Everyday Activist - Kitbull | Hair Love | Hors Piste (Oscars 2020)

Posted on Monday, January 20, 2020 at 01:00 AM

Kitbull | Hair Love | Hors Piste (Oscars 2020)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

I want to get the Oscar shortlisted animated shorts reviewed before the final five are announced. Between YouTube, National Film Board and Kanopy, I managed to watch seven of the ten films. Hair Love had wide distribution as it appeared before The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Kitbull was part of the Pixar SparkShorts program. People have six months and a limited budget to create a short film for release on YouTube and Disney Plus. I cringe whenever Pixar has an entry, because it usually wins, though Hors Piste, a French student film that has won over fifty awards.

As someone who has an ethical issue with pets, Kitbull validated my feelings. The treatment of these two animals broke my heart. Despite their situations, they form an unlikely friendship, supporting each other through tough times. Given the difficult topics presented, I have a hard time making the connection between director, Rosana Sullivan’s love of cat videos and Kitbull. Much like Weekends, another Pixar Oscar Nominee from last year, Kitbull deals with more mature themes around loneliness, abuse, friendship and courage. With someone to bear witness to our struggle, it’s easier to move forward to start living life anew.

In the beginning Hair Love seems fairly straightforward. A little girl wants to style her hair for a special occasion, though it doesn’t quite work out the way she wants. Turning to her dad for help, the poor man has less of an idea of hairstyle basics, wanting to just put a hat on her and go. Thank goodness Gen Z grew up with the Internet. She pulls up a YouTube video of a hairstyle for her and her dad to create. Without giving too much away, the love of a family shines through in this beautiful short film.

Somehow I missed Hors Piste in Banff, one of the few festivals where it didn’t win. Unlike the other two films, the hilarious antics of this rescue operation is an antidote to sadness. These students have quite the imagination and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future. On a more serious note, a Vimeo comment from New York filmmaker, Bas Berkhout, had me typing "Green Boots" into Google, retrieving search results for the death of an Indian climber, Tsewang Paljor, in 1996, on Mt. Everest. His green boots serve as a marker for climbers on the North Face. Green ski boots are such a popular color that I never thought anything of it until I read the comment. I wonder if the filmmaking team knew about Paljor.

The judges for the animated short category have a tough job ahead to narrow down the top five. Given my issue driven agenda, I prefer Sister, Mind My Mind, Physics of Sorrow and Uncle Thomas Accounting for the Days. I’ll have reviews for those latter three soon, though I am waiting for a copy of the book Physics of Sorrow to come from the library. Until then enjoy, Kitbull, Hair Love and of course Hors Piste! 

Calgary Showtimes: Kitbull > | Hair Love > | Hors Piste >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.