The Lost Thing

February 28th, 2011

I was fortunate to get to see the Oscar nominated short films in Lawrence last weekend. Dear Charles had encouraged me to see them, so when the CD discovered they were showing at Liberty Hall in Lawrence last Saturday we loaded up three extremely reluctant children and headed out. We made a day out of it and watched both the animated shorts and the ‘regular people’ shorts.

Our sixteen year old was the least receptive to the idea of spending his Saturday watching obscure films with his parents. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but he did seem to enjoy the films. And last night when he discovered that ‘The Lost Thing’ won the academy award, he called out to me,”Hey mom! The Lost Thing won the academy award.”

Me – What?

Calder – The Lost Thing… it won the Academy Award.

Me – It did?

Calder – Yes.

Me – Oh good! I really loved that one.

Calder – Yeah – me too.

And that was the extent of our conversation, but I would like to point out that it contained undeniable tones of civility and pleasantness.  And for this I would like to thank the academy for bringing a teenage son and his haggard, forlorn, perpetually weeping mother back together again like when he was a pliable, sweet, wonderful little boy of six… if only for 3.2 seconds.

The Lost Thing is a terrific story. I deeply identified with the ‘lost thing’ feeling very lost myself most of the time these days and only wishing that someone would find me and place me ever so gently in the brightly colored fairy land where I belong.

I think you can get The Lost Thing on I-Tunes. You can also watch the other short films on ITunes.

God of Love won in the live action category of short films.  It is the story of a lounge singer/precision dart thrower who receives a magical gift which he must learn to wield with honor and unselfish intentions.

With the exception of God of Love, the short live action films are all somewhat disturbing. Should you decide to view them, might I point out that watching them with your nine year old, your twelve year old and your sixteen year old might not be the best idea depending on your comfort zone with exposing your children to high levels of human desperation. They cover topics like ‘cancer ridden teen desperate for first sexual encounter before he dies’ and ‘proper Catholic child desperate for interesting material for first confession’ and ‘Rwandan henchmen desperate for Tutsi blood’! I will say that you and your children WILL NOT BE BORED!

And you will always have the memories!

Remember that one time me and your dad forced you to watch that film about the teenager with cancer who only wanted to have sex before he died?


  • km:

    I watched Idiot Abroad , the India episode, with my 6 and 11 year olds. The yoga moves are seared into their brains.
    No, it isn’t Disney

    • LOL! Our family LOVES An Idiot Abroad! My son hasn’t seen the India episode yet, but Discovery Science Channel gets pretty creative with the black censor bars, so maybe we’ll still catch it. Censor bars can only block so much, though!

  • Samantha:

    I saw a screening of the ‘Lost Thing’ also…did you know it took like 8 years to complete (or something strange like that) considering it was so simply and thoughtfully done.

    Nice that you posted about it!

  • Bridget:

    Rechelle: Have you seen Dogtooth? I am pretty sure that it was nominated for best foreign film which I know isn’t related to the short film categories, but I just saw it at a local film festival and thought you would probably like it a lot. It is a gruesome satire- very dark- but not in the generic way when people saying something is dark and edgy- dark, gruesome, witty satire is the best way to describe this movie.

    Synopsis for Dogtooth:

    “A hyper-stylized mixture of physical violence and verbal comedy, Dogtooth is a darkly funny look at three teenagers confined to their parents’ isolated country estate and kept under strict rule and regimen — an inscrutable scenario that suggests a warped experiment in social conditioning and control. Terrorized into submission by their father, the children spend their days devising their own games and learning an invented vocabulary (a salt shaker is a “telephone,” an armchair is “the sea”) — until a trusted outsider, brought in to satisfy the son’s libidinal urges, plans the seeds of rebellion by trading VHS tapes for sexual favors” **not sure this would be one you would want to watch with your sons?

    Also if you get a chance to watch the documentary- Gasland- just be prepared to be even more frustrated with the current state of affairs. Again another film I just saw and I really liked the documentary- Exit Through the Gift Shop- which I think, along with Gasland, was an Oscar nomination for best documentary. I think that your boys would also like Exit Through the Gift Shop because it follows one of the most notorious graffiti artist in the world and he is one strange and daring guy. You might have already watched these, but I thought I would pass along the suggestion.

    Also some gave me an gift certificate and I am at a lost for some books to download. Not sure if you have the time or inclination, but if you do. Do you have an suggestions for good books to download? Or does anyone else?

    I tried getting into the Number One, Detective Agency but so far no dice.

    Oh and thanks for the additional support on PW Sux. I still contend her readership is made up almost entirely of right wing, wing nuts who seriously believe that men rode on the backs of dinosaurs. Hey evolution it is just a theory. I will see you in Europe!

    • Rechelle:

      Thanks for the recommendations Bridget. I will check them out. Good books to download… hmmmm… Have you read Ken Follets cathedral books? I am blanking on the names – but they are gripping and very, very long…I really loved The Help, but some people hated it. That author has a new book out now called The Postmistress. Anything by Willa Cather would be good. She is a great storyteller. Rebecca or anything by Daphne Dumaurier would be fun to listen to, but the movies are also great. I wonder if True Grit would be good on audio. Have you read any Haven Kimmel? Her first two books are really funny and weird. “She Got up Off the Couch is the second. I can’t remember the first, but it has a photo of a funny looking baby on the cover. I’ve read too much non-fiction this year and I am not sure it would be good on audio. Then again – maybe a Richard Dawkins would be easier to get through on tape. Not sure…

  • CD:

    And I, the boy.