Oscar Shorts & Fancy Popcorn
A few years ago, some dear friends invited us to join them for one of their annual outings – a double feature at the theatre to watch the Oscar nominated short films.
Halfway through the first five-minute film, I had already decided this was going to become an annual tradition for us too!
The nominees are packaged into three groups: live-action, animated, and documentary shorts. Each of those groups usually includes the five nominees in that category, as well as a few honorable mentions. You can watch them in theaters or check them out online. Date night-out or date night-in? You pick.
Lots to Love About Shorts
I love that within the amount of time you’d watch one movie, you can watch five or ten short films. Each of which could not be more different than one another!
To tell a story in the span of a short film is a special art. It has to be an economically formed story arc, and the world in which the story lives has to be self-contained and evident from the details provided within the constraints of time.
There are many feature length movies that I’ve watched and I can’t remember how they end! Awful to admit that. But for some reason, even though it’s been almost a year, I bet I could storyboard for you at least half the short films from last year’s batch. They are sticky in a wonderful way. Perhaps because they’ve been crafted to artfully share only the essentials.
My favorite thing about them may be that it’s fun to have something concrete on the table to respond to and discuss together. And because there is so much variety, you’re bound to have an opinion on which was was your favorite and which was a flop. And usually we had different ideas on both counts! Being able to analyze and talk about what we appreciated or what resonated with us made me appreciate the films more too.
Lastly, I appreciate that these short films generally offer a wide range of perspectives and artists from different backgrounds. This year’s nominees are no exception and include actors and filmmakers from all over the world. I’m looking forward to seeing the stories they tell.
(I will note that the trailers for this year’s live shorts look to be more emotionally rigorous and intense, and the animated seem to lean towards a lighter mood on the whole. The documentaries appear to be a mix. So take that as you will!)
How to Watch
- The 2018 Oscar Short nominees have been announced, and you can watch the trailers here. The films hit select theaters a few weeks ago, so check to see if they’re playing near you. If not, this year’s collection of live and animated nominees are available for $2.99 on iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, and Google Play today, February 27th! (Note: Two of the animated nominees are not included, “Revolting Rhymes”, which can be found on Netflix – and “Lou”, Pixar’s short which can be purchased separately.)
- You can also watch previous live-action or animated nominees which are still available on Amazon for between $3 and $5 for each set. Pretty cheap date night! Here are a few of my favorites: 2015 Live-Action, 2015 Animated
The Fancy Popcorn
Before you press play, don’t forget the fancy popcorn! Here’s the recipe I use to make popcorn on the stove, along with some ideas to dress it up below!
Basic Stove-Top Popcorn Recipe
• 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or any other high-heat oil will work)
• 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
• salt, to taste
1. Add the coconut oil and kernels to a heavy bottom pan (I usually use a big soup pot, and one that I don’t care about as much in case any kernels burn). Cover.
2. Keep an eye on it, and when you hear the first sign of popping, shake the pot and coat the kernels with the oil.
3. Let the cooking continue until the popping slows down to a few seconds between each pop. You’ll know most kernels have popped at this point.
***Watch out for late bloomers. Sometimes a kernel will pop after all the others, so just be careful!
Make it Fancy.
Have a great week and hope you enjoy the shorts!
ILLUSTRATION: ANNIE LIAO
POPCORN PHOTO: PIXABAY
PIN IT HERE!