Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1961

Yey, we have now come to the year of 1961. This is quite a significant year because it was the year that saw the release of my favorite American film: West Side Story. My history with this delightful film really began back in 1998 after I watched Titanic sweep the 1997 Oscars. It was the first Oscar ceremony that I saw from beginning to end, and instantly transformed me into an Oscar buff. I quickly memorized the list of the 70 films at the time to win Best Picture, and then set off a quest to watch all of the Best Picture winners. I decided to start on films that my parents owned, and of those West Side Story was the oldest, so it was the first I watched. At that time I had a bit of contempt towards the movie musical, finding them to be unrealistic and boring, so I wasn't quite expecting much from it. It ended up taking me two sittings to finally watch the 2 1/2 hour film, but when it was done I was struck by the stark contrast between the energetic choreography of the first half and the grave solemnity of the second half. I quickly watched it again, this time in one sitting, and it soon became my favorite film. I watched it a total of ten times by the end of 1998. It remains one of the few Best Picture winners that I saw at least five times, and the only one I saw at least ten.*

*The other Best Picture winners I saw at least five times include Casablanca, On the Waterfront, Midnight Cowboy, Annie Hall, Amadeus, Platoon, Crash, and The Hurt Locker

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ranking the Oscar Nominated Shorts: 1962-1971

I started this blog shortly after the 80th year of the Best Animated Short category, and I realized that you could split those 80 years down to eight 10-year periods beginning with the second year of a decade and ending with the first year of the next decade. So from then on every time I've finished with one of these ten year periods I've been combining all of the nominated films from that period and ranking them by preference, since it's much easier to justify. We have now gotten to the fifth of these posts. Thanks to the timing of my hiatus it's been five months since I've last written one of these. In comparison, I was able to post three of them in the 5-month period from May to October of last year. Oh well. That's why I didn't want to do the hiatus, but I guess it was for the best.

Let's get this show on the road.

NULL: Hypothese Beta (1967)
NULL: The Shepherd (1970)
Two films whose legacy suffers from the suppressive power of greedy university institutions, (although the fact that they are still only available on the obsolete 16mm film format doesn't help.) I managed to trek all the way to the University of Arizona library in Tucson only to be told that they won't lend it out unless we have a 16mm projector to play it. *sigh* I guess I'm taking a road trip to Miami! Whooo! Then watch them go tell me to GFM because I don't have a 16mm projector. *sigh sigh*

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1962

So, if I actually bothered to plan out my hiatus I should have taken it here, since this would have been my 50th review and that meant I could have finished the fifth decade, worked on my rankings of my favorite Oscar nominated films from 1962-1971, taken a nice two month break, and then started fresh on the final three decades. Alas, my excessive travels led to my queue running out and with juggling interviews and the History of Animation course I just didn't have time to work on the last three reviews before embarking of the nightmare that is the PE exam retake. So now here we are, finally finishing off the fifth decade of reviews five months after we started.

Anyways the last Oscar review introduction worked well so we'll continue to do it here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Best Animated Short - 1963

So a few reviews ago I tried limiting my introductions to just talking about the Oscar ceremonies for that year, but even with that I was still making my intros just about as long as the actual reviews themselves, which is a problem because for one thing I find reviewing Oscar history much more interesting than the films, mostly due to the fact that I've seen numerous times. Furthermore, it is essentially doubling the time I take to write one of these reviews. And when I'm faced with something that is going to take up to 8 hours in a day, I'd rather do something else like watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic or play The Sims 3. Meh. Maybe I'm just still trying to come to terms with my three-month hiatus.

Oh well. I guess we'll give this Academy review thing another shot.