Those Oscar Missed: Best Live Action Short

https://i0.wp.com/img819.imageshack.us/img819/9314/theperfecthumanjorgenle.pngCONTRIBUTED BY JAKE THOMPSON

Best Live Action Short is one of the few Oscar categories that home viewers would probably not be very familiar with.  As with the other two short film categories, I was originally not going to include them in my journey through major Oscar snubs (mostly because trying to determine which shorts actually qualified as MAJOR snubs would take weeks, months, perhaps even a year of research).  Without time to present major snubs for the short film categories,  I’ve decided to present contenders for the short film categories that were NOT nominated for an Oscar, but could’ve (perhaps should’ve) been.  I’m doing this to be fair to the short films and so that I will have covered every current Oscar category.  Some of the shorts might be familiar to you; some might not be.  Please take a look at these possible contenders.

1962’s La Jetee is a black-and-white live action short that was written and directed by Chris Marker.  This French sci-fi (comprised of stills) short tells the story of underground scientists in a post-nuclear war Paris testing time travel on prisoners in the hope of sending one of them back in time to prevent the war that destroyed the world, but things become complicated when the only successful time-traveling prisoner meets and falls in love with a woman who had appeared in a pre-war childhood memory of his.  It’s such a shame that Marker wasn’t nominated for his work here since he never received a single Oscar nod.

The actual nominees at the 35th Academy Awards were:
Happy Anniversary – Pierre Étaix & Jean-Claude Carrière (*Winner)
Big City Blues – Martina Huguenot Van Der Linden & Charles Huguenot Van Der Linden
The Cadillac – Robert Clouse
The Cliff Dwellers – Hayward Anderson
Pan – Herman Van Der Horst

1967’s Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB is a live action short that was written and directed by George Lucas.  This sci-fi short tells the story of a man known only as THX 1138 4EB running through enclosed spaces and passageways, trying to escape an underground city in a dystopian future.  The government uses computers and cameras to track THX 1138 4EB, and tries to stop him as he navigates an electronic labyrinth.  It’s too bad Lucas wasn’t nominated for this film.  Lucas is a four-time nominee (2 Original Screenplay & Director nods each for 1973’s American Graffiti and 1977’s Star Wars).

The actual nominees at the 40th Academy Awards were:
A Place To Stand – Christopher Chapman (*Winner)
Paddle To the Sea – Julian Biggs
Sky Over Holland – John Ferno
Stop, Look, and Listen – Len Janson & Chuck Menville

1967’s The Perfect Human is a black-and-white live action short co-written and directed by Jorgen Leth.  This Danish short acts as a faux anthropological study, depicting a man and a woman, both of whom are labeled as ‘the perfect human,’ in a detached manner.  They do everyday things in odd ways while in a boundless white room as if they were occupants in a zoo.  It’s a shame that the Academy didn’t nominate Leth for his work here, for he has yet to receive an Oscar nod.

The actual nominees at the 40th Academy Awards were:
A Place To Stand – Christopher Chapman (*Winner)
Paddle To the Sea – Julian Biggs
Sky Over Holland – John Ferno
Stop, Look, and Listen – Len Janson & Chuck Menville

1984’s Frankenweenie is a black-and-white live action short co-written and directed by Tim Burton.  A young boy named Victor Frankenstein who, after his dog Sparky is run over by a car, decides to bring him back to life using electricity.  Things get complicated, however, when the neighbors react to a reanimated Sparky in a frightful way.  It’s a shame that Burton wasn’t nominated for his work here. Burton is a one-time nominee (1 Animated Feature nod for 2005’s Corpse Bride).

The actual nominees at the 57th Academy Awards were:
Up – Mike Hoover (*Winner)
The Painted Door – Michael MacMillan & Janice L. Platt
Tales of Meeting and Parting – Sharon Oreck & Lesli Linka Glatter

2000’s In God We Trust is a live action short written and directed by Jason Reitman.  It tells the story of a man who gets hit by a truck and is sent to Purgatory.  When informed that he’ll probably be sent to a place with a warm climate, he escapes and returns to Earth in order to fix things in his life before the agents from Purgatory catch up to him.  It’s too bad the Academy didn’t nominate Reitman for this terrific work.  Reitman is a four-time nominee (2 Director nods for 2007’s Juno and 2009’s Up In the Air, 1 Adapted Screenplay nod and 1 Picture nod for 2009’s Up In the Air).

The actual nominees at the 73rd Academy Awards were:
I Want To Be… – Florian Gallenberger (*Winner)
By Courier – Peter Reigert & Ericka Frederick
One Day Crossing – Joan Stein & Christina Lazaridi
Seraglio – Gail Lerner & Colin Campbell
A Soccer Story – Paulo Machline

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2 Responses to Those Oscar Missed: Best Live Action Short

  1. Beer Movie says:

    I absolutely love La Jetee. Tis my favourite sci-fi film of all time.

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