The 17th An­nual An­i­ma­tion Show of Shows

THE 17TH AN­NUAL AN­I­MA­TION SHOW OF SHOWS, not rated, Jean Cocteau Cinema, 4 chiles

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - — Michael Abatemarco

You have to hand it to pro­ducer Ron Di­a­mond. For The 17th An­nual

An­i­ma­tion Show of Shows he cu­rated a di­verse se­lec­tion of 11 in­ter­na­tional shorts that de­light from the start. The shorts are by an­i­ma­tors in the U.S., Aus­tralia, France, Iran, Ire­land, Rus­sia, and Switzer­land. The open­ing film — from Aus­tralian film­mak­ers John Lewis and Janette Goodey — is the stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion The Story of Per­ci­val Pilts, who “lived his whole life on stilts” be­cause he promised him­self as a child to never let his feet touch the ground. The nar­ra­tion by Mark Had­low may re­mind you of a fa­therly fig­ure read­ing a fa­vorite bed­time story, but the nar­ra­tor turns out to have a stake in Per­ci­val’s tale. The next film in the lineup is Ge­of­frey Godet and Burcu Sankur’s Tant de

Forêts. Based on a poem by Jac­ques Prévert, it of­fers bright and lu­mi­nous an­i­ma­tion work that con­trasts with its mes­sage about the de­struc­tion of forests. The sub­lim­ity of the vari­col­ored for­est, rep­re­sented as hav­ing all of its com­po­nent parts in sym­bio­sis, is mir­rored by an in­verse vi­sion in its se­cond half, de­pict­ing a soul­less pa­per-mak­ing in­dus­try that rips the for­est apart leaf by leaf, but­ter­fly wing by but­ter­fly wing. The third film, Ir­ish film­maker Conor Whe­lan’s Snow­fall, is about a young man’s poignant ex­pe­ri­ence with re­jec­tion at a party.

Snow­fall is the first of four selections that are fol­lowed by short doc­u­men­tary por­traits of some of the film­mak­ers. The other docs come af­ter the Rus­sian en­try, Kon­stantin Bronzit’s We Can’t Live With­out Cos­mos; Melissa John­son’s U.S. se­lec­tion Love in the Time of March Mad­ness; and Ira­nian film­mak­ers Babak Nekooei and Behnoud Nekooei’s Stripy. John­son’s au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal film is about her hi­lar­i­ous but telling ex­pe­ri­ences as a 6-foot-4 woman dat­ing shorter men. Stripy is a story of non­con­for­mity in the form of a fac­tory worker who glee­fully en­livens a mun­dane task when he be­gins paint­ing out­side of the lines.

The an­i­ma­tion work is as var­ied as the sto­ries told. Hand- drawn an­i­ma­tion, com­puter an­i­ma­tion, stop-mo­tion work, and even an­i­mated clay paint­ing are all in­cluded. Amer­i­can an­i­ma­tor Lynn Tom­lin­son uses the last of th­ese to great ef­fect in The Bal­lad of the Hol­land Is­land House, about the last house on a sink­ing is­land in Ch­e­sa­peake Bay.

The An­i­ma­tion Show of Shows states near its start that more than 3,000 an­i­mated films are pro­duced an­nu­ally on an in­ter­na­tional scale, but out­side of fes­ti­vals and in­dus­try events, most are never seen. Don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to see a small but en­liven­ing cross-sec­tion here.

For the birds: A still from Tant de Forêts

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