Fearing a repeat of last year when I came in dead last in my Oscar office pool, I’m paying a little more attention to who is actually nominated this year (how was I to know the Academy would overlook “Hancock”). So, with the Academy Awards only week’s away, we’ve gotten out our ballots and begun handicapping the nominees. First off is Best Animated Short Film. The category is rich in foreign filmmakers, stunning imagery, and at least one perennial Oscar nominee (Nick Park for “A Matter of Loaf and Death”). But the smart money is on
François Alaux and Herve de Crecy’s “Logorama”.
See, not only is “Logorama” an ingenious use of computer animation—an amalgam of motion-capture footage with 3-dimensional cartoon rendering—but the content, subject, and imagery play right in to the hands of Academy voters. First off, “Logorama” may have American commercialism on and off screen in its satirical sights, but as good, old-fashion cops and robbers yarn with a Roland Emmerich type ending, it gives the good-old thrills that, with the exception of “Avatar” (which is not going to win Best Picture), are absent from this year’s Oscar slate. With a Ronald McDonald as a bank robber who says “dude”, an obnoxious Bob’s Big Boy who says “awesome”, and Michelin Man cops that swear like sailors, “Logorama” has all the Hollywood stock characters that transport West-Coast voters back to the 1990s, when all they needed was a few explosions and some car chases to make money. As well, this world of corporate logos, images, and symbols is exactly what producers lap up—anti-commercial satire that is itself very commercial. Academy voters who work in the studio system love to have their anti-corporate cake and eat it too. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, “Logorama” is a L.A. flick.
Starting off with a view of Malibu and then turning to an aerial shot of the Santa Monica Pier, we soon find ourselves watching the cops chasing Ronald McDonald down the I-10 to the Santa Monica Freeway (something any Angelino has seen on KTTV), then into the heart of strip-malled downtown L.A. There, Ronald snatches a kid coming fresh from the Zoo in Griffith Park. After a shootout at what could be any busy corner of the city, our heroes then flee an earthquake by heading back through the park, where they dodge the tumbling letters of the Hollywood sign on the south face of Mt. Lee and finally drift out into the Pacific Ocean. That the entire town eventually drowns in oil won’t dissuade Academy voters, most of whom live in the 213 area code, from picking this, the only Los-Angeles based film in the whole Oscars this year. Angelino Academy members love to root for their hometown, even when the nominees involved make their burg look like a dry, neon purgatory. I mean, does anyone remember “Crash”?
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