A new stop-motion video from Yuval & Merav Nathan, directors of the fantastic Her Morning Elegance. Lose This Child (for Israeli alternative group, EatLiz) was animated on an actual beach with real sand, by four animators including musician Guy Ben Shetrit, guitarist for the band.
An attractive little piece by Buck elegantly illustrating a new concept to draw electricity from wind that is being developed at Cornell University. The piece was created for the NY Times Magazine‘s annual “Year in Ideas” issue. Music and sound design by Antfood.
Too many cool t-shirts have come my way recently, here’s a few worth noting:
Photographer Vincent Gonzales has a very small line of stylish tees based on found objects. He has a shirt based on an old Krazy Kat 16mm cartoon film box (above) that I absolutely love. It isn’t posted on his website, but you can order it in any style (men’s, women’s, babies) and on any color if you request it. I got a long sleeve black shirt with this design and I love, love, love it.
That’s John Kricfalusi’s dad (above) posing in one of John’s great T-shirts, exclusively available on his Cartoon Thrills Store. George Liqour, Jimmy the Idiot Boy, The Heart-Aches, Blen and Kubercheebie, and my favorite Donald Bastard, are among the designs available.
TeeFury is one of those daily t-shirt sites that offer one-design-a-day. Today’s tee is this Tin Tin Tinman design – which already seems more faithful to Herge, and has more humor and heart than the stills from the upcoming mo-cap film have demonstrated. If you are interested in this one, you have to buy it today – $9 – at TeeFury.com.
This experimental music video for Oorutaichi’s “Hamihadarigeri” directed by Sojiro Kamatani defies easy description but it excites my senses as few other animated pieces I’ve seen recently. That’s because Kamatani packs enough visual ideas for a dozen animated shorts into his stream of conscious assault on orthodox visual sensibilities.
TCM also ran this trailer last night which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. (If I have I’m getting old and have completely blocked it.) It’s a clever coming-attractions piece for the Blake Edwards Pink Panther sequel, A Shot In the Dark (1964). It’s notable for containing a fair amount of animation featuring a narrator, “Dum-Dum” a talking bullet, voiced by Mel Blanc. It was no doubt animated by DePatie Freleng.
I’m presently immersed in TCM’s marathon of early Hal Roach talkie shorts. Last night, during in an episode of Roach’s Screen Director Playhouse from 1955 (George Marshall’s The Silent Partner with Buster Keaton), Bob Hope makes a cameo as host of the Oscar ceremonies and tosses off this first line – which many would consider still valid today:
Four recent graduates (Tolga Ari, Romain Blanchet, Chung-Yu Huang, Rémy Hurlinfrom) of Supinfocom Arles share their final project with us, Hezarfen.
Hezarfen is a Turkish historical character. The story takes place in 1632 in Turkey where he attempts the first human flight. The legend goes as far as to say that he flew through the Bosphorus, to almost 3 miles away from the tower from which he started.
The movie is much more about how he jumps from this tower. We have created the script together to get another vision of the story. We wanted to make some fresh and bright pictures and let the audience discover the beauty of this legend in our own way.
Video hosting site Vimeo will be presenting AniMotion on Thursday, January 20 in Manhattan. The screening of animated shorts and motion graphic films is co-curated by Julia Quinn. Screening begins at 8:30pm at SPiN New York (48 East 23rd Street btw. Park & Madison). It’s free but attendees must RSVP.
What happens if you fill out a festival submission form and submit a film that you haven’t actually made yet? That’s the situation that Oscar-nominated NFB filmmaker Janet Perlman faced when she concocted Sorry Film Not Ready. Here’s the backstory:
This film was made by accident using experimental animation invisible to the naked eye. At least that’s what I wrote on the festival entry form for a film called “Llama Cookin’”, which didn’t even exist. I then started making the film but abandoned it after a few days, and changed the film’s title to “Sorry Film Not Ready”. Two weeks later I received a notification saying that the festival had not yet received “Sorry Film Not Ready”, but that the deadline had been extended by one week. I then decided to make the film after all, in one week. It got accepted into the festival (Ottawa Animation Festival), and to date has been accepted into three others. But it’s still not ready.
From the writers of the recent Yogi Bear movie (Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin), the director of Stuart Little and The Lion King (Rob Minkoff) and the studio that brings you more Shrek than you know what to do with… comes a new movie, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, based on the cartoon from Jay Ward’s Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. Entertainment Weekly has announced that Robert Downey Jr. (the current voice of Mr. Peanut) will voice Mr. Peabody.
Gallery 839, an animation art gallery in Burbank, will be celebrating its first year anniversary in February with a show featuring a dozen artists in various media. The opening reception will be Feb. 4th from 6p.m. to 10p.m. at the Gallery, 1105 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank. The gallery will also be open from 11a.m. to 2p.m. each Friday for the rest of February, and by appointment. The exhibitors are all members of The Animation Guild, which opened this fine gallery space to support and encourage the artists’ talents in and beyond their contributions to the animation industry. The artists are Lee Crowe, Frank Forte, Bob Foster, Brigitte Franzka-Fritz, Yelena Geodakyan, Peter Gullerud, Alex Kube,Ashley Long, Christine Mallouf, Joey Mason, Gago Oganesyan, Toni Vian. For more information visit the Gallery website.
If something is too difficult to explain, just blame cartoons. So now some people are beginning to suggest that Jared Loughner, the gunman who went on a shooting rampage in Arizona that killed six people, may have been a fan of Richard Linklater’s 2001 rotoscope-animation film Waking Life. Last night on 60 Minutes, friends of the shooter said he was “obsessed with the film.” The connection stems from Loughner’s obsession with lucid dreaming–a mental state in which you’re aware that you’re dreaming–which is a central theme of Waking Life.
Fans of the film are so worried that they’ve already started publishing pre-emptive defenses of the film, like this one at the Brown Tweed Society:
Waking Life kept popping up in my mind because Jared Loughner wrote a lot about the blurred lines between dreams and reality. He also asked a lot of difficult questions about government and social control, questions which mirror many of those posed in Waking Life. Before his dark mental illnesses really took hold of him, some of Loughner’s questions contained a degree of reasonable skepticism grounded in established, though perhaps poorly understood on his part, tenets of philosophy and linguistics. He asked it in a poor, ill-suited context of course, but the question Loughner posed to Gabrielle Giffords at the much-discussed 2007 public forum–“What is government if words have no meaning?”–is a valid inquiry grounded in the assumption that government and other human social abstractions are primarily linguistic constructions. It’s exactly the kind of question that prompts much of Waking Life’s extended dialogue segments.
Sign-up begins this morning for classes at the American Animation Institute, the educational arm of The Animation Guild, Local 839. A special class posted about on the Animation Guild blog caught my attention: “Film Sense and Nonsense: The Bob Kurtz Master Class in Comedic Film Staging, Timing and Storytelling.” It runs for four Monday evenings from March 21 to April 11. The class is $100, and enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. To sign up, call (818) 845-7000 between 8:30 am and 5 pm TODAY.
It’s hard to think of an animation director with more funny animation to his credit than Bob, who began his remarkably prolific career working on the original Alvin Show and Roger Ramjet. He’s done the bulk of work at his own animation studio Kurtz & Friends, which has been responsible for hundreds of commercials (like the one above) as well as many film titles and projects with the likes of Lily Tomlin and George Carlin.