Saturday, January 14, 2012

Best of Annecy 2011

This compilation of animated shorts from the Annecy International Animation Film Festival got sold out last year, but fortunately the SF Film Society brought it back this weekend, & I was finally able to see it on Friday. The selection showcases a variety of techniques, though there is a lack of memorable stories. The program repeats on Sunday at New People Cinema.

The Eagleman Stag (Mikey Please, England, 9 min)
Intricate stopmotion animation of a fragile world painstakingly constructed of white paper. The visuals illustrate the bitter, existential musings of a world-weary entomologist.

Plato (Léonard Cohen, France, 8 min)
A wordless film combining stopmotion & drawing. A 2-dimensional figure pops in and out of the 3-dimensional world.

How to Feed the World? (Denis Van Waerebeke, Poland, 10 min)
An animated infographic explaining world hunger & food dependency in the schematic style of an airplane safety card. Problems arise because humans can't photosynethesize and there is a market for food. 

The Lost Town of Switez (Kamil Polak, Poland, 21 min)
A hallucinatory mashup of computer animation, painting & the imagery of Eastern Orthodox icons. The mix of visual styles is spooky & disconcerting.

Sidewalk Scribble (Peter Lowey, Australia, 3 min)
Wittily animated street sketches, set dancing to a Hungarian Rhapsody by Lizst. I enjoyed its improvisational feel & the observational quality of the drawings. It's the one film I immediately wanted to watch again. 

Paths of Hate (Damian Nenow, Poland, 10 min)
A computer-animated battle between to nihilistic 2 fighter pilots, in the style of old war comics. The film takes its violence very seriously & is both slick & very gory.

A Morning Stroll (Grant Orchard, England, 7 min)
In the sick humor category, this film tells the same anecdote about a chicken 3 times. Each retelling is in a different style & becomes grosser & grosser. It's satirical silliness made everyone in the audience laugh.

Chroniques de la poisse / Sticky Ends (Osman Cerfon, France, 7 min)
More sick humor, expressed with flat, crude drawings & a cruel but deadpan sense of humor. Grotesque, violent deaths come to innocent people who cross paths with a dejected fish.

Luminaris (Juan Pablo Zaramella, Argentina, 6 min)
Zany story set to a tango that uses pixilation to animate live actors in a fanciful lightbulb factory. Most impressive are the outdoor shots in which actors glide down the streets along with the sun's pixilated shadow.

§ The Best of Annecy 2011
Friday, January 13 & Sunday, January 15
SF Film Society Cinema

§ Picture credit: Sticky Ends, Osman Cerfon

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