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 thoughts on “The Animation Show 2005

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. “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.

  5. 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…

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

    What am I supposed to be explaining?

  7. “–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…

  8. 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.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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. ; )

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

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

    middlesex, no.

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

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