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