Odd characters also run amok in a cafe in French nominee French Roast. It starts as an ironic tableau about a wild-haired beggar shunned by a snob who hasn't yet realized he's lost his wallet and can't pay his bill. But the little parable devolves into a far more bizarre and unpredictable settling of accounts.
The final nominee is Logorama, which in spite of an obvious premise is a wild ride through an incarnation of Los Angeles exclusively populated by corporate and institutional logos and product mascots. Bouncing yellow AOL men walk the streets. Mustachioed Pringles chip buskers get fresh with an Esso waitress. Shoney's Big Boy is an obnoxious punk, and Ronald McDonald is a machine gun-toting maniac, which seems to reference a massacre at a California McDonalds in 1984. Scenes also seem to ape familiar films, such as the bookending diner setting from Pulp Fiction. Far from overkill, the use of product placement and visual puns seems to explode in ever more grand and poignant ways. Logorama is full of jarring malevolence and is the most unconventional of the entries.
The showcase also includes three other films not in the Oscar nominee pool. It's an excellent collection of shorts, most of them less than 10 minutes in length. Presented by the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS). Tickets $8 general admission, $6 NOFS members. — Will Coviello
2010 Academy Award—Nominated Animated Short Films
2:30 p.m. Fri.-Thu., Feb. 19-25
Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., 891-2787; www.neworleansfilmfest.com