This year, you can see some of the offerings nominated for Best Animated Short Film and Best Live-Action Short Film at Key Cinemas beginning Friday. Your choices (along with some brief comments on the ones I was able to preview) are as follows:
Live-action short films
Gridlock (Fait D"Hiver) (Belgium, seven minutes): On his way home from work one evening, a young man decides to call his wife from his new cell phone. Comments: Clever, with a creepy twist at the end.
I'll Wait For the Next One (J"Attendrai Le Suivant) (France, four minutes): One day, in a Lyon subway, a 29-year-old man makes an unconventional attempt to find a single woman. Comments: A romantic plea that takes a tart, sudden turn.
Inja (Dog) (Australia, 17 minutes): On a South African farm during the apartheid years, a white landowner makes a brutal effort to sever the ties between a black boy and a puppy. Comments: Ham-handed look at racism, laying irony on with a trowel. Weak and unconvincing.
This Charming Man (Der Er En Ynig Mand) (Denmark, 29 minutes): When Lars Hansen"s identity number is confused with that of an immigrant, he finds himself enrolled in a Danish class taught by a young woman he used to know. Comments: Bright and quirky, the longest of the short live-action films is also one of the best.
Animated short films
The Cathedral (Poland, six minutes): A pilgrim arrives at a strange, forest-like cathedral and finds his presence there has a purpose he has not anticipated. Comments: Trippy, with lots of cool dramatic thrusting motions.
The ChubbChubbs! (USA, six minutes): A lovable alien comes face to face with the toughest creatures in the universe. Unavailable for preview.
Das Rad (Rocks) (Germany, eight minutes): Description: Two rocks, Hew and Kew, stand on the hilltop they have occupied for centuries, discussing the frantic activities of the human beings below them. Comments: Crisp and clever, with inventive imagery.
Mike's New Car (USA, four minutes): Mike of Monsters, Inc. wants to take his friend Sulley for a spin in his new sports car. Unavailable for preview.
Mt. Head (Atama Yama) (Japan, 10 minutes): A stingy man eats some cherry seeds and finds that a cherry tree has grown from his head. Comments: The quirkiest of the previewed animated films, with some lovely watercolor images.
Key Cinemas is located at 4044 S. Keystone Avenue. Phone (317) 784-7454; www.keycinemas.com. Admission is $5, any showing, any age.