Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1969

Happy Nightmare Night, Halloween, everybody. My friends at the Longview Comic Book Club will probably be hooting and hollering it up at their Halloween party, but me? I'm on a plane going to South Carolina for the fifth and sixth residency interviews. Sure, I'd rather have it be to Atlanta to watch Game 7 of the World Series at Turner Field, but that dream kind of died when the Braves were knocked off by the St. Louis Cardinals. Oh well, at least they got knocked off by the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants. I think I'm less bitter at the Giants ruining the Rangers' World Series hopes than the Cardinals, because the Rangers were so close to the title. And now both Rangers are pretty much going to join the Indians and the Royals as also-rans. It was a good run while it lasted. But I digress. Even though I'm on a plane right now, I have this review up because I'm writing it in advance. There really was no point to this paragraph, but it doesn't matter because the only people that will end up reading this are my sisters, who are more into Japanese anime anyways. So yey, my target audience for this blog is essentially myself! No wonder I've lost the motivation to write it. But I will keep trucking on! We still have 38 years to review, and by golly I'm going to review them!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Animated Short - 2012 - Qualifying Films

Well, it's that time of year again, when the Academy reveals their list films that qualify for the Best Animated Short film Oscar. As I revealed in an earlier thread, a film can qualify by either getting a public showing in a Los Angeles County theater, wins a competitive award at an approved film festival, or a Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards (for student films.) Any film that meets one of these requirements qualify, and they'll go in front of a committee that will vote on the films. The top 10 goes on the short list.

This year there are 57 qualifying films. That's a LOT, especially since there were only 33 in 2010, the first year that I paid attention to the qualifying films. The full list, courtesy of Oscar nominee Michael Sporn (Doctor DeSoto, 1984) and Animation Magazine after the jump. I'll write a short blurb that hopefully I can expand once the nominees are announced in January. Plus I'll link to trailers or even the short film whenever available.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1970

The late 1960s and early 1970s were a highly turbulent time in American history. It was a time of political and social unrest. There were demonstrations and riots over the Vietnam War, whose public support eroded in the light of the Tet Offensive, and over civil rights issues, especially after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. There were protests and riots at the Democratic National Convention. This culminated in 1970 when students at Kent State University were shot during a demonstration over the invasion of Cambodia, killing four.

Films tend to reflect the society in which they were made, and this era was no exception. There were films about the alienation of our country's youth, such as Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces. There were films about war, such as M*A*S*H and Patton. Yet the highest grossing film of the year was a more conventional film, Love Story. The romantic tragedy about love and loss barely beat out the ensemble disaster film Airport in box office receipt

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1971

So, we're in the middle of baseball playoffs, normally a magical time for me, but I just can't find myself getting excited, mostly because I don't really care for any of the teams that are left. I was able to ride the Rangers bandwagon to World Series games the last two years, but this year they blew the division lead on the last day, and then dropped the Wild Card game at home to the Miracle O's, my only postseason game of the year. Similarly, the Washington Nationals dominated the regular season, finishing with the winning record, but like the Philadelphia Phillies last year, they dropped the division series to the Wild Card St. Louis Cardinals. Of the remaining team the only team I like is the Yankees, and that's because it had Mickey Mantle, one of my favorite players of all time. Except you know, their offense has completely disappeared, so they're probably not going to be getting #28 anytime soon.

Also an interesting fact is how the Pirates ended up with a 79-83 record, even though they had a 67-54 record on  August 19, when they played a 19-inning game against those same Cardinals that are well on their way to a second straight World Series title. While they won the game, they fell completely off the cliff, winning only 12 games in their last 41 games. That helped them extend their record for consecutive losing seasons to 20. It's so surprising that the Pirates are one of a few teams to win five World Series titles. The first was in 1909, when Honus Wagner led them to a victory over Ty Cobb's Tigers in the first seven-game World Series. It was the Tigers' third straight World Series defeat. The Pirates won again in 1925, when Max Carey and Pie Traynor led the team over Walter Johnson and the Washington Senators, ending their hopes for back to back Series. The Pirates' third title came in 1960, when they were outscored and outplayed by the Yankees, but managed to squeeze in three tight wins, and then came out on top in the most thrilling Game 7 off Bill Mazeroski's walk-off blast. The 1979 Pirates were led by Willie Stargell, whose "We are Family" motto led them to a victory over the favored Baltimore Orioles.

And then there was 1971.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ranking the Oscar Nominated Shorts 1972-1981

When I started this blog back in February, I was posting reviews at a rate of two a week, but I later had to pare it down to one a week as I couldn't keep up with the pace. With the new rate it felt as though it would take us forever to get through, but now we've hit the halfway point in our reviews in what feels like a blink of an eye. True, it has been eight months and a whole lot of things have happened in my life in that time, but it still feels like nothing more like a hop, skip, and a jump since my first review on this blog. And the halfway point of 80 years is 40 years, and you know what happens every 10 years? I rank the nominees by preference. I've been maintaining these rankings in each individual years by quality and preference, but when combining them all into one big list I focus solely on preference because that is much more subjective. Of course, that would lead to some incidents where some films that are not quite so good gets ranked high and masterpieces that are ranked low. But hey, at least there are no absolutely mediocre films that have been nominated...right? Well, except for A Greek Tragedy, and that film actually won. *grumble grumble*

So...1972-1981. For the most part there were three nominees a year, like the decade that came...after. However, there were two years with four nominees, and one busy year with five nominees, so that comes out to 34 films, just a wee bit above the 1982-1991 list. Is that going to change the complexion of things? We shall see. But for now...let the countdown begin!

NULL: Dedalo (1976)
Impossible to find, especially since my online course is turning out to be a dead end. However from what I've seen of it I'm not quite as excited about this as Lorenzo, but dammit! It still needs to be seen somehow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1972 (NSFW)

Well, it doesn't seem like it'll ever get here, but we are on our 40th review. That means we are officially halfway done with reviewing these Oscar nominated shorts! Sure, it took eight months, but it sure as heck doesn't feel that long. And guess what? We still have pitiful page views! Hooray! I'd like to thank my loyal readers, all three of them that I know of: my sisters (one of whom says she mostly skims the reviews) and Christopher Sobieniak. Man, I suck at advertising my blog. I tell people about it but they don't read it.

Meh, but we're halfway through the reviews. We've gone too far to just give up! So let's keep forging on. We are now at 1972, which is a significant year because it saw the introduction of one of the monumental films in American cinematic history...The Godfather

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Best Animated Short - 1973

So on the surface it seems like I've been updating this blog regularly. A new post comes up every Wednesday as I said it would. Yet as I mentioned in earlier posts I've been writing these in advance, and I churned out a lot of them back in August. However, I've been procrastinating, so my queue of finished reviews is getting shorter every week. And I'm freaking out, possibly justifiably.

So what have I been doing with my time? Well, I've been doing my rotations in the hospital, which I've been doing since I've started my blog so that's not really contributing to my procrastination. I've been working to submit my residency applications, but that was mostly a lot of procrastination as well. I'm also back in the town of my med school, so I've been hanging out with friends, but that's it's not really fair to blame others for my own laziness. My online course on the history of animation that I mentioned in the 1976 review has started, but it doesn't take me THAT long to work on stuff. It's probably just the fact that it takes me forever and a day to write these things, so my motivation isn't exactly very high. So what have I been doing instead? Well, it's mostly just playing The Sims 3 and watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.