The Animation Show Of Shows
2017, Various filmmakers and nations, 106 min.
- Fri, May 26th 8:00pm
- Sat, May 27th 5:15pm
Now in its 18th year, this is the ace of animation compilation shows, prized by industry professionals, students, and fans. It is curated by animation expert and producer Ron Diamond, who has scouted 39 eventual Oscar nominees and 15 winners among the many prize-winners culled from around the globe. This year’s crop of 16 films from 11 nations includes Patrick Osborne's Oscar-nominated road-of-life movie PEARL; Chris Ware's visualization of an Ira Glass story, MIRROR; Alan Barillaro's Oscar-winning Pixar production, PIPER; Kristian Pedersen's moody, near-abstract riff on Norse mythology, BØYGEN; Dina Velikovskaya's African-themed fable, ABOUT A MOTHER; Marc Héricher's fusion of anatomy and gadgetry, CORPUS; Simon Cartwright's Guys Gone Wild horror show, MANOMAN; and Chloé Alliez's wry twist on misogynist clichés, ALL THEIR SHADES. DCP digital. (MR)
Note: The final four films in the program contain adult content.
2015, Ainslie Hendersen, United Kingdom, 2 min.
“What I love about stop-motion puppets,” says director Ainslie Henderson, “is that they have this inherent sadness about them. They’re like little actors that only ever get to play one role.” And yet – as this brilliant, sad, funny, self-reflective film shows – they make the most of their tiny lives.
2015, Cecilia Pugliesi & Yijun Liu, USA, 6 min.
Once upon a time, in a fantastical village on the edge of a forest, a proper Victorian lady encounters a wild, free-spirited doppelgänger. Shocked and amazed, she befriends the naked stranger and takes her under her wing. But her well-intentioned efforts to civilize the carefree spirit have some unexpected results in this beautifully designed 3D fable.
2016, Patrick Osborne, USA, 6 min
Patrick Osborne's Oscar-nominated road-of-life movie, a poignant and tuneful reflection on the relationship between a musician father and his daughter over the course of many years. From a carefree life together on the road to the strains and compromises brought about by adolescence and a more settled existence, PEARL evocatively shows the transcendent power of love and music – and that ultimately there really is “no wrong way home."
2015, Iris Alexandre, Belgium, 4 min.
As the history of animation makes abundantly clear, there are few things as enjoyable as watching silly-looking animals visiting indignities on each other. In this case, a nefarious rabbit and raccoon make off with the tail of a self-regarding horse—while the fiddler in the film uses an appropriated horsehair (“crin” in French) for her own purposes. As wacky mayhem ensues, the four musicians keep the fun going with their virtuoso performance. And, as the cartoon universe has also taught us, crime often pays.
2015, Chris Ware, John Kuramoto, Ira Glass, USA, 4 min.
The fraught territory of mother-daughter relations and the ever-present threat of committing a “parenting error” are the subjects of this funny and insightful short from The New Yorker and “This American Life.” Based on an interview conducted by longtime TAL host Ira Glass and visualized by Chris Ware and animator John Kuramoto, MIRROR explores how a parent’s uncensored casual comment might or might not destroy her adolescent daughter for life.
Last Summer In The Garden
2016, bekky O’Neil, Canada, 4 min.
This poetic and philosophical rumination on nature, seasons, cycles, and the unavoidable speed bumps in the road of life uses a first-person narrative and a wash of impressionistic colors in its evocation of gardens, both real and metaphorical. From dead cats and howling coyotes to the miracle of growth and healing, LAST SUMMER IN THE GARDEN recounts one woman’s journey through a joyful, fearful time of death and rebirth.
Waiting For New Year
2016, Vladimir Leschiov, Latvia, 8 min.
This deeply affecting meditation on time, change and the human condition looks at the world through the eyes of a solitary middle-aged woman whose simple tasks – shoveling snow, raking leaves – reflect the changing seasons. We see glimpses of neighbors, a throng of tourists, and a passing tram… all reminders of a world to which she both belongs and yet is separate from. Yet, as she goes uncomplainingly about her work, other forces are at work, which culminate in a beautiful Christmas surprise and a reminder that one never knows what the future holds.
2016, Alan Barillaro, USA, 6 min.
Alan Barillaro's Oscar-winning Pixar production PIPER began as a test in an effort to develop animation tools that would provide greater flexibility for artists. As the test evolved, he realized there was a story to be told. Inspired by birds he saw while jogging near Pixar, he infused the story of a sandpiper with the emotions he felt as a parent nervously watching my children growing up.
2016, Kristian Pedersen, Norway, 5 min.
An abstract interpretation of the battle between Peer Gynt and the Boyg (a serpent-like troll) in Norse mythology, this compelling study in form, pattern and rhythm immerses the viewer in an alien world that is at once both foreign and familiar. There are things we recognize, or think we recognize, as the abstract shapes constantly shift and reform, yet they remain elusive. Mesmerizing and highly suggestive, this masterful experimental work challenges us to meet it on its own terms.
2015, Seoro Oh, South Korea, 3 min.
Have you ever had the experience of being in a classroom and, despite your best efforts, simply being unable to keep your eyes from closing? Of struggling to stay awake and trying mightily to avoid the indignity of having your head collapse onto your desk? Of watching your classmates drop off one by one, and yet doing everything in your power to keep from joining them in blissful slumber? No? Well, it looks a little like this.
About A Mother
2015, Dina Velikovskaya, Russia, 8 min.
In this touching African-themed fable, an ever-resourceful mother attends to her children’s needs, even after they are grown and on their own. Using minimalist black-and-white drawings and iconic images, director Dina Velikovskaya pays tribute to a mother's love, which proves more than a match for life’s many tribulations, large and small.
2016, Joshua Gunn, Trevor Piecham, & John McGowan, USA.
Either highly whimsical or potentially alarming, depending on your point of view, this very funny “explainer video” for the next big thing in animation hits all the key points that give animators nightmares. After all, with machine learning, the cloud, and algorithms (that’s right, algorithms), how can you go wrong?
2016, Leo Matsuda, USA, 7 min.
This lighthearted cautionary tale, set in the wilds of an archetypal beachside community, offers a timely reminder that life might be meant for more than just deadening routine and missed opportunities. Visualizing the interplay between a man’s overly prudent and fearful brain and his naturally playful heart and spirit, “Inner Workings” celebrates the potential for joy in all of us and encourages us to keep dancing.
2015, Marc Héricher, France, 4 min.
Combining Rube Goldberg, human anatomy and a healthy sense of the macabre, this highly accomplished short presents a series of bizarre tableaux that together constitute a single convoluted chain reaction. In other words: balls roll, traps spring, fuses burn, pendulums swing… and key bodily organs do their part as well. Exploring the ambiguous connections between body and machine, the animate and the inanimate, CORPUS also suggests what it might have looked like if Dr. Frankenstein had been an even madder scientist.
2016, Daniela Sherer, Israel.
In this impressionistic semi-abstract film, the filmmaker explores the pain and pleasure of love, weaving together suggestive, yet mysterious, images that allow for a wide range of interpretations. Accompanied by a lush orchestral composition by Emmy-nominated composer Duncan Thum, BLUE immerses the viewer in a highly personal world of fleeting thought and deep emotion.
2015, Simon Cartwright, United Kingdom, 11 min.
Not for the faint of heart, this darkly comic Guys Gone Wild horror show uses highly expressive rod puppets to graphically explore the excesses of unrestrained masculinity. Beginning at a “Primal Scream” therapy session and ending on the roof of a skyscraper, MANOMAN chronicles the brief and rapid descent of its mild-mannered protagonist into the depths of violence and depravity (in a bad way), and suggests that getting fully in touch with one’s basic instincts may not be entirely healthy for the individual or society.
All Their Shades
2015, Chloé Alliez, Belgium, 6 min.
The mysterious ways of women, and all of the many characteristics that make them so lovable, are catalogued at length in this heartfelt and gently satirical paean to the wonders of the female gender. Using a small army of whimsical models and props, and a tongue-in-cheek voiceover narration, director Chloé Alliez’s wry stop-motion short is both quintessentially French and, ultimately, delightfully surprising.