OSCAR SHORTS | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
Better late than never, here is your chance to screen seven of the animated and live-action shorts nominated for an Academy Award in 2004. The 100-minute program includes a humorous cartoon about a hungry gopher, and two shorts about boys caught up in armed conflicts ("Birthday Boy" from Korea and "Little Terrorist" from India). The animation winner, "Ryan," from Canada's Chris Landreth, uses impressive 3-D techniques to document the fall from fame of Ryan Larkin, himself once an innovator in animation. "Wasp," from the U.K., is the live-action winner, and rightfully so. In 23 spare minutes, Andrea Arnold's film snapshots a lifetime of misery in one messy day of Zoe, a single mom of four. Reminiscent of Mike Leigh's gritty, loosely shot dramas, "Wasp" is an unflinching portrait, as resonant with pain and frustration as it is with residual hope and fierce love. Also screening is a bonus animated short, "Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher," that riffs on the feats of the square-jawed heroes of the matinee serials. In English, and various languages with subtitles. Starts Fri., April 15. Harris (AH)

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