Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trevor Jimenez Mines Canadian Childhood with Oscar-Nominated 'Weekends'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trevor Jimenez Mines Canadian Childhood with Oscar-Nominated 'Weekends'

Article excerpt

Canuck childhood seen in Oscar hopeful 'Weekends'


TORONTO - Growing up as an only child with divorced parents, Trevor Jimenez spent weekdays with his mom in Hamilton and weekends with his dad in Toronto.

His mom was in a few car accidents during Jimenez's childhood and his memories of that time are often laced with visuals of her with a neck brace on.

His dad, meanwhile, lived in a condominium near Toronto's Chinatown neighbourhood and Jimenez remembers seeing the bright lights of the city zip by as they drove along the Gardiner Expressway to get there.

Such elements are woven into Jimenez's touching short animated film, "Weekends," which is up for an Oscar on Sunday in a category that also includes Vancouver-based couple David Fine and Alison Snowden for "Animal Behaviour," and Toronto-raised Domee Shi for "Bao."

"There's a lot I've taken from my childhood and my own experiences and put into the film," Jimenez said in a phone interview. "So it's loaded with that kind of sentiment for me."

Jimenez wrote and directed the 15-minute, 2D story, which follows a little boy who splits time between his mom's house and his dad's Toronto apartment in the 1980s.

The film is free of dialogue, instead telling the story with music, ambient sound, dream-like moments and roughly styled classical animation.

His mother's place is quiet, littered with moving boxes and sparse on furniture at the start of the film, indicating the breakup is fresh and raw. She wears a neck brace and seems to be struggling emotionally. Later, a new man enters her life and the relationship is a volatile one.

The neck brace was intended to indicate the car accidents his mother went through, but also "to visually show a fragility in her, to make you care, which is how I felt when I was a kid," Jimenez, who works in the story department at Pixar, said from Berkeley, Calif. …

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