Short Animation
April 10, 2005 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Pixar has the name recognition, but plenty of other folks do some mighty fine animation. Thanks to Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt the Animation Show aims to bring them to your town. A celebratory selection of shorts inside.
posted by sciurus (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Rockfish - science fiction ice fishing
Aunt Luisa - crazy lady
In the Rough - a night on the couch, cave-man style

Fifty Percent Grey - Oscar Nominated Afterlife
Give Up Yer Aul Sins - John the Baptist revisionist history.
Cousin - Melancholy short by the guy who did Harvey Krumpet
Bathtime in Clerkenwell.

None of these directly link to embedded video.
posted by sciurus at 7:12 AM on April 10, 2005

Rockfish won an award, I think.
posted by NickDouglas at 7:43 AM on April 10, 2005

I saw this in Cleveland last weekend. A very good selection, "L'HOMME SANS OMBRE" (The Man With No Shadow) might've been my favorite, "WARD 13" was a fantastic display of stop-action, erm, action.
posted by sohcahtoa at 8:02 AM on April 10, 2005

Hertzfeldt's Rejected (mpeg / WMV). Note: 96 megs but good connection speed.
posted by furtive at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2005

I saw it in Cleveland last weekend as well! If you liked L'HOMME SANS OMBRE you should track down other stuff by Georges Schwizgebel, he has a short on the Animation Show DVD that is mindblowing.

I think Ward 13 was my favorite.
posted by sciurus at 8:26 AM on April 10, 2005

I went to the first Animation Show they premiered here in Austin, and it was awesome. I highly recommend it. Hertzfeldt and Judge are pretty nice guys, to boot.
posted by blendor at 8:29 AM on April 10, 2005

Ya, how awesome. Puts me in a trance
posted by AbbyRoad at 9:39 AM on April 10, 2005

Just went to see the animation show last night - I don't know - I'm a fan of Hertzfeldt's but I wasn't overly impressed with the selection this time around - Kind of all over the place in my opinion. Actually, I came away with the same feeling last year too. The selection we saw last night was different from what's listed above too. Last Night's lineup:

Guard Dog - Bill Plympton
Feds - Jennifer Drummond
Pan With Us - David Russo
Ward 13 - Peter Cornwall
Hello - Jonathan Nix
Rock Fish - Tim Miller
Fireworks -
The Man WIth No Shadow - Georges Schwizgebel
Fallen Art - Tomek Baginski
When The Day Breaks - Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis
The Meaning Of Life - Don Hertzfeldt

On the whole, I thought the majority of them were too long and mostly an exercise in technique - mostly short on plot/story - though, they're short films, so maybe I was looking for too much. I was particularly impressed with Pan With Us and Hello. Both were visually fantastic and Hello had a sweet story. I (along with most of the crowd at the theater it seemed) was pretty let down by Hertzfeldt's offering - It was a neat idea that kind of just fizzled out at the end.

I admire what Judge and Hertzfeldt are trying to do, but I think they're trying to cover too many different styles/genres in one sitting.
posted by soplerfo at 10:10 AM on April 10, 2005

What's animation?
posted by stevil at 10:59 AM on April 10, 2005

Back when I was in college, the local repertory movie theater often had animation shows. There seemed to be two or three a year with names like "The 23rd Annual Somethingorother Festival Of Animation". Lots of great stuff, some of which is still showing up recycled in other shows (balance, for instance).

At some point I stopped seeing these animation shows; I don't know whether the theater just stopped running them or they stopped getting produced. It seems like Judge and Hertzfeldt are trying to (re)create or revive this kind of show.
posted by hattifattener at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2005

Don Hertzfeldt is working on a DVD of his own short films. That will be a must-have when it comes out since a lot of the collections that contain his work are out of print. Billy's Balloon is one of the funniest things I have ever seen and his other films are pretty amazing, too.
posted by rhiannon at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2005

Next weekend my buddies and I are travelling to Austin to see the animation show with Hertzfeld.
Any advice or recommendations for the show and after?
posted by idiotfactory at 12:20 PM on April 10, 2005

I thought WHEN THE DAY BREAKS was very good. It even got me emotionally touched wich doesn't happen often when I watch animation. And I've seen a lot of animation, more than most people.
posted by kika at 12:40 PM on April 10, 2005

Kika - how much animation do most people see?
posted by stevil at 1:01 PM on April 10, 2005

i definitely thought this year's show was not quite as good as last year's. you know that old adage about how it takes you two years to make your first feature and two years to make the next? yeah, it was like that. the first one had a greater sense of history (some older shorts) and the creative process (pencil test...granted, they were mike judge's pencil tests, but still), as well as some great shorts. the only bad thing about last year's fest was the addition of the utterly stupid adventures of ricardo and the decision to only release "bathtime in clerkenwell" on the dvd and not on the theatrical prints. i really loved "ward 13" and "the man with no shadow", but everything else seemed to blend in to a long blur. while i wasn't expecting "the meaning of life" to be as funny as "rejected", i had expected to at least understand it, or have some reaction other than "wow, that was pretty." the fact that hertzfeldt has been assimilated into the borg agreed to do a video for conor "world's cutest plagiarist" oberst makes me fear the future of his high quality animation. oh well, at least he was good once.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:03 PM on April 10, 2005

I saw round two of the Animation Show on opening night in NYC. I actually kind of disagree with pxe2000 - I thought the overall quality was even better than the first year. I didn't mind the all over the place feel - I actually liked the variety, and thought that the directors were using their medium in more interesting ways than in the year before. No, I don't think "The Meaning of Life" was anywhere near "Rejected", but I'd seen "Rejected" more times than I can count, so it's inclusion in last year's festival more just had the novelty value of seeing it on the big screen. It also had what I thought was the funniest moment of the whole festival - the nonsensical monologue.

However, I thought that "The Man with no Shadow" and "Pan With Us" were easily two of the best animated shorts I've ever seen. I'd really like to see both of them many, many more times - I feel like I only got a hint of how amazing they are the first time through. "Pan With Us" may be the best example of experimental filmmaking/animation I've ever seen - I thought the voiceover of the poem was somewhat superfluous, but I barely even noticed it - just got totally lost in the amazing things that were being done with film.

The director of "The Man with no Shadow" had a film in the first round ("La course àl'abîme"), but that one didn't hold a candle to "...Shadow". The paint had this vibrating/pulsing quality that would at key moments pause, and it would feel like the character was walking through a frozen landscape. The way the camera/point-of-view swirled around the actually was unlike anything I'd seen outside of CG - and gave the film this great, frenetic feel - perfectly matched the feeling of a man in a downward spiral.
posted by TheRoach at 1:36 PM on April 10, 2005

theroach: strangely enough, i found that the all-over-the-place aspect of the previous year didn't come through quite so much this year -- it seemed like there were a lot of lifelike computer-animated shorts about war. which, granted, war is on everyone's mind these days, but watching short after animated short that deal with relatively pointed political issues in a similarly bland style gets numbing after a while.

i do concur with your opinion of the french animated shorts. there's nothing i can really say that would even begin to describe the amazing beauty of "the man with no shadow". very, very gorgeous and dali-esque.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:36 PM on April 10, 2005

Watched it last year, it was worth going. Though after the Q&A Hertzfeldt seemed mostly interested in hitting the bars :)
posted by The Cardinal at 6:51 PM on April 10, 2005

I wrote up a quick summary of the show's contents this year at Independent film.
posted by xinit at 9:01 PM on April 10, 2005

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