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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Review of 2009: March

Edward Shires and Ian Wharton's Solar provided an interesting perspective on the cosmos on a very homely planet. I could feature Don Hertzfeldt movies till the cows come home, his graduation piece Genre having his trademark humour. Shane Acker has moved on to star director in the making with his (super)star-studded, or voiced, feature movie. The original 9 is pretty special too. Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries are true professionals, their ad for Mercedes, Out of this World typically slick. Aubade from the artistic Pierre Bourrigault was an enigmatic silhouetted work but Veljko Popovic’s She Who Measures was the more surreal. Erik Rosenlund vision is a dark one in Looking Glass contrasting with Johnny Kelly’s The Seed where fresh colours and textures work their considerable charm. And a classic in Christopher Hinton’s Black Fly with a great tune though not such a classic as Disney’s Susie and the Little Blue Coupe that survives the sixty years since leaving the showroom in remarkably good condition and rather better than the teeth in Signe Baumane’s bracing Dentist. Naoki Mitsuse has a distinctive quality as an animator in Flash, his Invisible 1 being the start of an excellent series. The studio Dirty UK introduced me to the Scottish illustrator Ed Harcourt in their music video Visit from the Dead Dog but their vision, dark as it was, was not as grim as that of the Supinfocom students who gave us their take on Mister Sandman. Too dark? Revel in the towering genius of Luigi Berio, Emanuele Luzzati and Stefano Cabrera in their Genova Sinfonia della Città. Summer is here. I simply could not stop myself making screengrabs of a work of supreme historical art. Luzzati was such a master. Our Wonderful Nature will trick and delight you, Tomer Eshed satirising the nature documentary to perfection. Smile did not make me smile and was not intended to whilst Dandelion was a pleasing example of 3D work with a mystical flavour. Rohitash Rao reminded me of a period of human exploratory history cruel to dogs in the memorable Laika. Luzzati and his equally brilliant partner Giulio Gianini are represented by their credits for Brancaleone at the Crusades. If you have not seen it you missed a treat in Der Fuehrer's Face, Jack Kinney’s wonderful propaganda exercise from way back in 1943 that reduces one to tears of laughter even now. Reason and Emotion from the same year but a different director, Bill Roberts, was not as funny but a thoughtful exploration of man’s aggressive instincts. The Cold Rush reveals, if it were needed, just how talented are the students of Supinfocom. The surreal Papillons de Nuit reveals just why Raoul Servais is one of the greats of world animation and Kenny Frankland shows why he is such a hot talent for music videos here in the UK with his Printer Jam. Dirty UK and a music video again for the delicate charmer Butterfly’s Wing. I am a great fan of Soviet animation and Tatiana Mititello’s The Apple Cake demonstrates just why, though don’t expect dull communist conformity in this idiosyncratic package.

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