Saturday, 12 December 2009

Review of the Year: May

Igor Kovalyovs Milch was a sour slice of life though well done. I was though ready for a more romantic portrayal of a young boy's life in Sarah Van den Boom's gorgeously painted That's Nothing. I think it was a sad ending as I thought A Sheep on the Roof, for all its whimsy, ended on a low. Its director Rémy Schaepman is a name to remember. All three films were memorable for their artistic quality. But we said goodbye to one of the masters in May when Giulio Gianini passed away. If you like music, colour and spectacle, Giulio's L'italiana In Algeri, made with the equally great Emanuele Luzzati, is a majestic piece of work, a real feature. Lovesick and Spela Cadez's puppets made me laugh. A love story of a different kind in Mermaid from the great Osamu Tezuka showed him at his best, his design a lesson to us all. I also included, by way of comic contrast, his Broken Down Film that plays tricks with the medium. Nice to see the traditional hand drawn skills rewarded by the colleges, Chester Knebel's Soda Copped having a zest about it plus pace in the narrative. Corin Hardy made puppets out of cigarette boxes and then set them alight in Warrior's Dance. Supinfocom (again) is represented in Yankee Gal that I thought oozed class and menace and Bolides had its chariot racing pensioners; such a pacy movie demonstrating a level of technical prowess that is amazing for such a young team. I read Richard O'Connor's blog most days and in a trawl through his studio's work I singled out Origami, a film he made with colleague Brian O'Connell. They know their stuff. Joaquin Baldwin is newer in the business and showed very early in his career with Placenta that he also knows a thing or two. Jiří Bárta, an animator much emulated, never bettered. His The Design is true to its title both in concept and, due to his supreme skills, execution. Stay in Prague for Lucie Stamfestova's very strange mix of puppetry and drawn animation in Automat with a fairground attraction to be most definitely missed. Finally Sebastien Laban and Virginie Goyons completed only a fragment of their 3D action adventure Running Away but it was enough to impress.

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