National Film Board of Canada's Ryan.
February 27, 2005 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Ryan, the Best Animated Short for the 2005 Academy Awards, is fully viewable in 3 different video formats through the National Film Board of Canada (along with a preview of the Best Documentary (Short Subject) of Hardwood). The 14 minute piece tackles the life of NFB animator Ryan Larkin, who himself was an Oscar nominee back in the 1960s for the classic Walking until eventually becoming a panhandler. (prior discussion without full film) [cont'd]
posted by myopicman (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Director Chris Landreth also participated with an interview with Ryan Larkin for another NFB feature, Alter Egos, which showed their career constrasts. Ryan was a protegé to Norman Maclaren and produced many other shorts including the whimsical Street Musique before his cocaine addiction, leading to his current life begging for money in Montréal.
posted by myopicman at 8:19 PM on February 27, 2005

Very cool. Too bad they didn't show clips of the nominee's this year.

In fact, the whole Oscars tonight is just ass. Terrible, terrible.
posted by Quartermass at 8:20 PM on February 27, 2005

I was thinking that Chris Rock might actually be worse than Letterman. Then he mentioned Oprah, and that cinched it.

As the National Endowment for the Arts stagnates under the Bush administration, it's great to see the Canadian government get a shout-out at the Oscars for supporting short film.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:23 PM on February 27, 2005

That looks amazing, myopic--thanks!

And i'm with Quartermass--a terrible Oscars--the only good thing was Rock's Gap-Banana Republic war analogy. And what's with Beyonce singing almost every song?
posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM on February 27, 2005

Does anyone have a direct 300k Real link? I would rather watch Ryan on the Real Player than in my browser. Freaky stuff. I liked it a lot.
posted by squirrel at 8:47 PM on February 27, 2005

wow, that was really really good.
posted by Mach5 at 8:48 PM on February 27, 2005

What a great, timely post. Thanks, myopicman. I really liked this tidbit from the "Reviews" page of your first link:

What I remember most about that week was the last night when we decided to have a screening of the committee’s own films. We consciously saved Ryan’s for last. The reaction was unforgettable. Until that moment, I don’t think that Andrei, Pjotr or Chris really had an inkling who this guy was. When they saw Street Musique and Walking, they were stunned. “You did that film!?” someone said. In a span of about 20 minutes, Ryan went from little brother to mythological hero. Everyone wanted to know what happened, what he was doing. We poured drinks and everyone gathered around Ryan as he recounted — often through tears — his downfall from golden boy at the NFB to Montreal cokehead. Everyone was quiet. No one really knew what to say.

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that was the night that Chris Landreth’s film about Ryan started.

posted by mediareport at 9:01 PM on February 27, 2005

I wish all Short films were so readily available like this or in some other easy-to-find format. Great work and only a few can enjoy it. Great post and great info.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:39 PM on February 27, 2005

I thought the acceptance speech was uniquely Canadian. Instead of an endless list of agents and business managers, they thanked an endless list of quasi-governmental organizations.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:24 AM on February 28, 2005

he also made bingo that alias wavefront used to push maya when it was released. when i first saw it i really liked the film, although having endured 2 years of alias seminars and courses where it was shown over and over it sent me slightly mad.

"bingo .. bingo the clowno"
posted by mrben at 4:40 AM on February 28, 2005

I was at the Copacabana bar last night where Ryan Larkin and a whole bunch of NFB and CBC people were there with him watching the events of the evening unfold. Everyone who frequents the place knows who Ryan is and those who really know the story are kind of protective of the guy, and no one makes a big deal of everything on a day to day basis. Last night was, of course, different.

Anyhow everyone was pulling for the film about him to win, and when it was announced the place erupted in applause. The news cameras started up and someone gave Ryan a crown and a sort of sceptre, which was pretty funny. Then everyone hushed up to listen to Landreth's speech, and later there was a buzz in the bar as Larkin moved about talking with well-wishers.

It's an odd thing to be watching the Oscars with the subject of a winning film. Never imagined I'd do that, let alone at the Copa.
posted by mikel at 6:06 AM on February 28, 2005

thanks for pointing this out, myopicman. I'd seen screen grabs of this movie some time ago, and saw the animator getting his award last night, but didn't make the connection. I'm glad I got to see it.
posted by crunchland at 7:04 AM on February 28, 2005

Wow. Glad to hear the first hand account mikel. I listened to an interview with the director, Chris Landreth, on CBC a few months ago. His plea with Ryan Larkin carries more emotional weight when you learn that Landreth's mother, to whom he dedicated the film, was also an alcoholic.

There's a great write up of the artistic and technical merits of the film at Computer Graphics World..
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:10 AM on February 28, 2005

Yeah, mikel, and he went up to a mutual -- of all ours -- during the festivities and asked her to find a way to sneak him out of the joint. Turns out the NFB flunky was there making sure he stayed in front of the news cameras; buying him shots...
posted by docgonzo at 3:25 PM on February 28, 2005


posted by adzm at 9:10 PM on February 28, 2005

If anyone lives in or visits Toronto, the NFB allows you to view all their shorts, including Ryan, for free, in comfy chairs on video touch screens. Worth a trip for some great Canadian filmmaking and animation.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:43 PM on February 28, 2005

Thanks, adzm!
posted by squirrel at 10:15 PM on February 28, 2005

The coolest thing about this video for me is that you can see my friend's old apartment in some of the shots, animated.
posted by painquale at 12:30 AM on March 1, 2005

It's very cool that you were at the Copacabana with Larkin for the Oscars, mikel. When I lived in Montreal, the Copa was one of my favorite bars.
posted by painquale at 12:33 AM on March 1, 2005

thanks, adzm.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:47 AM on March 2, 2005

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