L. A. Is The Place To Be This Weekend For Animation Fans
It’s an animated weekend in Los Angeles. Besides the debut of the lively Brazilian feature Boy and the World, two mini-festivals are taking place: Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation and Animation Breakdown Festival.
Eyeworks is an import from Chicago where the festival takes place annually. The Eyeworks programs showcase both abstract animation and unconventional character animation “blending an appreciation of classical animation with the sensibilities of avant-garde cinema and the visual culture of alternative comics.”
These programs combine classic and contemporary work, and highlights include films from avant-garde animation legends Robert Breer, Suzan Pitt, and Jules Engel, and from contemporary animators Yoriko Mizushiri, Peter Burr, and Amy Lockhart. For this CalArts event, films will be screened on 16mm and on video.
This afternoon they’re presenting the festival programs on the West Coast for the first time. The two programs will screen at CalArts starting at 5pm today, and best of all, it’s free to attend. For more info, see the Facebook invite. The trailer is below:
Animation Breakdown is a four-day festival that smartly mixes commercial animation (the creator of Bob’s Burgers and Pig Goat Banana Cricket are both spotlighted) with independent and vintage fare (don’t miss the focus on Czech animation/special effects legend Karel Zeman or the retrospective on Sky David (aka Dennis Pies). For ticket info, visit the Cinefamily website.
Breakdown’s first couple days have already passed, but there’s plenty of programming still to come at Cinefamily this afternoon and throughout Sunday:
Sat 12/12, 4:30pm: Karel Zeman: Adventurer in Film + Inspiration — Early animator Karel Zeman created hand-made special effects unsurpassed today. Learn about his life and work in this new documentary, in which modern artists try to recreate his effects today using the same handmade techniques, and feast your eyes on his most dizzyingly impressive work, Inspiration, in its entirety. Sat 12/12, 7:30pm: Loren Bouchard Show & Tell — The comedic genius behind Bob’s Burgers, Home Movies, and Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist participates in the unique Cinefamily format of “Show & Tell,” sharing treasures and rarities from his own personal archives. Sat 12/12, 10:30pm: Outrageous Video Games III: My So-Called Second Life — Today, more people experience animation through video games than any other medium. ABD takes us on a kaleidoscopic survey of wild and wonderful worlds where people play. Sun 12/13, 12:00pm: High Five!: Creating Nickelodeon’s Pig Goat Banana Cricket — Nickelodeon’s bold, adventurous and absurd series born from the brains of renowned indie comic book artists Johnny Ryan and Dave Cooper and executive produced by Emmy/Golden Globe winner David Sacks (The Simpsons, 3rdRock from the Sun), gets the Cinefamily “behind-the-scenes—No, really behind-the-scenes” treatment. Join us for a Q&A with Ryan and Sacks, followed by a live table read with series voice actors Candi Milo (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) as Goat, Paul Rugg (Freakazoid!) as Banana, and Tom Wilson (Back to the Future’s Biff!) as Cricket, and an exclusive sneak peek of a brand-new episode. Bring the kids and join us on the back patio for a signing with the cast and creators!” Sun 12/13, 2:00pm: Invention for Destruction aka The Fabulous World of Jules Verne — Experience pioneering Czech animator Karel Zeman’s greatest feature, a feature based on several of Jules Verne’s nautical epics. A technical tour-de-force, you’ll marvel at the hand-made, in-camera special-effects wonders that put modern CGI to shame. Sun 12/13, 4:30pm: HBO’s Animals (w/ The Duplass Brothers in person!) — Join creators Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano along with executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass as they offer a sneak peak at their new HBO show Animals — Like Girls, but with New York’s least-loved inhabitants: lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons, and midlife bedbugs. Sun 12/13, 7:00pm: The Ace of Light: The Films of Sky David — Endlessly inventive, breathtaking, and singular, criminally overlooked artist Sky David’s groundbreaking experimental works employ techniques from hand-drawn to computer to ones invented himself, like re-shooting frames projected into a tank of water. Come get turned on to his work by Sky himself, this year’s honoree, with an in depth presentation on his life and work. Sun 12/13, 9:45pm: Undervolt & Co’s Experimental Animation Mixtape — The vibrant world of video art is made accessible by underground label Undervolt & Co., run by artists Yoshi Sodeoka, Johnny Woods and Rea McNamara. Undervolt has created an impressive video-art installation to enjoy throughout the fest, featuring a 9-monitor high tower of hallucinatory wonderfulness.
(Image from Karel Zeman’s The Fabulous World of Jules Verne>)