The Animation Show 2005

Fri­day I went to see The Ani­ma­tion Show at the Cleve­land Cin­e­math­eque. It was real­ly good. Here is what is play­ing in 2005.

Mini-reviews with­in.

Bun­nies — Jakob Schuh, Sasch­ka Unseld
This short short hops to it and wel­comes us to the Ani­ma­tion Show.

Guard Dog — Bill Plymp­ton
You can see a clip of the film and oth­ers here.
This brief ‘toon is about a man’s best friend who is a bit too con­cerned with pro­tect­ing his mas­ter. It has the typ­i­cal Plymp­ton twist at the end of the film and quite a few bark­ing laughs.

Fall­en Art — Tomek Bagin­s­ki
Trail­er and stills here.
I was real­ly look­ing for­ward to see­ing this Pol­ish ani­ma­tion, ever since I saw the pre­view for it a year ago. It didn’t dis­ap­point and had the char­ac­ter­is­tic gal­lows humor that I’ve come to expect from Poles.

Rock­fish — Blur Stu­dio
Watch the whole thing here. [embed­ded hirez .mov]
This is a sci­ence fic­tion ver­sion of ice fish­ing. A tall tale come true of a man and his pet on a fish­ing trip. Old sto­ry rewrit­ten with a new hook.

The F.E.D.S. — Jen Drum­mond
Stills here.
This short is done just like Wak­ing Life and since Jen Drum­mond worked as an ani­ma­tor on that film I guess I’m not sur­prised. It was too much like Wak­ing Life for my taste, and is about those peo­ple who hand out sam­ples at the gro­cery.

Ward 13 — Peter Corn­well
Trail­er here.
This clay­mat­ed short was extreme­ly well done. There is a cane-fight as good as you would expect from a live-action movie, a Cthul­hu-like mon­ster and a cou­ple per­fect instances where the viewer’s expec­ta­tions were dead wrong. It had me in stitch­es.

L’homme sans ombre — Georges Schwiz­gebel
The Nation­al Film Board of Cana­da does not spon­sor crap. The Man With­out a Shad­ow is Faus­t­ian in much the same way as Beat the Dev­il. Except, instead of Amer­i­can riproar­ing it con­tains a melan­choly that even­tu­al­ly leads to wis­dom. I can’t think of a pun to put in this review.

Hel­lo — Jonathan Nix
Clip here.
This is a charm­ing love sto­ry involv­ing an ana­log guy and a dig­i­tal girl. It even has an old Vic­tro­la men­tor. Anoth­er new spin on the same old tune, but worth a watch for all you audio­philes.

When the Day Breaks — Aman­da For­bis, Wendy Til­by
Clip here. [.ram]
I knew this was ani­mat­ed by a woman [or in this case, women] from the first frame. It has a pow­er­ful mes­sage that is deliv­ered quite del­i­cate­ly and the tech­nique they used in ani­mat­ing this short was beau­ti­ful and worth the effort. The ani­mals look like peo­ple and when they get lemons they make lemon­ade.

Pan With Us — David Rus­so
While this film wasn’t the most inter­est­ing in con­tent, I think it was the best in form of the whole fes­ti­val. It is stop-motion ani­mat­ed using humans in-frame as the sup­port for the ani­mat­ed pieces. Robert Frost’s poem is read as accom­pa­ni­ment. It does almost inspire pan­ic and def­i­nite­ly evokes a sense of wilder­ness. No pun here.

The Mean­ing of Life — Don Hertzfeldt
In-depth stuff here.
Tech­ni­cal­ly amaz­ing, this fell through a lit­tle bit on the con­tent scale. Hertzfeldt seems to do a lot bet­ter with his dark humor, and while I expect­ed this to be a more seri­ous work [hav­ing fol­lowed its pro­duc­tion for a few years] I’m not sure most of the oth­er peo­ple there were as enlight­ened. The com­plex­i­ty of ani­mat­ing the crowd scene and the exper­i­men­tal cam­er­a­work was worth the effort, quite ground­break­ing.

Fire­works — PES
Watch it here. [embed­ded .mov]
This short short is just deli­cious.

30 Replies

  • It had a very fem­i­nine feel to it. I under­stood it on a vis­cer­al lev­el, not a cog­ni­tive one. Hence, inef­fa­ble.

  • I think I would prob­a­bly be less argu­men­ta­tive about this if you had just said, “It had a fem­i­nine qual­i­ty to it” rather than “It was obvi­ous­ly made by a chick” b/c there’s kin­da a big dif­fer­ence between those two ideas.

  • To say that “it was obvi­ous that a chick made it” is to assume that all females do art a spe­cif­ic sort of way.

    To say that “it was fem­i­nine in its sen­si­bil­i­ties” does not restrain it to being cre­at­ed by a male or female. It just states that it has qual­i­ties that are of a fem­i­nine nature but could have been cre­at­ed by a male or a female who has said fem­i­nine artis­tic sen­si­bil­i­ties.

  • i bet you would be “inef­fa­bly” fooled by much art as to whether it is cre­at­ed by a M or F. Your reac­tion to the ani­ma­tion could be due to what i pre­sume is a dearth of F ani­ma­tors out there, so it would be more log­ic mas­querad­ing as intu­ition.

  • it was obvi­ous that a chick made it” is to assume that all females do art a spe­cif­ic sort of way.

    Well, I didn’t phrase it quite so com­bat­ive­ly. I knew this was ani­mat­ed by a woman [or in this case, women] from the first frame. is what I actu­al­ly said. I see noth­ing wrong in assum­ing that all females do art in a spe­cif­ic sort of way. It is entire­ly pos­si­ble that dif­fer­ent brain chem­istry and brain use between the sex­es pro­vides a sub­tle but dis­cernible dif­fer­ence in the way each sex cre­ates things.

    To say that “it was fem­i­nine in its sen­si­bil­i­ties” does not restrain it to being cre­at­ed by a male or female. It just states that it has qual­i­ties that are of a fem­i­nine nature but could have been cre­at­ed by a male or a female who has said fem­i­nine artis­tic sen­si­bil­i­ties.

    I’m going to retract my first attempt at expli­ca­tion. It didn’t have a fem­i­nine feel, it had a female feel. You should know by now that I reject cat­e­go­riz­ing things as fem­i­nine or mas­cu­line because those terms can mean any­thing nowa­days. How­ev­er, I do think that there are inher­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics of each sex that the oth­er sex can­not suc­cess­ful­ly imi­tate. And I think that is what I picked up on. If that makes me a igno­rant fool, so be it.

    Per­haps these char­ac­ter­is­tics aren’t phys­i­o­log­i­cal. Per­haps they are just seem that way due to upbring­ing, but until we’ve got males being raised as girls and vice ver­sa and every step in between or out­side, no one is going to have a good enough answer.

  • It’s real­ly bizarro to me that you are will­ing to state THIS–“You should know by now that I reject cat­e­go­riz­ing things as fem­i­nine or mas­cu­line because those terms can mean any­thing nowadays”–and yet that same way of look­ing at things doesn’t spill over to the female/male polar­i­ties for you at all for some rea­son…

  • Heh heh. You’re such a [edit­ed for con­tent, AH], Mr. Pars­ing.

    What am I sup­posed to be explain­ing?

  • –and yet that same way of look­ing at things doesn’t spill over to the female/male polar­i­ties for you at all for some rea­son…

  • I just think it’s curi­ous that you are will­ing to accept that the idea of “fem­i­nine” and “mas­cu­line” is kin­da gray (or not able to be pinned down to a sin­gu­lar def­i­n­i­tion) and yet you do not think the same of “male” and “female.”

  • That is because I feel that there are things that are black and white and there aren’t real­ly any good words to use to describe those things. Inef­fa­ble again. Male and Female are less grey than Mas­cu­line and Fem­i­nine.

  • But doesn’t inef­fa­bil­i­ty equal gray­ness to some degree. And if the rea­sons you could tell that short was made by a female are “inef­fa­ble”, then aren’t you kin­da con­tra­dict­ing your­self? I guess I am just try­ing to get you to actu­al­ly defend what it was about the short that made it clear to you it was made by a woman. Because this damn “inef­fa­ble” thing just seems like lazi­ness. Turd. ; )

  • In an empir­i­cal sense, inef­fa­bil­i­ty = grey­ness but I have no empir­i­cal evi­dence for a feel­ing, and I’m not an empiri­cist. Peppermint’s com­ment comes into play here. Per­haps it was eas­i­er for me to iden­ti­fy that par­tic­u­lar short as being done by a woman because most oth­ers were done by men… I dun­no.

  • i’m with lau­ren.

    some things are black and white. yes, like bio­log­i­cal males have a penis, females have a vagi­na.

    But what you view as essen­tial­ly “female” is sub­jec­tive and so it is gray again. I think you picked up on fem­i­nine attrib­ut­es. It’s only inef­fa­ble b/c we are so social­ized to rec­og­nize sex/gender.

  • We will just have to remain in ami­able dis­agree­ment then.

    Either of you read Mid­dle­sex by Jef­frey Eugenides?

  • lau­ren, tsk tsk, that’s not a very female thing to do!
    (besides you should use some­thing larg­er to beat him with)

  • now, lau­ren, be a nur­tur­ing female and dry his eyes because the BURN must hurt!

    mid­dle­sex, no.

  • Nope. I haven’t either. Will I reach enlight­en­ment about the need for stereo­types if I do read it?

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