Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Review of 2009: September
In contrast to August, September was a busy month. Géza M. Tóth’s choice of sand for animation Ikarosz was an appropriate technique with which to tell the story of the doomed aviator. Rather beautiful too. Selina Wagner is one of the most versatile of animators in the UK, as shown in her expose of the treatment of seals by fisherman, Bonnie’s Tale. The University of Hertfordshire has a great animation department, Static generating an unsettling atmosphere with typical technical elegance. I have other movies of theirs to post on shortly. Psyops contributed a notable series of ads for UPS Store with their corrugated cardboard take on epic movies. Zoologic was a very high quality thesis film from California Institute of the Arts student, Nicole Mitchell, witty with a sound grasp of the cartoonist’s art. Zoya Kireeva's Foolish Girl used delicate soft colours in its depiction of a girl who was anything but delicate. Frédéric Back is one of the giants of world animation, his classic Tout-Rien ramming home the evils of trapping animals for the fashion industry, yet possessing a rare artistry in that portrayal. Polish director Izabela Plucinska impressed with her puppet drama Jam Session that left me with a warm smile on my face at the conclusion. I trailed Sarah Van Den Boom’s marvellous The Skeleton Woman showed a woman blessed with artistic and emotional skills. Michael Stevenson’s Pigeon Pilfer made me smile at the cute clay birds. Moongirl was a bigger budget movie from Henry Selick giving a romantic explanation for moonlight. Laura Neuvonen has a more finite budget and limited wool. I loved her The Last Knit. Back to budgets and Doug Sweetland’s Presto has Pixar behind it. They know their stuff as did the great studios of old. A lovely subtle mood is established in The Chimney Sweep, Joseph Mann creating a delightful set in which sweep and young boy sit on a roof and help each other. Supinfocom contributed Love Recipe this month - clever, slick excellence. Robert Breer made a late entry to the blog, his Swiss Army Knife with Rats and Pigeons a complex manipulation of images. I made a mistake when presenting four Gobelins movies in two consecutive posts. Lesser movies have received more individual treatment. I was reminded of this when responding to one of the team responsible for Un tour de manège. I watched it again and realised a subtlety and charm I failed to address at the time. This note is offered in apology. I love Russian animation, Rozalia Zelma being one of many directors whose work receives scant individual recognition. Her Female Astrology and Boy and Girl forming part of a six film series. Rozalie directs works of art, totally different in form, united by brilliance. Bulgarian director Ivan Rusev has a wry sense of humour, Grey observing life at a bus stop with grey, rather than rose, spectacles. Jeff Scher memorably said goodbye to the sun in Summer Retreat. Jeff captures moods.