Like last year, I went to a special showing of the Oscar-nominated animated short films. However, unlike last year, in addition to the nominees, several "commended films" were also shown. In this review I'll make my predictions, though if it's anything like last year's choices, I'll probably once again pick the wrong shorts as my favorite for the award.
As far as SKHIZEIN being a commended film, this surprised me because it was clearly better than several of those that received the nomination. That's because the animation was so unique with SKHIZEIN and the story was also truly one of a kind. If the Academy wishes to honor the unique and revolutionary, then what better choice than this film? Instead, somehow LAVATORY LOVE STORY (a very, very simply drawn film with an enjoyable but schmaltzy story) and OKTAPODI (too short and simple to deserve nomination) were nominated and SKHIZEIN didn't. Fortunately, as a commended film, it will at least receive more widespread viewing if that's a consolation.
SKHIZEIN is a strange film that begins with a man at a psychiatrist's office talking about his problem. It seems that since a meteorite struck nearby, he's been "out of phase". In other words, every thing he does is 91 centimeters off (that's a yard for all of us non-metric folks)! When he goes to the toilet, for example, he needs to stand 91 centimeters to the right or he'll miss! And, when he wants to look out the window, he puts his head through the wall next to the window! It's all very strange yet compelling. What is also strange is the animation style. While it uses CGI, the look is totally unique and the main character looks a lot like a child's drawing or the David character from David Shannon's books.
Unique, compelling and clever--what more could you want from an animated short?!
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