The Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd.) is again showing the short films nominated for this year's Academy Awards. Divided into two programs - one featuring live-action shorts and the other animated shorts - the films represent a cross-section of international shorts of varying lengths. The subject matter also runs the gamut. Highlights from the live-action program include Toyland, a 14-minute German film about a boy who mistakenly wants to accompany his Jewish playmate to a concentration camp, and The Pig, a 22-minute short from Denmark about a man who's anxious about surgery but finds comfort in a whimsical painting of a pig hanging on the wall of his hospital room. This Way Up, a British film about a pair of undertakers who have to carry a casket to the cemetery after a boulder crushes their hearse, and Presto, a five-minute short from the U.S. about a magician and his uncontrollable rabbit, are among the animated shorts. The films are showing now; anyone who buys a full-price admission to one program can purchase a ticket to the second for $5.
The folks behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 have put their oddball commentary skills to use in a new DVD, Cinematic Titanic, which includes clips from long-forgotten pieces of celluloid trash. The MST3K cast will do live commentary to accompany the screenings of two such pieces of trash at the Hanna Theatre (2067 E. 14th St.) at 8 p.m. Friday, February 27 (Blood of Vampires), and Saturday, February 28 (The Dynamite Brothers). Tickets: $37.50.
The Eating Disorder Advocates of Ohio presents a screening of America the Beautiful, the acclaimed documentary about America's obsession with beauty. It shows at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, February 28, at the University of Akron's Student Union Gardner Theatre (303 E. Carroll St.). The screening coincides with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 22-28), and the film's producer Darryl Roberts will attend the screening. Call 216.254.6460 for information.
At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 26, at the Akron Civic Theatre (182 S. Main St.), the Cleveland International Film Festival offers a preview of this year's March 19-29 festival. The free event will feature snacks courtesy of Whole Foods and a cash bar, in addition to clips from some of the standout films coming to the festival. For information, go to clevelandfilm.org.