Wednesday, May 23, 2007

2006 Oscar Nominated Short Films

Ari Sandel makes references to Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story and, of course, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, in the clever, relentlessly silly West Bank Story, one of several shorts included in A Collection of 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films, released earlier this month.

The American-made West Bank Story, an equal opportunity offender when it comes to gently ribbing Israeli and Palestinian cultural traditions -- war breaks out between the owners of Kosher King and rival fast-food join Hummus Hut -- won the live-action Oscar, while the Norwegian-Canadian The Danish Poet, a sweet love story, won for best animated short.

Also included in the live-action category is Australian entry The Savior, a seriously quirky story concerning the foibles of a Mormon missionary; Helmer & Son (Denmark), detailing one oldster's refusal to go quietly into a nursing home; and warm and fuzzy Spanish-made, UNICEF-funded short Binta and the Great Idea, about a Senegalese man with a simple but profound plan to improve the world.

The DVD (Magnolia, $29.98) also features animation nominee Maestro, capped with a great punch line, and one of six "bonus" shorts -- Bill Plympton's Guide Dog is very funny, twisted and gruesome, and the highly inventive One Rat Short tells the story of true love between a street rodent and a lab rat.

Cross-posted at DVD Watch

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