The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning in a presentation hosted by actors Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams. While most things went as expected, there was one nomination that left the audience – a group of publicists and reporters who got up very early – giggling. When Ahmed lined up the nominations for Best Animated Short Film, he had to read a distinctive title: My year of cocks. The short film credit received some applause, followed by a beat where everyone laughed at the high school humor, including the hosts. (It didn’t help much that the next nomination Ahmed had to read was for short call An ostrich told me the world is fake and I think I believe it– this category definitely wins the best title award.) Before Williams went on to present the next category, she quickly and humorously pressed “no comment,” setting the tone for the next round of nominations.
My year of cocks is a short film from the brain of Pamela Ribon (whose writing credits include Vaiana and Ralph breaks the internet), directed by artist and animator Sara Gunnarsdóttir. The short film, based on Ribon’s own 2014 memoir Notes for Guys (and Other Stuff I’m Not Allowed to Share in Public), tells the early 1990s coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old girl who is determined to lose her virginity and so decides to embark on… her year of cocks.
My year of cocks is a great short film, although it doesn’t tell the story of a particularly great year. It’s a beautifully animated, partially rotoscoped viewmaster reel of Animated Pam’s first sexual experiences: confusing, frustrating, charming, consensual and not. (It has a bit of a Dazed and confused feel, in story atmosphere, if not in visual style.) In just 25 minutes, My year of cocks will make you squirm, feel a deep discomfort to extreme awwwwww and back again – a remarkable simulation of a girl’s emotions. The animation oscillates between mundane and psychedelic, filling in the gaps of all the things you couldn’t articulate as a real teen: how it feels to witness your crush at their most crushing, or to realize you’re being forced into real-time , or to fully learn what the word “unanswered” means. The title may be a joke, but the short is brutally honest and deserves all the applause it received – and the giggles, at.