Continuing my favourite films featured here in 2009 .....
Jake Armstrong: The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! is a student film made in Flash which will not please everyone, I realise. But here Flash is used so well, as if a comic book were being animated. The science fiction story, liberally laced with humour (and a kind of pathos) is well scripted, the action meticulously staged, full of interesting angles and perspectives. The narrative is enthralling. One has to see if this terrible alien is as terrible as reports make out. It is terribly funny.
Rodrigo Blaas: Alma delighted from the first with the young boy making his way towards the strange toyshop like a moth to the light. In all its 3D majesty the dolls come alive, vibrant with colour and personality, their eyes expressing so much with barely a flutter. To escape is akin to bashing one's head, or bike, against the closed shop door. A compelling chiller for Christmas with just the faintest of icy finger tickling my spine. A splendid movie.
Frédéric Back: Tout-Rien should not be compared to, say, the work of Jake Armstrong. He is talented young man commencing the business of animation. Back is one of the greats. Of course, the Animation Blog features an eclectic range of animators at different stages in their careers and this top ten reflects that diversity. In the hands of a master the movie savages the fur trade in a manner that is all the more telling being that the savagery is so elegantly drawn. From paradise to slaughterhouse, the theme is of man's fall from grace.
Joanna Quinn: Dreams and Desires: Family Ties is as unlike the previous short as can be imagined. Joanna, or rather her character Beryl, does not do elegant, dressed up to the eyeballs until the alcohol and an incontinent dog wreck her career in films. I know of no-one in the industry who manages the hilarious so well. Sketched with a sureness of touch that catches every nuance of working class life here in the UK at least, Joanna's portraiture is warm and affectionate, never critical. Beryl ........ a force of nature.
Tomorrow my top movie of the year and runner up. Also several special category winners.