Academy Award Nominated Shorts | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Crafty but conventional: A desperate underling struggles to get the better of his boss on the squash court in Lionel Bailliu's Squash (France, 27 min). Touching but manipulative: Florian Baxmeyer's The Red Jacket (Germany, 18 min.) is a mostly dialogueless narrative about fate, desire and the connections between Europe's haves and have-nots. Cute if slight: The virtues of Chris Hinton's animated Nibbles (Canada, 5 min.) include its comically grubby drawing style. But two pieces in this selection of animated and live-action nominees stand out. In Harvie Krumpet (Australia, 22 min.), Adam Elliot uses expressive stop-action clay-figure animation to tell the story of a thoroughly luckless human who perseveres despite his own considerable limitations; the blackness of its humor somehow doesn't prevent it from being endearing, and even weirdly hopeful. Still, the pick of the litter might be (A) torzia (Slovenia, 15 min.), set in Sarajevo in 1994, where a village choir trying to depart for Paris stops to help a farmer and his sick cow. Stefan Arsenijevic's wonderful short has more purpose than most feature-length films; it's thrillingly simple. Regent Square. Three cameras

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