Friday, 28 December 2007

Top Ten Animated Shorts of 2007

I'm not saying the decision on the Top Ten Animated Shorts posted on the blog this year has been easy. I was quite convinced Dik Jarman's "Dad's Clock", Aidan Gibbons' "The Piano" and Till Nowak's "Delivery" were featured on the blog. In fact I had written about them briefly on my school site and featured lengthy interviews with the three directors here. All three would certainly have been in my top ten! Back to the present - it's a nautical theme today for 7th and 8th places.
Number 8
I don't often get annoyed by bad news because I'd be permanently depressed but when Japan almost sent its whaling fleet up against the Humpback Whale I was rendered almost apoplectic with rage. So into the top ten goes Man and Whale by Koji Yamamura. He simply had to get in with either this or his Mt Head, also featured on the blog. This is a campaigning animation without peer, all the more pungent in that it is a Japanese director arguing so persuasively against his own nation's whaling fleet. It's not all sloganising however. Koji is one of the world's premier directors and this is perfectly composed with some powerful moments such as the first appearance of a whale looming at the young boy; the excitement the old man feels when he sees the endangered animal is infectious. (See Blog)
Number 7
From Darkness is one of those films that sends a shiver up and down the spine. It is, I suppose, a ghost story and love story combined. Nora Twomey's supernatural tale of an Inuit fisherman meeting with a long dead maiden in icy waters is one movie you won't read about much on the net and CBC Television's Zed is the only outlet I have found. Nora directed the movie in 2003 and, honestly, I've seen far less worthy winners of festivals greeted with far greater fanfares. Too many F's but a worthy entry into the top ten. Be prepared for a range of emotions from the ghostly first appearance of the body, the shock as the fisherman can't seem to escape the girl, and the touching relationship that develops as the movie draws to a conclusion. (See Blog) Numbers 5 & 6 tomorrow!

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