REVIEW: 19th Annual “Animation Show Of Shows” – Animation Scoop

REVIEW: 19th Annual “Animation Show Of Shows”

On Tuesday, October 10th, I attended the ASIFA-Hollywood screening of Ron Diamond’s 19th annual Animation Show of Shows. The program presented sixteen films this year; fourteen new ones and two “retrospectives”. The sixteen were, as usual, widely varied in subjects and animation techniques, so each viewer will have different favorites. I enjoyed it all.

You Can Do It, directed by Quentin Baillieux (France, 2’54”). A music video directed by French animator Baillieux for young songwriter Charles X, showing a fast-paced stylized blue-hued horse race presented as an urban car race through crowded city streets. Produced in a mixture of 2D and 3D animation at Brunch animation studio in Paris. Shown at several 2017 international animation festivals; winner of 1st prize as Best Music Video at Supertoon International Animation Festival, Šibenik, Croatia, July 23-28, 2017.

Tiny Big, directed by Lia Bertels (Belgium, 5’23’). “A choreographic depiction of human beings possessed by earth, love and money”. Abstract line art of one figure merging into another.

Next Door, directed by Pete Docter (U.S., 3’24”). This was one of the Show’s two “retrospectives; Pixar Animation director Docter’s CalArts 1990 humorous student film about a grumpy man and the exuberant, noisy little girl next door.

The Alan Dimension, directed by Jac Clinch (U.K., 8’47”). Alan Brown, a British homeowner, imagines he has divine powers of precognition and can foresee the fate of mankind in his breakfast. His wife Wendy grows tired of his grandiose pronouncements about cognitive evolution. Alan is forced to see the difference between his visions and reality to save their marriage.

Beautiful Like Elsewhere, directed by Elise Simard (Canada, 4’46”). “Welcome to the end of time and the land of dreams”. Elderly people in a retirement home and their nurse relax, watch television, enjoy a cigarette, and are transported into an abstract dreamland.

The Hangman, directed by Paul Julian and Les Goldman (U.S., 10’55”). This was the other retrospective; a 1964 stylized graphic depiction of Maurice Ogden’s poem, narrated by Herschel Bernardi, about a hangman who sets up a gallows in front of a small-town courthouse and proceeds to hang people one by one, with the townsfolk too indifferent to protest. Presented as an educational film for classroom discussion in the 1960s, The Hangman has been beautifully restored by the Animation Show of Shows with assistance from Asifa-Hollywood. Embed here is an unrestored version.

La Bataille de San Romano, directed by Georges Schwizgebel (Switzerland, 2’26’’). A 15th-century painting by Paolo Uccello of the 1432 battle between medieval Florentine and Sienese armies is brought to life.

Gokurosama, directed by Clémentine Frère, Aurore Gal, Yukiko Meignien, Anna Mertz, Robin Migliorelli, Romain Salvini (France, 6’53”). A student film at École MoPA in Arles. An old shopkeeper in a big Japanese department store is struck by arthritic paralysis. When a young employee tries to take her to a neighboring chiropractor, hilarious mishaps result.

Dear Basketball, directed by Glen Keane (U.S., 5’05”). Famous animation director Keane provides visuals for the inspirational poem that basketball superstar Kobe Bryant wrote and read at his retirement. With music by John Williams.

Island, directed by Max Mörtl & Rober Löbel (Germany, 2’30”). Surrealistically humorous glimpses of life on a strange island/strange life on an island.

Unsatisfying, produced by Parallel Studio (U.S., 1’17”). A compilation of the short annoyances of life. The vending machine that doesn’t deliver – the spoon that sinks to the bottom of the soup – the missed basketball shot – the bread that falls wrongside up – the bent nail – and more.

Min Börda (The Burden), directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr (Sweden, 14’0”). Stop-motion. “In this comically acerbic musical epic, the animal occupants of a generic shopping plaza next to a freeway sing out their existential angst — doomed by the apocalyptic banality of subsistence in the modern age.” — DANIS GOULET.

Les Abeilles Domestiques, directed by Alexanne Desrosiers (Canada, 2’04”). “Do humans pollinate other humans? An experimental film that explores the absurdity of the daily routine.”

The Common Chameleon, directed by Tomer Eshed (Germany, 3’33”). A parody of TV nature videos, in CGI so realistic that it looks like natural photography until the chameleon begins behaving with absurd exaggeration. The audience at this screening laughed throughout it.

Casino, directed by Steven Woloshen (Canada, 3’58”). Drawing on film; color. Dedicated to Woloshen’s father, who enjoyed gambling.

Everything, directed by David OReilly (Ireland, 10’37”). The CGI animation for a video game exploring the interactive experience of all life forms. “As a work, Everything’s primary conceit is that it allows its players to be anything. That lamp post. That tree. That boulder, that speck of dust, that atom, that planet. Across an ever expanding, procedurally generated universe, the player comes to understand their place among a nested web of interconnected things against a backdrop of lectures by British-American Zen philosopher, Alan Watts. The kid next to me continues to traverse the tundra as a lamp post.” — Kat Brewster, on Waypoint.

The complete 19th Animation Show of Shows runs 90+ minutes. For more information, check their website.

Fred Patten

Fred Patten

Fred Patten is an internationally respected comics and animation historian. He has written about anime or comic books for publications ranging from Animation Magazine and Alter Ego to Starlog.
Fred Patten
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