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You know how, when you’re watching the Oscars, you always wonder what the deal is with all those short films that are nominated? Well, now you can find out with this show of all the Oscar-nominated shorts! This is a great way to spend your cinematic dollar, because if you’re watching something you hate, you’re never more than a few minutes from something else. There are five animated and five live-action films, and of course, it’s a mixed bag, but there are some real standouts. Among the animated films are The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, a beautifully realized steam-punk sci-fi piece that takes place on a flying ship in a fantasy land that’s stricken with a horrible plague; and Badgered, the sad and important story of what happens when a badger acquires nuclear capability. The real winners, though, are the live-action films. Rob Pearlstein’s Our Time Is Up is a funny and mean-spirited look at everything that’s wrong and right with psychotherapy: Kevin Pollack stars as a therapist who decides to actually help his patients after he learns that he has only six weeks to live. Cashback is a beautiful experimental piece about working in a supermarket. Ben (Sean Biggerstaff) finds a weird and erotic way to make his boring job into something illicit and exciting. And best of all is Six Shooter, starring the incomparable Brendan Gleeson as a man whose wife has just died. Finding himself on a train with a couple who’ve just lost their son and a disturbed young man whose mother has been murdered, he discovers that things can not only always get worse; they can get even worse than that.

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