idiotsandangels.jpg idiotsandangels.jpg
EventsFeature Film

Plympton, Paley and CGI at Tribeca

Idiots and Angels

The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival kicks off this week and there are three animated features in competition. Each of them plays multiple times over the next week. Show times and ticket info can be found on clicking on the title of each feature. First up is the world premiere of Idiots and Angels, the latest from Bill Plympton. Fellow NY indie Nina Paley offers the American premiere of her feature Sita Sings the Blues. The film got a special jury mention at its world premiere last February in the Berlin International Film Festival. And finally, there’s a feature I’ve never heard of: a celebrity voice-heavy, indie CG feature titled Terra directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas. Check this last one out at your own risk.

  • Jon Garaizar

    the title of this post struck me as a little biased.

    but i did check out that last one and it looks like s**t. david cross needs some good work.

    Plympton’s new deal seems great, i can’t wait to see it.

  • Dave

    Sita Sings the Blues is incredible. Heartfelt and personal; go catch it!

  • Esn

    Oddly enough, that film “Terra” is getting very good ratings and reviews at IMDB (8.4/10 with 95 votes, currently). So it might be worth checking out.

    I hope some of these films will screen at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema in autumn…

  • Terra got a good review on fps last year. More’s been done since the TIFF screening. I’m not too worried about the risk.

  • Jim

    I know some very talented animators who worked on Terra. I can’t say much about the story, since I’ve not seen the film, but I’m pretty excited to see the animation work of people I respect and admire.

    I guess I can appreciate taking a cautionary approach towards an unknown feature like this. On the other hand, I think any studio that’s producing an independent animated feature these days deserves the benefit of the doubt and as much support as possible, rather than cynical caution.

  • I couldn’t find a trailer for “Terra” so i don’t know what the animation will be like, but if it’s anything like the animation in the “video bio” under the “director” tab on that page I have to anticipate that the characters’ brains will shake loose and fall out their over-sized mouths somewhere in the first reel.

    I look forward to seeing it.

    If Bill Plympton’s movie is genuinely dialog-less that would be very cool to see. BTW, i recall an episode of “CBS Radio Mystery Theater” that had a similar premise. A man was so nice he began to take on the appearance of an angel. He tried to shake it by committing all the seven deadly sins but, being nice, failed completely.

  • I want to see Bill Plympton’s new feature, although “Terra” doesn’t look so bad either. I wish they would release these in mainstream theaters.

  • Taylor

    I saw both Terra and Idiots and Angels. I’ve definitely got a bias, as I’ve been working on Bill’s film for the past year, so I won’t go on about it being great, which it is. I had to choose between seeing Terra at 4pm today or Sita Sings The Blues at 3:45pm, and I went for Terra, assuming I’d get another chance to see Sita sooner than I would Terra. It wasn’t awful by any means. Like Jim says, I am just happy to see people producing independent animated features.

    For those interested, the story in a nutshell is that humans have depleted Earth and two nearby planets of their resources, and have to find a new home before their extinction. They end up choosing and invading the planet they dub “Terra”. The protagonist of the film though is interestingly the Terranians, and we get to see how awful humans are from another point of view. It really pushes current event topics of resource consumption, war, etc. I appreciate addressing the issues. I also appreciate the lack of mo-cap, which is refreshing to find in a CG film. However, the animation isn’t really that solid. Things move, for sure, but I remember making mental notes numerous times along the lines of “hmmm, that sure felt weight-less” and things of that nature. Does the lack of admirable animation take away from the film? Not really. I still managed to get into the story, and characters (whose design I think could have used some more work. The Terranians looks too stereotypical-alien for my taste) and I’m sure no one but animators would have a problem with the animation. It effectively tells a story, and all in all is a decent film. Even if it were absolute garbage, I’d still be happy that there’s three independent animated features at Tribeca this year.

    But really though, bias aside, Idiots and Angels is hands down Bill Plympton’s strongest feature yet, and is a beautiful and entertaining film. I forsee and hope for great things.

  • Hey Taylor, thanks for the thoughtful comments about “Terra.” There is one thing about the film that probably won’t get much press that I think deserves note — the entire film was made in Los Angeles by a tiny crew on a very small budget (at least it was very small compared to any big studio effort). It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. For a lot of reasons the film could have been a disaster (the small crew was pretty green, the footage rate several times that of a major studio, the models and rigs had some issues, the studio used a crazy production pipeline, and so on), yet it didn’t come out half bad. All in all it was a good work experience, and I hope the film finds its audience.