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Friday, 11 December 2009

Review of 2009: April

Parallelostory was a strikingly designed exploration of a parallel universe from Oregon’s Kelly Meador and Daniel Elwing, whilst Jeff Scher's Welcome Back ushered in Spring with all its freshness and promise. A change of season as Autumn Story used chalk on three blackboards. Philip Hunt’s Lost and Found trailer was so good I bought the DVD for the kids and was not disappointed. Ivan Rusev is a man I know not of but his Yellow was an exercise in surrealist avant-garde that was amusing if a tad indecipherable. The customary movie from Superinfocom was Edna, a black and white treatment of Charlie Chaplin; a different period drama entirely in Sally Cruikshank's Face Like a Frog, and a hippy universe. Tex Avery is an animation god, his One Cab’s Family fantastic. Those sniffy about these old (1952) cartoons should get a life. Vanessa Soberanis introduces gore to the mix in her puppet animation Siberian Farmland and whilst Mikhail Maximov's Chevengur was genuinely bleak the former had a dash of humour. Less gore but a harder edged theme in Grigoris Leontiades’ Grrr exploring a non-relationship with Dad. Grigoris works for UK studio Trunk Animation who also contributed Layla Atkinson and her pets in the wry Whistler. Stephen and Timothy Quay explore many dark things, their warning of the dangers of Aids powerful with the brothers' trademark dolls. Eden was a stereoscopic and futuristic city that got me rambling about James Blish. Ah L’Amour as they say in France or rather not as this is by 18 year old Don Hertzfeldt. True love. Hello Antenna used cutouts well and I liked the tune. Two cowboy films from the US and Russia in A Cowboy Needs a Horse and Cowboy in the City, the former winning the gunfight I felt. Stars from Irish director Eoghan Kidney was a singularly touching account of terminal illness. Olivier Martin created an exquisite floral book in Dans l'herbe and I heard only yesterday from Karen Penman who, with Liam Brazier, always produces innovative work, in this case Weather Beaten making a plea for the planet. Bubblicious takes Rex the dog on a walk, Rex being a combination of paper constructions with disco bite. Ivan Maximov is truly distinctive, his The Additional Capabilities Of The Snout typical of the strange worlds the Russian animator manufactures. L'Orchidées has a girl departing her world and crooning partner, a pleasant exercise in stop motion and puppetry. Chambre 217 was a promising 2D piece from Canadian newcomer Vincent Desbiens but I commenced the month with the masterly Yuri Norstein classic The Fox and the Hare and the warm voice of Viktor Khokhryakov. Charm personified, Yuri’s reputation is not founded on thin air.

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