boys and it is effective in setting the tone. Another thing this film does really well to set the tone is the score. It is subtle and always on the darker and ominous side insuring that we never really feel safe.”


“I was born eloquent! Like now. SPOILER ALERT! When the friend is shot in the end you are just left feeling completely hopeless and very sad for mankind. The image of Petrit walking along, not being able to look back at his dead friend because he will get shot himself that is strong stuff. I think the saddest thing is that this happens now, probably as we write this, and is not specific to the Kosovo war. I’m bummed out.

Rikke_round “I know I should have seen it coming since the friend wasn’t in the present time, but I didn’t. It came along as almost an afterthought in the film which probably echoes how things really happen in these sort of wars. I mentioned it in my post earlier today that I was impressed with the child actors in the feature films, and it holds true for this film as well. Those kids feel like real people and not just characters. Their chemistry and the whole fallout from the bike incident rings true. Kudos to you, child actors!”

Diana_round“I couldn’t agree more. The child actors are superb this year and it makes the watching of this year’s films a treat, even though some of them are truly bummers. Also, I love that this is true even for the short films, which I have come to love over the last few years.”

Alles wird gut
Alles Wird Gut – Austria, Germany – 30 minutes

Rikke_round “What a heartbreaking film. Everything was not okay and will not be okay. First things first: I totally called that he was going to kidnap his daughter when they got back in the car after taking the photos for what we learned would be the daughter’s emergency passport. Now back to the heartbreak. I like that while what the dad, Michael, did was clearly wrong the film doesn’t make him the bad guy and it ends before we learn of the actual fallout of the events. As viewers we get to decide how things ends and opens up for a debate on how these things happen and how they should be handled.”

Diana_round“It always amazes me how little parents take their children into account when they decide to run off to somewhere far away from the other parent. It baffles me that someone can disregard their child’s welfare based on their own wants and needs. I am not saying the father, in this instance, is the bad guy, because naturally a lot led up to this moment. The parents clearly not getting along and communicating through the child – it seems. A lot of parents are driven to believe kidnapping their own child is the only way and that saddens me and breaks my heart.”

Rikke_round “Exactly, and I admire that this film brings up the topic as neutrally as they can, because in our increasing multicultural world this is an issue we need to get a handle on. And once again we must praise the child actress, because she was great at displaying Lea’s wish to please her father and go along and then the subsequent breakdown and desire to get away from the situation. So much nuance in her performance.”


“I am absolutely with you there. We go on a journey with her. At first she is happy to see her father and really excited to spend the day with him but as her father changes behaviour hers change. It is a perfect portrayal of the power we have on the coming generations in leading an example. Okay that last part became very general and not so much minded on just kidnapping of ones own child.”

Rikke_round “It’s the power of the short film. They spark debate and make people wonder. This was on the longer side of short films, but I felt it was the perfect length for the story told. I wouldn’t have added anything nor edited anything out. It was perfect as it was .

Stutterer – Ireland, United Kingdom – 12 minutes

Diana_round“What a treat. I think I found my favourite. It is heartbreaking how secluded a speech impediment can make someone feel. Actually it seems to me like anything that makes someone the least bit different means exclusion from the general society. We have become so afraid of things that we don’t understand that it is easier to ignore it than to try and understand. Being a rambling moron most of the time I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to have never been able to express ones feelings or thoughts out loud. But at least this seems to have a happy ending. I just wish it would have been someone from “the other side” rather than someone who had also had to overcome these obstacles set up by scared fellow human beings.”

Rikke_round ” I think I’m in love with this film. It is delightful and quirky. I love the voice overs and that they take multiple forms. The rambling, repeated overlaps when Greenwood is practising what to say and the eloquent and flowing snap judgements he makes of strangers. The sound design is simply fantastic. The embrace of social media and how it has changed how we communicate with each other heightens the snap judgements Greenwood makes about Ellie. I love that he comes to the realisation that his fear of people’s snap judgements of him makes him overcome his own snap judgement of Ellie. I don’t have a lot more to say except again express how delighted I was by it.

Day one
Day One – USA – 25 minutes

Rikke_round“So that was something. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this film. It certainly wasn’t what I expected to happen on the first day for an interpretor in the United States army, so I guess I’ll grant the film the element of surprise, since I knew almost nothing going into this.”

Diana_round“It was a rollercoaster that’s for sure. It was a hell of a first day, if it really was that. I have a feeling the title might be more in regards to the child’s first day out in the world. To me it felt obvious that this is the American one in the bunch. The setup the story the whole feel is just way more American than the others. I didn’t dislike it. I just don’t feel like they used the minutes they spent that wisely.”


“Well, I assumed it was her first day, since she was new to the camp, but I will not argue against your interpretation. You might be right that it is the United States aspect of it that left me feeling disconnected, because it is a pretty decent short from the technical standpoints, but it just doesn’t feel terribly real. I get that this might happen, but it just seems so improbable.”

Diana_round“I’m not going to disagree with you on that. There is something disconnected about it. Maybe we are just so used to being served very context realistic and honest shorts that we disagree on this sort of delivery, which isn’t all that.”

Bear Story
Historia de un Oso – Chile – 11 minutes

Diana_round“I don’t know where to start. It is beautiful that is somewhere to start. It is a very sad story. My insides are torn out. I’ve always said that I don’t cry to animation but if I ever were to do that it would be to something like this. It has some of the same feel as The Dam Keeper from last year. Just watch it”

Rikke_round“I agree on both counts. This is beautiful. The animation is fantastic, you have the bear itself and his sad existence, then you have the mechanical diorama which was gorgeous and then an extra layer of the animation in the posters advertising the circus life of the bear. I’m repeating myself, but it is just beautiful.”


“These animated shorts always baffle me with the skill that go into them. I love Disney but I would like something like this to be recognised because the Disney animation we have seen already. At the same time I am torn when I watch these. It is hard to be so amazed by the animation while trying to comprehend such tragic and generally heart breaking pieces as these films often are.”

Rikke_round“Disney is great and all, but I really want the rest of the world to know that these fantastic stories and different types of animation exist. I’d also like to undeline how this story had no dialoge at all and was just told through images and music. It is so simple, yet so powerful. More of this kind of animation, please!”

World of tomorrow
World of Tomorrow – USA – 17 minutes

Rikke_round“What a treat. Odd and wonderful and funny and just plain surreal. But first things first: Fun facts! This is a product of Kickstarter which makes me love it a little more. And secondly Emily Prime is voiced by Don Hertzfeldt’s niece and that is just an extra layer of adorable. I just like this weird world very much”

Diana_round“This is sort of a great image of how I, and probably also Peter, think it looks inside your head. You are both Emily Prime and Emily and your head is just a constant changing of colours and shapes. Also, I like the animation.”

Rikke_round“Oh, well that explains why I like it so much! The animation is wonderful. It is simple and just matches up with the story. I liked how Emily feel in love with rock, opened a gallery of anonymous memories and only really sought out Emily Prime to get a specific memory she missed and wanted before the end of the world. And this is quote: “We shall share the same fate as the rest of the human race: dying horribly.” just perfectly sums up the surrealism of this film along with all of Emily Prime’s non sequiturs like “I had lunch today.”. I really am a fan, but I recognise that this little film will not be for everyone.”

Diana_round“I absolutely get why you like it so much, which is also why I think you know why I am not as big a fan. I have to admit though, the “I had lunch today” line was perfection. But think about it, they put a body without a brain in a museum and let it stay there until it died at age 72.”

Prologue – United Kingdom – 6 minutes

Diana_round“Well it is a prologue. I’m not sure what else to say. I like the expression og the animation. It focuses on the people and leaves out all of the surroundings, which makes it sort of sketch like. It is okay, but I’m not really sure what it was made to say. I like it when films say something.”

Rikke_round“I’m there with you. It is pretty cool to see the animation where you can really see the drawings behind and all the details that goes into the drawings, but I don’t really feel this ought to have been nominated. It is very short and the story is just two tribes at war? I’m not even sure since there were no context, I wouldn’t even know that it is supposed to take place 2400 years ago if not for the synopsis on IMDb. I’m going to quote CinemaSins and say SKIP!

Sanjay's Super team
Sanjay’s Super Team – USA – 7 minutes


“Well, if you happened to miss the opening with both the Disney and the Pixar logos, you only have to watch the first frame to know that this a Disney animation film. Disney has a style and they are sticking to it. One change is that this is not about another WASP-y main character, a favourite of Disney’s. I quite like that we get to see another religion represented in a Disney film.”

Diana_round“Yes to the religion part. I’m not really a fan. It is nice, don’t get me wrong, it is just not as nice as some of the others. Sanjay has a super team in his very wonderful imagination. Some of his super team is religious superheroes. Go them. This is the most upbeat religion movie we’ve seen this season, and that pretty much sums it up for me.”

Rikke_round“Yeah, it is quite plain and not exactly up to the standards of the others, that said, it is still better than Prologue.”

We can't live without Cosmos
мы не можем жить без космоса – Russia – 16 minutes

Diana_round“I weren’t blown away by the animation of this one, but the story is definitely there. There is the right amount of comic relief in a story which is honestly as sad as most of the others we’ve watched. The dedication at the end “To our friends” was special and nice gesture. I liked it.”

Rikke_round“I quite liked it as well. It was a very humours story until it suddenly wasn’t. The x-ray of the cosmonaut who stayed behind lying in the fetal position was just heartbreaking. You’re right that the animation was nothing spectacular compared to some of the others, but I felt that it really suited this quiet and understated tale of friendship and loss.”

Diana_round“It built the story very nicely. I knew exactly why he was in that fetal position and why he reacted as he did. The idea that as long as you are together you can accomplish everything but alone it becomes an impossible task is a very strong message to send, and they did it in a different way.”

Rikke_round“Totally. Watch it with you best friend and then hug them after and tell them that you will always be there to help them accomplish their goals.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s