CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: Discover the 2017 Oscar Short Film Nominees
CHICAGO – One of the more overlooked set of nominees at Academy Awards time is two categories for Best Short Film – Live Action and Animated. The 2017 nominees are packaged as two presentations that are currently screening in Chicago at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema.
Historically, the short film – both in live action and animated forms – were part of the early tradition of movie exhibition. In the days before television, movie theaters would show the newsreel, the short film and of course “cartoons” before a main feature, and that tradition only petered out when audience tastes shifted around the 1950s, and television took over the exhibition of cartoons. The live action short languished in near anonymity, banished to film festivals and rarely shown to the general public. The age of the internet has revived the form substantially (in both categories), and their availability have garnered enough interest to exhibit the presumed “best of the best” – Oscar edition – in theaters once again, albeit in limited markets.
Below is a short description of the films in each category, ranked by order of preference. The overall two presentations are given a generic four out of five ranking, not as an average of their relative scores, but as a catch-all for how scattered the film subjects can be, and the connection that was experienced. If I were to rank the joy of going to the movies and viewing the 2017 Oscar shorts, it would be solid perfect score. Note the national origin of each short, for the cultural elements of different countries are part of the trip.
The 2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films
Photo credit: Shorts HD/Magnolia Pictures