The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Academy Awards broadcast. Please join us for our Live-Blog tonight (because we ask nicely), and while you wait for the winners, check out our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. It’s finally here! The time of year where I can write a paragraph that no one will read because they’ve already scrolled down to see who’s won. But even though this won’t be seen by humans, here’s a personal reminder that this night may be about politics and back-slapping, but it’s also about the splendor of cinema. It’s about the magic of movies. The genius of thousands of images all strung together with blood, sweat and tears to create characters and a journey through the heart of a story. There are some great stories on display tonight. That’s what matters second most. What matters most, of course, is crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentation of their women. Let’s get to the winning, right? And the Oscar goes to…

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UPDATED: The shorts programs will be available in over 200 theaters across the United States and Canada. Check out theater information HERE! Earlier today, two things happened – I sat down with an iced coffee to peruse the latest offerings from Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque (which shows films and special programs at both the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica) and my inbox was hit with a press release concerning the all of the Oscar-nominated shorts and their release later this month. You can guess the connection! Every Oscar night, even hardcore cinephiles find themselves scratching their heads when the three shorts categories come up – documentary, live-action, and animation. What are these films? And how could I have seen them? Well, as of today, the full program of Oscar Nominated Short Films will be released (thanks to ShortsHD) in New York City on February 10, with Los Angeles openings for the animation and live-action programs coming on February 10 (Landmark’s Nuart Theatre and West LA locations, and Regency Theatres’ South Coast Plaza in Santa Ana), with the documentary program hitting Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 on February 17. Or, if you’re an obsessive art house calendar-reader like me, you’ll also realize that you can check out all three programs at the Egyptian on various dates: documentaries on February 17 and both live-action and animation on February 24. For those of you in New York or Los Angeles, I encourage you to take the opportunity afforded […]

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? With the celebration of classic movies currently going down at the Oscars, it was the perfect year for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to share its love of silent films, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a familiar cartoon tune. No wonder it was nominated for Best Animated Short. What former Pixar employee William Joyce and co-director Brandon Oldenburg have done here is nothing short of amazing. They’ve used the newest technologies to create a wondrous, incredible, transportational fantasy story that reaches back to the roots of motion picture history. It’s a movie that’s imagination is only trumped by its beauty. What will it cost? Only 14 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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