Please No More Animated Shorts on Environmentalism Thank You. Please No More Animated Shorts on Environmentalism Thank You.

Posted by smokris on 2010.04.27 @ 01:38

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The Athens Film Festival 2010’s Animation Show played tonight and I watched it.

My personal perusal of the last two decades worth of SIGGRAPH reels squarely places the topic environmentalism as the most commonly-used central theme. (What’s the connection here?)

So, I’m tired of animated shorts on the topic of environmentalism and social responsibility. And I’m even tireder of mockumentaries. I’m therefore going to refrain from saying much about:

  • Skylight by David Baas
  • People of the Machine by Aaron Misler and Josh Beebe — special mention, though, for providing a slight twist on the storyline used in, e.g., The Twilight Zone’s The Old Man in the Cave, Star Trek TOS’s The Apple and The Return of the Archons.
  • Hazed by Tanya Beach
  • Lightheaded by Mike Dacko
  • The Hybrid Union by Serguei Kouchnerov
  • Envirometer by Danny Robashkin
  • Ninjas vs. Guilt by David Chai — also a big minus one for both the gratuitous fake French accent and the gratuitous womanizer jokes. Oops, wrong century.


Whew. That eliminates over half the show. (Seriously?) And leaves us with a few really interesting pieces:

  • The Henhouse by Elena Pomares — My favorite of this bunch. Breathtaking yet quaint visuals, in the style of the collages of Jean Arp. (I suppose this piece could potentially be disqualified for approaching the topic of social responsibility, but that’s far from its urthema. The marvelous execution outweighs this slight transgression.)
  • Fuzzy Insides by Michaela Olsen — A sort of Ren and Stimpy meets Eraserhead. Also reminiscent of Mary Hestand’s excellent 1989 short He Was Once, and the figurative works of Max Beckmann. Not exactly my teacup, but well played.
  • Man and Cat by Adam Marr — Reminds me of the music videos for Karl Bartos’s I’m The Message and Royksopp’s Remind Me.
  • Cat’s Cradle by Ray Rea — Pretty, but the art-about-how-I-made-this-art aspect ruins it for me.
  • The Wonder Hospital by Beomsik Shimbe Shim — Total glitch-fest. Like, multiple Vades in the same room, yet aptly choreographed. Continuous MPEG stream decoding errors, which relented episodically at just the right points to reveal poignant images, and one nicely-timed fullscreen face around where one would expect the climax to be.
    The audience response was abysmal and perfect. Chaotic, yet not quite intolerable. A flawless real-life enactment of the scripted intro to Tuesday Afternoon at China Wong Buffet to the tune of my Composition for Scratched Compact Disc from way back when I was a composition student. Two minutes in, some idiot shouted “Fix the visuals!” and shortly thereafter most of the audience spilled out. There were about 20 people left by the end. Several standing ovations, though.
    I was about to say that this film was totally captivating, but just then I stumbled across the film’s website and the glitch-free trailer presented there, however, and it’s becoming apparent that this is not what was intended. Apparently the DVD was damaged in transit or something. Unfortunately, whatever the unadulterated original is, it will be no match for What Actually Happened.