Tuesday, February 25, 2014

See the Oscar Shorts (but No Passes Accepted)

Just saw the live action half of the Oscar Nominated Shorts festival at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke and let me tell you: These babies are some great film-making. (These are all playing at Virginia Western Community College's Whitman Theater Friday--all day--for free.)

There are five shorts ranging in length from seven minutes to 30 minutes and they're all over the board: comedy, intense drama, great special effects, wonderful storytelling, movies that moved me. The storytelling in this short form is simply outstanding and there are even some special special effects in a couple of the briefs.

The range was wide: child soldiers in Africa; a mother and children escaping an abusive dad; a small child dying and his new friend who helps make it a joy; a mother getting her tribe ready for a wedding; and the guy who thinks he's god (and is). Here's a trailer that will give you some of the flavor of these movies in the three categories (animated, live, documentary).

Animated and live action are showing at the Grandin and I strongly recommend the live. Didn't see the animated, but my guess is that it's special.

NOTE: Let me throw out a quick warning to anybody who wants to use Grandin passes (which are purchased and given as gifts) or Star Passes (which cost $1,000 and helped re-open the theater a few years ago): They are no good during the first week of any movie's run, which, from the schedule I saw, means they are no good for these movies at all, since they'll be gone Thursday. It's always a little disconcerting to hear, "We don't accept passes the first week ...," especially when the the passes have been paid for. Is the money no good? Really a pisser.

Jason Garnett, who used to manage the theater before being fired in a dustup with manager Kathy Chittum, responded thusly: "You can also see the Oscar Shorts in Whitman Theater at Virginia Western Community College this Friday. Screenings all day and they are free. Sidenote: Magnolia Pictures distributes the Oscar Shorts and they don't put pass restrictions on theaters."


  1. Almost every theater has passes now and they all have that same rule. I'm thinking it has to do with their distribution deals. They're independent, but they still have to get movies from somewhere.

    However, for a 1000 bucks you'd think they'd let you into anything.

  2. Let me state it simply: I'll never buy another pass. Not one. No need to, since they have a severely diminished value, but cost the same as a ticket.