Thursday, October 16, 2008

Animation Show of Shows

So Ron Diamond his touring animation show to SCAD this year, and it was pretty amazing. Some of the shorts this year included Presto, Pixar's new short which expectedly got the most favorable reaction, probably because every person there had already seen it at least once. Glago's Guest, from director Chris Williams (who is responsible for Disney's upcoming "Bolt") was a fine example of what is going on in mainstream animation today. I was kind of surprised to see this and Presto there, however, because of Diamond's personal mission to spread independent animation to those that may not be able to see it otherwise. And in his own words, he didn't put this show together to pander to those that may not know or like animation- it's for those in animation who want to see what's new.

There were some gems, and some that I felt were a little flat. The show opened with Keith Reynolds Can't Make it Tonight. This was an uproariously funny narration to stick figures. This was followed with La Maison en Petits Cubes, a story about one old man trying to survive and remember in a completely flooded world. One entitled Kudan featured a blockheaded father in some bizarre world trying to save his son (there's much more, but it would literally be impossible to explain this one without seeing it). It was honestly a bit too weird even for me. There were three rather funny shorts- Hot Seat, a story about bunnies in an office trying not to get stuck with a broken chair (it was basically Dilbert with bunnies), A Mouse Tale, a run-in between a mouse and a lion with an unexpected ending, and KJFG #5, the short that ended the show. This was the simplest, but one of the funniest shorts about a trio of forest critters in a band.

The most interesting came with Franz Kafka's Country Doctor, created by Koji Yamamura. This was a bizarre and rather confusing story, with some outrageous animation. I loved Yamamura's Mt. Head, and I think I could really like this one too, I just need to see it again- and not when I'm really tired and have a terrible headache. During the credits there was considerable chatter about this one, indicating some liked it and some hated it. I haven't made up my mind yet.

By far my favorite was Skheizein. This short was about a man who is hit with a meteorite and is transplanted 91 centimeters from himself. It's ambiguous as to whether it's just his perspective that's changed, or whether other people see him detached from himself as well. I thought it was just about his perspective being off. This was fascinating, both funny and tragic.

On a whole it was a rather enjoyable show. I kinda wish I was feeling better during it. Oh well, I hope to see some of these again.

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