A few DVD’s of note that I’ve received in the mail recently:
Politics and animation always seem to mix nicely, and the on-line short BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A JOB? is no exception. The film is a not-so-friendly indictment of Bush’s presidency, executed in classic black-&-white ’30s cartoon style and it’s now available on DVD for $8 ($6 + $2 shipping/handling). There’s a limited run of 200 copies.
The fine folks at fluorescent hill sent me a reel of their latest work and it’s a variety of stylish hand-drawn, stop motion, live-action and mixed-media works. Fluorescent is a Canadian collective of directors/animators comprised of Mark Lomond, Darren Pasemko and Johanne Ste-Marie. About their films, Lomond says, “Our work falls somewhere in between indy music video…independent animation…and sell outs…but generally accepted by none of those circles.” I especially enjoyed the music video “Joey” and their opening for the Montreal Student Film Festival. You can see their work at fluorescenthill.com.
It took me a couple weeks to decide whether I even wanted to put this next DVD into my player, but I finally took the chance and THE MEATY MCMEAT SHOW is indeed a most unique experience. It’s like SEINFELD, except Jerry is Meaty McMeat, a diseased heart with a rotating eyeball, who discusses life and philosophy with his friends Spleeny McSpleen, Lungy McButter and Sticky McStick. I’m still trying to make my way through the whole film, but I’ll say one thing. We all have crazy ridiculous thoughts for films, but few of us ever follow through on them. Not only did filmmaker Nathan Smithe follow through, but he made a 90-minute epic of pure uninhibited insanity. The DVD is packed with extras, including a director’s commentary to end all director’s commentaries. It costs only $13 and it’s guaranteed to be a hit at your next party, especially if you follow the warning on the front cover (“Do Not Watch Sober”). This in-depth REVIEW at DVD TALK does an admirable job of trying to make some sense of the film.
Visual Culture recently released their first dvd, VISUAL STORYTELLING, which is a training video about how to tell stories in animation. I haven’t had time to watch the entire program yet, so I’m not in a position to offer a detailed assessment, but skimming through it, the program seems like a solid and concise, no-frills approach to teaching a commonly neglected aspect of animated filmmaking. If you want to improve your storytelling skills, this might be a good place to start.