Oscar-nominated shorts: 'Lavatory Love Story'

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Beginning Friday, the Santikos Bijou will begin screening the Oscar-nominated short films â?? both animated and live action. Tickets are $9 at night, and the live-action and animated categories are screened separately. For the rest of the week, we'll be profiling the nominees, beginning with "Auf der Strecke (On the Line)."

Today, we're looking at the animated Russian film "Lavatory Lovestory." The simple animation style is reminiscent of Sharpie-drawn New Yorker comics, but the theme is decidedly blue collar. This 10-minute dialogue-less film focuses on a female men's room attendant who sighs her way through the work day pretends to be an ice skater while she's scrubbing the bathroom floor. When an unseen customer(?) leaves flowers in her tip jar, the attendant is at first flattered and excited. After more drudgery, however, she grows angry that she can't discover her admirer. "Cute" is about the highest compliment I can pay Lavatory, and if the other animated shorts are comparable, 2009 must have been a slow year for animated shorts. I'd be shocked if there weren't more interesting films than this on My Toons.

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