Here are a few more entertaining shorts that I have tracked down or encountered in the process of tracking down these animations:
- The Cathedral — A pilgrim on a distant world visits a cathedral.
- Das Rad — Two rocks on a hill comment on the progress of humanity.
- Creature Comforts — Aardman Entertainment animates interviews with the animals in the zoo.
- Halluci — One of the better M.C. Escher themed animations I have seen in a while.
- Balance — I’ve seen this one years ago but I don’t remember where.
Apparently Creature Comforts has evolved into a general series:
- Creature Comforts USA – Art (quite good)
- Creature Comforts – What it all Means (alright)
- Creature Comforts – Pet Shop (eh)
Das Rad and The Cathedral were both nominated for the 2003 academy awards. Neither of them won but they were quite good. I also tracked down one of the live action shorts from that set that was quite entertaining:
This year I watched three films at the festival. I had hoped to get the chance to see four, but unfortunately it was a busy week. So without further ado, the films:
Crossroads / Jujiro: A restored print of a 1928 silent Japanese film. The sets and costumes were very expressionistic. The thing that most struck me about the film was how much the cultural language of film has progressed. While it is easy at times to question the speed and pacing of modern films, it’s also very interesting to note how much faster a plot concept can be conveyed in modern films. Much of that speed is knowing how quickly the audience will have sufficient plot information in order to proceed.
The Method: A spanish film about 7 executives vying for a particular position in a shared interview. As the movie progresses the candidates eliminate each other in a series of psychological situations. The film almost entirely takes place in the office used for the shared interview, but is set to the backdrop of the IMF / World Bank protests occurring outside of the building in Madrid. In some rather biting social commentary, the applicants break for lunch, and comment that they are unable to see what is happening in the street, that the building they are in is too tall to see the protest.
The last film I saw in the festival was a collection of dark or satirical animated shorts. I tracked down a few of them online. Here they are for your computer viewing pleasure:
I had seen Rabbit before, and I quite enjoyed 458nm, but Le Marche des Sans-Nom really impressed me.
Related video’s on Youtube for Le Marche des Sans-Nom also gave this interesting little piece of animation: The end. I’m also really looking forward to Killer Bean Forever to come out. For those of you haven’t seen the original Killer Bean 2, I highly recommend it. It features John Woo style shootouts between a collection of computer generated beans. Killer Bean 2 came out sometime in 1999, and landed the animator a job doing CG for Matrix Revolutions. He then quit and has since been working on his first feature film, Killer Bean Forever.
Last week the film festival was in town. Only made it out to two films, but they were both quite excellent. Got a chance to see “Brick” and “A Wonderful Night in Split.”
“Brick” is perhaps best described as a noir film set in highschool. It was very odd, but quite good. The film work was a little bit rough here and there, but it did not detract from the movie. The script was excellent, the dialog was perhaps the part that tried to play to the noir style the most. In order to keep that style they sacrificed much of the potential realism of the high school setting, but successfully made nods to it here and there as a method of drawing out a laugh or a different perspective. The lack of realism did not detract from the film as it was clear from the beginning that some willing suspension of disbelief was expected. This gave the script free reign to mix and match serious and absurd in an entertaining manner. Femme fatales, crippled criminal masterminds, and a protaganist with an instinct for getting beaten up, yet continuing onward at all costs, the movie had it all.
“A Wonderful Night in Split” is a black and white film from croatia about three drug related tragedies that all cross each others paths on a new years eve in the croation city of Split. While aspects of the film are disturbing and depressing the film keeps itself level by keeping the underlying tone of the film a black comedy. The film work is excellent, black and white fireworks never looked so pretty. Good overlap, just enough to remind the viewer that each short was happening at the same time, but no more then that. A few of the actors over played a touch, but most of the characters seemed right on the ball for what the script intended them to be. Definitely a worthwhile film to see.