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NSFW: ‘Belted Survivors’ Series Spotlights Real Men Who Overcame Car Crashes

NSFW: ‘Belted Survivors’ Series Spotlights Real Men Who Overcame Car Crashes

By Izza Sofia, 14 Mar 2019

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has created an eye-opening photography campaign that will spur you to buckle up every time you get on the road.

According to NZTA, 90 people die in road accidents in the country each year for driving sans seat belts.

Among these fatalities, young males make up the majority of this number. This campaign tells the stories of crash survivors and aims to raise awareness on how something as simple as wearing a seat belt can save your life.

NZTA teamed up with media company Clemenger BBDO to debut the ‘Belted Survivors’ series, which displays portraits of real crash survivors with distinctive wounds left behind by seat belts. These wounds are meant to represent “badges of honor” that prove how a seat belt can save a person’s life instead of being just an “unnecessary accessory.”

The series shows 10 Kiwi men, including a young chap named Luke, who woke up from a coma the day before his wife gave birth. If he hadn’t buckled up, he would not have survived to see his child.

These men were chosen by the NZTA after it launched a national call-out seeking images of men who overcame car crashes thanks to their trusty seat belts.

Using the submitted photos as references, Profx—a firm specializing in prosthetics and special effects makeup—recreated the injuries for the photo project. Profx worked together with emergency medicine specialist Dr Tash McKay, who imparted medical guidance to aid the campaign.

The survivors were photographed in an environment familiar to them, surrounded by their loved ones as they spoke about their past experiences. These men then raised awareness about the campaign on their social media accounts, where they further stressed the importance of wearing a seat belt.

[via The Drum, opening image via Belted Survivors]

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The age of the hyperleader: when political leadership meets social media celebrity

The age of the hyperleader: when political leadership meets social media celebrity

In 1911, sociologist Robert Michels listed the qualities that give a political leader charisma: knowledge, eloquence, self-confidence, self-reliance, and, most important of all, celebrity. At the time Michels was writing, politicians cultivated and transmitted celebrity through newspapers, radio, books and speaking tours. Later came broadcast television and late-night politics shows. The last decade has seen these forums give way to a new mode of communication: social media.

Broadcast TV favoured telegenic politicians able to seduce living room audiences. This was famously the case when John F. Kennedy unexpectedly won the White House in 1960, beating Richard Nixon in the first televised presidential debate. In the social media era, the relationship between celebrity and politics has mutated into something more extreme.

Political influence is now measured in part through social media metrics: likes, followers, and shares. A politician’s Twitter prowess – or lack thereof – can make or break a political career. If social media was once considered a secondary space for political communication, it is vastly outstripping TV as the medium of choice for political communication. As George Osborne recently put it, politicians who fail to understand the power of social media belong to a “dinosaur age”.

What are the implications of this politics-social media nexus? First, in a moment where digital media has come to mediate political leadership, politicians begin to adopt the colloquial and demotic style of YouTubers and Instagram influencers. Trump misspells “coffee” on Twitter and a flurry of reportage and opinion columns is born. 

Second, contemporary leadership is histrionic and excessive when compared with the politics of old. Politicians of the early 20th century emphasised their professionalism, seriousness and reliability: quite the opposite of the self-narration and narcissism that are key ingredients for a successful social media persona today.

These modern “hyperleaders” invert the relationship between politician and party. In contrast to the representative model of democracy where politicians were figureheads and parties were the true repositories of power, the hyperleader may have a far larger social media base than their organisation. They float above the party, lifting it into the air through their personal visibility.

Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the millennial Wunderkind of this new social media politics. AOC (her initials as well as her Twitter handle) has amassed 3.2 million followers on Twitter, almost one million more than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This does not simply reflect the appeal of her policies (universal Medicare, a Green New Deal and progressive taxation) among particular social groups. It also results from her ability to discuss policy ideas in a social media format while foregrounding her personal story as a young Latino woman from the Bronx.  

AOC has captured the social media limelight through her unashamed deployment of clickbait and engaging content. She has invited users into her intimate world, posting videos of herself cooking at home and playing with her nieces. After a video of her dancing ten years previously on the roof of Boston University was leaked, she “trolled back” with a short video clip dancing to Edwin Starr’s War in front of her congressional office. Her Instagram account describes her skincare and makeup routines in a manner akin to a beauty blogger or celebrity.

No doubt ageing politicos and uncompromising activists will frown upon what appears to be unconditional surrender to infotainment. But the Washington elite is horrified for rather different reasons. As argued by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, AOC’s “self-generated popularity and large social media presence means she doesn’t need to ask anyone’s permission to say anything.” Her large social media following, obtained with no financial cost, secures her autonomy from the funders and lobbyists that mould the political agenda towards the interests of large corporations. 

While this may be a boon for Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive supporters, the same tactics are also available to reactionary politicians. The rise of Matteo Salvini, the leader of far-right Italian party Lega (il capitano to his team) is premised on his growing success across Facebook and Twitter. His talented social media manager, Luca Morisi, has transformed Salvini into a digital juggernaut, with 3.5 million likes on his Facebook fan page, making him one of Europe’s most popular digital politicians.

In Salvini’s viral Facebook Live instalments, the politician is pictured in urban landscapes delivering impromptu speeches, holding the phone to himself for a more authentic effect. He insists on giving his amici (friends) updates on the minutiae of daily life. Millions of Italians are informed immediately when Salvini goes to dinner.

Twenty years after Michels wrote about the charisma of political leaders, the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci commented on the importance of the “affective connection between the people and the party”. If the new cadre of hyperleaders tells us anything, it is that this connection has mutated.

We live in an era of profound suspicion towards collective organisations such as trade unions and party bureaucracies. Between the 1990s and 2000s, scholars predicted the party’s ultimate demise; political scientists Russell Dalton and Martin Wattenberg wrote that contemporary societies seemed “increasingly sceptical about partisan politics”. Parties that have bucked this trend, including Labour, have brought digital transformation to their very core, using technology to involve their members in decision making.

In the UK, trade union membership dwindled from 13.2 million members in 1979 to 6.2 million in 2017. Generalised distrust towards formal organisations originates from two related trends: the inability of party and union bureaucracies founded in the industrial revolution to adapt to new circumstances, and the ascendancy of an individualist and anti-collectivist ideology.  

As public trust in old structures wanes, notions of partisanship, membership, affiliation and support need to be radically rearranged. While Gramsci thought personal leadership belonged to a pre-industrial past, and that the modern era would be dominated by bureaucracies, the social media age has heralded the return of personalised and charismatic leadership that is ideally suited to navigating a personality-obsessed digital culture.

Hyperleaders compensate for the crisis of membership organisations, providing their followers with a a supplementary form of collective identification. They offer channels to establish bonds that compensate for the failure of representatives to maintain links with the represented. Put simply, hyperleaders have become the intermediary between the people and their party.

In an age where participation in civil society and mass-membership organisations have declined, it is likely that the hyperleader will continue to play a central role in electoral politics in the coming years. Whatever aesthetic or moral reservations we may have about social media influencers, they will define our future. 

Paolo Gerbaudo is director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy (2018). He tweets @paologerbaudo

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Lady Gaga, Brandi Carlile among early Grammy winners

Lady Gaga, Brandi Carlile among early Grammy winners

Women returned at the Grammys on Sunday as female acts won album of the year and best new artist, while rap also triumphed, with Childish Gambino’s This Is America becoming the first rap-based song to win record and song of the year.

Kacey Musgraves picked up album of the year for Golden Hour, and Dua Lipa won best new artist.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Musgraves said. “I am very thankful. Winning doesn’t make my album any better than anybody else in that category.”

Gambino — who didn’t attend the event — was the night’s big winner, picking up four honours, including best music video and best rap/sung performance.

Drake surprised the music world when he emerged on stage to accept the best rap song trophy but told the room of musicians that winning awards isn’t necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs.

Drake accepts the best rap song award for God’s Plan onstage during the 61st annual Grammy awards in Los Angeles. (Kevin winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Drake, who rarely attends awards shows, won the honour for his massive hit God’s Plan.

“You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown,” he told the crowd.

“If there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain and the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don’t need this right here. I promise you. You already won.”

He tried to continue speaking but was cut off as the ceremony suddenly went to a commercial.

Rap has endured a longtime losing streak at the Grammys. The last time a rapper won album of the year was in 2004, with Outkast. Only a handful of rappers have won best new artist.

Cardi B made history as the first solo female to win best rap album (Lauryn Hill won as a member of the Fugees at the 1997 Grammys).

Cardi B was back onstage after her performance to pick up the award for best rap album. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Cardi B accepts her award next to her husband Offset. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

She was shaking onstage as she tried to give a thank-you speech with her rapper-husband Offset holding her arm.

“The nerves are so bad. Maybe I need to start smoking weed,” she said as the audience laughed. “I just want to say thank you everybody that was involved … I want to thank my daughter.”

The Grammys kicked off with a group of powerful women, including Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, describing the role of music in their lives — a display that came a year after female voices were somewhat muted at the 2018 ceremony.

“Music has always helped me tell my story,” said Obama, who surprised the audience with her appearance. “Whether we like country or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves. It allows us to hear one another.”

Gaga told the crowd: “They said I was weird, that my look, that my choices, that my sound wouldn’t work. But music told me not to listen to them.”

Photo gallery: Check out some of the Grammys fashion.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez also spoke and stood in solidarity with Obama, Gaga and Alicia Keys, who is hosting the show airing on CBS.

“Yes, ladies,” Keys said. “There’s nothing better than this.”

The opening contrasted with last year’s Grammys, where male acts dominated in nominations and the only woman competing for the top award, Lorde, didn’t get a chance to perform onstage.

But this year, Gaga, Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves won three Grammys each.

Carlile took three honours in the Americana category and will compete for the three biggest awards during the live show: album, song and record of the year.

Gaga also won three, including best pop duo/group performance, a win she shared with Bradley Cooper.

Lady Gaga took home 3 Grammys this year. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Gaga, now a nine-time Grammy winner, won best pop solo performance for Joanne, while hit Shallow, from A Star is Born, was named best song written for visual media. The song is nominated for an Oscar and also won at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Satellite Awards.

Women have a strong presence in the top categories. Five of the eight album-of-the-year nominees were women, including Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and H.E.R.’s self-titled album are also in contention.

When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up.” He later acknowledged that it was a “poor choice of words,” and his much-criticized remarks forced the academy to launch a new task force focused on inclusion and diversity.

Portnow, who didn’t seek a renewal on his contract which ends this year, seemed to address his words from last year during Sunday’s show.

“This past year I’ve been reminded that if coming face to face with an issue opens your eyes wide enough, it makes you more committed than ever to help address those issues. The need for social change has been the hallmark of the American experience, from the founding of our country to the complex times we live in today,” he said.

British singer Dua Lipa alluded to Portnow’s 2018 words when she won best new artist.

Dua Lipa poses backstage with her awards for best dance recording and best new artist. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

“I guess this year we’ve really stepped up,” she said after telling the audience she was was grateful to be nominated alongside so many female performers. Six of the best-new-artist nominees were women, including H.E.R., Chloe x Halle, Margo Price, Bebe Rexha and Jorja Smith.

Musgraves picked up best country album for Golden Hour, best country solo performance for Butterflies and best country song for Space Cowboy.

“I never dreamed that this record would be met with such love,” she said onstage.

She also gave a shout-out to her husband in the audience, saying she wouldn’t have been able to make the album if he “didn’t open my heart like you did.”

Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day teamed up for stirring performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman in honour Aretha Franklin, who died last year.

Fans were on their feet to cheer Diana Ross as she came onto the stage. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Diana Ross earned a standing ovation when she emerged onstage in a bright red dress to perform Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) and The Best Years of My Life. She celebrated her 75th birthday early with the performance, saying afterward, “Happy birthday to me!” Her actual birthday is March 26.

Ariana Grande won her first Grammy in the same week that she publicly blasted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and accused him of lying about why she was no longer performing at the show.

There was a tie for best rap performance, and Drake was surprisingly not one of the winners. Drake’s Nice for What lost to Anderson Paak’s Bubblin and Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake’s King’s Dead, from the Black Panther soundtrack.

Canadians score wins

Music producer Greg Wells said winning his first Grammy for the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman felt like a scene lifted from the pages of a Hollywood screenplay.

The Peterborough, Ont.-raised songwriter said reality was still sinking in for him, even though several hours had already passed since he rushed to the stage to accept best compilation soundtrack for visual media.

Wells won as part of the team who helped create the breakout pop hits for the Hugh Jackman-led musical film, including This Is Me.

From left: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Alex Lacamoire and Greg Wells pose in the press room with the award for best compilation soundtrack for visual media for The Greatest Showman. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

“It really is that movie moment where they announce your name and you get this euphoric blast of hormones — or whatever it is,” the 50-year-old songwriter said by phone from Los Angeles on Sunday.

Wells previously had been nominated twice, once for Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and another time for Mika’s single Love Today. He said after losing both of those Grammys he wasn’t expecting to win this time either.

“It doesn’t feel like a real thing,” he added.

Other Canadians marking their first time as Grammy winners included Toronto-raised R&B singer Daniel Caesar, who split his first honour with Gabriella Wilson, known as American performer H.E.R., for their song Best Part.

Toronto-raised R&B singer Daniel Caesar accepts his first ever Grammy win for the song Best Part. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Volinist James Ehnes received two for his contributions to Kernis. The Brandon, Man.-raised musician was part of the classical violin concerto album, which won best contemporary classical composition. The honour is shared with composer Aaron Jay Kernis.

His second Grammy for best classical instrumental solo is shared with the album’s conductor.

Another violinist, Lili Haydn, won as part of the quartet Opium Moon. The Canadian-American musician received best new age album win for the group’s self-titled 2018 album.

Canadian-American violinist Lili Haydn, second from left, poses with her quartet Opium Moon at the Grammys on Sunday. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Haydn accepted the Grammy during a pre-telecast ceremony saying she had “so much love and gratitude and respect” for other musicians nominated at the ceremony.

She said her fellow nominees “devoted literally countless hours of focus, passion and practice to making the most exquisite music we can make to sweeten this world.”

Willo Perron, who is from Montreal, nabbed the best recording package Grammy for his work on singer St. Vincent’s 2017 album Masseduction.

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Oscars 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Oscars 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Every year, the Academy surprises us. Whether it’s through a slate of predictable Oscar fluff or a swath of uncompromising snubs, the powers that be never fail to elicit some kind of vitriolic response from its core base of critics, moviegoers, and Hollywood zealots. That shock starts at the nominations and lasts all the way until the morning after the ceremony.

This year is no exception. There’s outrage over the nominations for Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book, while at the same time, there’s admiration for the dozen to half-dozen that’s been respectively given to The Favourite or BlacKkKlansman. Yet for all its pros and cons, the ceremony itself remains consistent in being a total enigma.

Hollywood analysts can read the tea leaves until they look like the blind guy in Lamberto Bava’s Demons, and still, it doesn’t change the fact that the night will bring a series of triumphs and upsets that will all boil down to bewilderment. Some may find that irritating, some may find that comforting, others may sit there wondering what Roma means.

That’s why, in a sense, it’s a fool’s errand to sit here and try and predict anything. Unlike sports, there aren’t really any objective statistics to base these predictions on, namely because any statistics are all based on prior subjectivity. Yet part of any surprise is building expectations, and that’s where these analyses thrive.

That is, if you can appreciate the surprise of being right or wrong.

Alas, here are Consequence of Sound‘s bolder-than-ever predictions going into the 91st Academy Awards. Whether they’re on-target or off the map, we’ll see on Sunday, February 24th, when it all goes down on ABC.

–Michael Roffman



Best Sound Editing

Bohemian Rhapsody

Black PantherFirst ManA Quiet PlaceRoma

What should win: A Quiet Place

What will win: First Man

Coming into this year’s nominations, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place had started making a number of appearances on forecast lists, ranging from Best Original Score to Best Actress for Emily Blunt. Sadly, neither came to fruition for the blockbuster thriller, but it did manage to whisper away a Best Sound Editing nom — and rightfully so. The entire film is predicated on the lack of noise, which makes any sounds that much more integral, and the film’s rich palette is impressive. However, Damien Chazelle’s First Man is a technical marvel, and given the lack of nominations in any other field, it would appear the voters tend to think so, too. This win for Apollo is a kosher one, but we’d love an upset by Jim Halpert. –Michael Roffman


Best Sound Mixing

Black Panther

Bohemian RhapsodyFirst ManRomaA Star Is Born

What should win: A Star Is Born

What will win: First Man

As you can see, we’re picking First Man and its appropriately deafening theatrics in both sound categories. Damien Chazelle’s film lends the first moon landing a bracing sense of immediacy and impact, which owes a direct debt to the sonically overwhelming nature of the film’s sound design and mixing. However, one of the most impressive experiences we had in a theater all year was watching (and thus, hearing) A Star is Born in a crisp, clear Dolby theater. Not all live performances are created alike, and if you’re wondering why some of those concert scenes hit you the way they did, this is why. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Visual Effects

Avengers: Infinity War

Christopher RobinFirst ManReady Player OneSolo: A Star Wars Story

What should win: Ready Player One

What will win: Avengers: Infinity War

With Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg delivered a computer animated movie given the amount of time that’s spent in the Oasis. But really, all you need to do is watch that homage to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in which the entire Overlook Hotel is brought back to life through video manipulation. It’s a jaw-dropping moment of visual effects wizardry, echoing back to the days of Terminator 2 and Spielberg’s own Jurassic Park. Having said that, Marvel has yet to win in this field, and isn’t Infinity War, what with its smorgasbord of heroes and villains, a perfect time for comeuppance? —Michael Roffman


Best Film Editing

Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman

Vice, Hank Corwin

The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis

BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown

Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito

What should win: BlacKkKlansman

What will win:  Vice

With BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee’s go-to editor Barry Alexander Brown had the unenviable task of shifting the story from a punchy ’70s setting to the real-world violence of today, specifically the Charlottesville riots that happened as recent as 2017. That’s not just difficult, but nearly impossible, and while many critics have been on the fence with the film’s polarizing coda, very few will argue it wasn’t an effective button that chills the bones. Those feelings *hopefully* won’t get lost on the voters, though we’re betting they’ll be charmed (and swayed) by the cutesy pastiches of Adam McKay’s Vice. To be fair, that faux credits sequence midway through the film is one of the comedy’s greatest gags and it’s all Hank Corwin.  —Michael Roffman


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

vice christian bale movie amy adamsVice. The actor’s insane weight training isn’t everything, after all. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Costume Design

The Favourite, Fox Searchlight, Emma StoneSandy Powell‘s excellent 2D animation-stitched work on Poppins or Ruth E. Carter‘s unforgettable array of traditional and modernized African looks in Black Panther. However, the best costume design helps contribute to the film’s story in a more meaningful away, and we’re thinking that The Favourite and its litany of layered dresses concealing all kinds of secrets will win on that basis alone. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Production Design

Black Panther , Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart

The Favourite , Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton

First Man , Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas

Mary Poppins Returns , John Myhre and Gordon Sim

Roma , Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez

What should win: Roma

What will win: Roma

More tough calls to make for the 91st Oscars. Each of these films has its own clear, cogent argument to make for why it deserves a Production Design award, from dazzling revivals of old-fashioned film styles to daring new visions of what a modern superhero movie can look like. But once again, we think the technical accomplishments of Roma will be too much for the Academy to deny. And if you think about it, what film last year draws more attention to its lavish visual direction? Whether it’s rebuilding a Mexico City street doorway-by-doorway, or filling a torched field with perfectly placed debris, or gazing over a missing set of bookshelves in a house’s foyer, some of the film’s best stuff emerges from some of its finest details. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Cinematography

Roma (Netflix)Lukasz Zal‘s equally rich black-and-white work on Cold War. Great year for great-looking movies. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Original Song

“Shallow” ,A Star Is Born, written by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt

Performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

“All the Stars” ,Black Panther, written by Kendrick Lamar, Al Shux, Sounwave, SZA and Anthony Tiffith

Performed by Kendrick Lamar and SZA

“The Place Where Lost Things Go”, Mary Poppins Returns, written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Performed by Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda

“I’ll Fight” ,RBG, written by Diane Warren

Performed by Jennifer Hudson

“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings”, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, written by Gilian Welch and David Rawlings

Performed by Tim Blake Nelson

What should win: “Shallow”, A Star Is Born

What will win: “Shallow”, A Star Is Born

Here’s one way to clear the air on this category. While “All the Stars” was the best song of 2018, it had a nominal effect on Black Panther, relegated to the credits as if to say, “Grab this track now on iTunes.” But “Shallow”? It’s the whole goddamn movie, and you feel that every time you stream it. So many moments and so many emotions are packed into that single song, and they all have breadcrumbs leading back to Bradley Cooper’s debut feature. –Michael Roffman


Best Original Score

BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard

Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson

If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell

Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman

Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat

What should win: If Beale Street Could Talk

What will win: Black Panther

Given the Academy’s notoriously touchy Original Score policies, it’s hard enough for a great score to even get nominated. (Our hearts and fuzz pedals turn to Mandy in this trying time.) Even now, in a crop of good-to-great nominees, we can sit and quibble all day about the Radiohead members and other composers who got short shrift this past year. But the category is the category, and on that basis, we’re excited to see whether If Beale Street Could Talk can make some noise in at least a few categories. Nicholas Britell‘s remarkable score acts as a thematic hinge on which Barry Jenkins’ beautiful film swings, and we’d love to see it grab some honors here. However, our money is with Black Panther. After all, is there a more instantly recognizable piece of composition from 2018 in general than “Wakanda”? It was so good, they even re-used it in Infinity War. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Animated Short Film

Animal Behavior

BaoLate AfternoonOne Small StepWeekends

What should win: Baos

What will win: Bao

While it’d be more than a bit of a misnomer to simply dismiss this category as “the Pixar award”, it’s tough to deny that the animation house has a pretty strong grip on the past 20 years or so of the Animated Short program. We’re expecting that they’ll continue their reign this year with Bao, originally attached to Incredibles 2. The deeply affecting story of the bond between an empty-nesting woman and a dumpling that becomes a surrogate child to her. In just a few minutes, Pixar does what it does best: takes a wrenching, difficult adult concept (letting go of your kids as they age as a part of good parenting) and makes it digest … well, easy to understand for anyone at any age. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Black Sheep

End GameLifeboatA Night at the GardenPeriod. End Of Sentence

What should win: A Night at the Garden

What will win: Lifeboat

The Documentary Short category tends to thrive on topicality, and this year is no different. From stories of long-buried American history to a look at the ways in which periods have been used to culturally discriminate against and disadvantage women, the category is taking a wide berth in the issues it addresses in 2019. Our pick goes to Lifeboat, an affecting look at the constant danger taken on by refugees attempting to escape war-torn countries in hopes of a better future. There are few subjects more engrained in the aware person’s consciousness these days, and we think the Oscars will take the opportunity to provide yet another platform for discussion. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer


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