I love short films. I love a lot of long films too, but there’s something special about short films. Like a well-crafted short story a good short film can leave you feeling both satisfied and wanting more, and can pack a lot into a very small space, like a clown car, but less likely to trigger coulrophobia. Short films also allow me to feel like I’ve gotten a lot done. How often can you say you’ve watched five Oscar winning-films in less time than it took to get Chinese food delivered and that, twenty minutes after you’d eaten, you wanted to watch all of them again?
When I was a kid and would watch the Oscars it frustrated me that there was a category for Best Short Film and that, at best, I’d only get to see clips of the nominees. And then I’d be even more frustrated when the nominees for Best Animated Short Film came up because I loved, and still love, all forms of animation, and I really, really wanted to see those films.
I’m old enough to remember a time before cable TV, when there were only three networks and a UHF station, and I remember when we got cable TV. We had Showtime, which often ran short films in between features, and the fledgling Nickelodeon network would fill the spaces between its handful of series with short films. Other channels probably did the same–in those days cable had more space than fresh content.
An excellent post over at Assholes Watching Movies, a blog by some of the nicest assholes I’ve ever known, lists this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Animated Short Films (there’s also an equally good post for the live-action shorts), and reminded me of the first Oscar-winning animated short I was able to see in its entirety: 1983’s A Sundae In New York.