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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

BAF07: Official Selection Music Videos/Independent Films

Today's 14th Bradford Animation Festival has five music videos in contention for the Official Selection Music Videos/Independent Films. For what it's worth, here is my assessment of the five:
Neige
Something of Marc Craste appears in 32 year old Parisien Stephane Berla's tribute to Dionysos, certainly in the animated section. It features the spectacular escape of a puppet from a rather unusual prison inside a snow globe, and also a cemetary. This is interspersed with a lonely pop star dreaming of returning home to his family. I thought the music a delight and I want to know more about the singer. Job done, I think, for Stephane.

Karen Penman & Liam Brazier's animation for Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip is described in the festival programme as controversial and I suppose the lyrics rather than the visuals are. Personally I liked the music very much with its diatribe (or maybe manifesto) for contemporary commandments. There are far more than a mere 10 commandments delivered in very much tongue in cheek fashion, a mixture of genuinely relevant imperatives and the extravagant. Karen and Liam create a graffitti wall full of the detritus of today's society. It's very urban.
Australian Brendan Cook directed this jaunty romp across a planet with a rather long-legged assembly of beings following the singer, equally etiolated but with a human face, across, down and round the planet. The music is never less than pleasant and the video professionally put together. It's all very cheerful and uplifting.
Assaf Benharroch and Idan Vardi's beautiful animation of Efrat Ben Zur's ballad Every Day is full of enigmatic shots of a young girl fleeing from a broken heart. I do not know the singer but I love the song. This is a dreamy, haunting piece of work made up of soft pastel shades.


Jonas Odell is a very successful commercial animator of music videos and his promotional movie for The Hours" is typically exuberant and highly skilled. Set on a stage, Jonas has all sorts of swish movements of scenery and props, alongside skulls, skeletons and boxing gloves and other eccentricities. Use of theatrical black, white and grey cut-outs and stage devices add to a clever and exciting piece of work. I'm reminded of the Sergeant Pepper animations.

And my winner? I shouldn't ask myself this. James Odell will probably win for sheer fizzing technical skill but I have a secret fancy for the one from Israel.

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