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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' February 24-26

Daphne Matziaraki

This weekend is your last chance to see this year's Academy Award-nominated movies before the prizes are given out on Sunday evening, and Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics recommend you start with the shorts. In case your Oscar-fatigue is already setting in, there's a zombie flick for the thinking man mixed into the bunch, and an animated film (that's not for just kids) from a celebrated Japanese company, Studio Ghibli.

Cynthia Haines

2017 Oscar-nominated shorts: Animated

  • If you're a fan of the shorts that play before a Pixar movie, you'll enjoy these five films. From hilarious to heart-warming, and even a tad bit somber, these movies are brief but effective at delivering a message.

2017 Oscar-nominated shorts: Live action

  • All five of these films are foreign, and bring their own culture's flare. Sing shows insight into the life of a schoolgirl in Hungary who must deal with an overly demanding choir instructor, and Silent Nights illustrates a Ghanaian immigrant's struggle to make a new life in Denmark.

2017 Oscar-nominated documentaries: Short subject

Steve Walker

The Girl with All the Gifts, R

  • The thinking person's zombie movie: Colm McCarthy directs Glenn Close as a doctor racing against the clock to create a vaccine for the flesh-eating "hungries" that have made London a dystopian hell on earth.

I am Not Your Negro, PG-13

  • A whip-smart documentary portrait of writer James Baldwin that combines archival footage of speeches and talk show appearances with passages from his unfinished book about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers.

2017 Oscar-nominated shorts: Live action

Bob Butler

2017 Oscar-nominated documentaries: Short subject

The Red Turtle, PG

  • Fans of Studio Ghibli will recognize this film's beautiful animation. With minimal dialogue, the movie relies entirely on stunning visuals, an impressive feat that can be appreciated by kids and adults alike.

The Girl with All the Gifts, R

  • A fresh spin on the post-apocalyptic zombie horror flicks we've all come to know, and some have come to love. The movie expertly balances jump-scares with the ethical concerns combating a worldwide epidemic brings to life.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.