Monday, April 8, 2013

DIFF 2013 Review: Animation Shorts - Javi's Take

I was looking forward to the various short film blocks presented during DIFF and so far, they haven't disappointed. First up for me will be the animation shorts block. As usual, I'll highlight my three favorite shorts which is not to say that I didn't like all of them but they are my absolute favorite ones.

As of this posting, the block will play again today, Monday, April 8th, so catch it if you can at 5:00 p.m. at the Angelika Theater tonight.

MARCEL, KING OF TERVUREN, 2012. Directed by Tom Schroeder, USA.
This was my absolutely favorite favorite short of the entire block. It depicts a simple story of a very cool rooster, Marcel, as he goes on through his days. The story is narrated by his owner as he depicts the various adventures of Marcel, according to the synopsis, this is based on a Greek tragedy, but I honestly thought of King Arthur more. First we see him evading capture through sheer willpower even after being tranquilized. The short ends with a climactic battle that was a little terrifying, was still a delight to behold.

OLD MAN, 2012. Directed by Leah Shore, USA.
For more then 20 years Charles Manson has refused to communicate to the outside world. Until now. These are actual never before heard phone conversations between Canadian best selling author Marlin Marynick and Charles Manson . This is the fascinating premise for this shortAs one of those "weird" kids in high school, I was always fascinated by Manson, and this short was such a cool way to hear his thoughts on various topics. The animation constantly changes and shifts from medium to medium, much like Manson's train of thought. As with all "mad men" in society, Manson is both intelligent and spastic, hilarious and a little morbid.

BUY BUY BABY (2012) Directed by Gervais Merryweather, UK.
I might be biased because the entire short takes places in a highly fictionalized version of the New York Stock Exchange. We have a senior executive going through his highly demanding job. You hear constant buzz from a telephone, a stock ticker, and other employees. Along the wall, we have a picture of the executive at a younger age looking next to his father, who looks like he does now. When he finds that his wife left their baby daughter in his office with a note so she can go run errands and since the executive is so busy, he gives the baby a $100 bill and off she goes throughout the building causing chaos, a spontaneous dance party, and everything in between. The animation is geometric and blocky style, and the music's jazzy beats keep this funny and heartwarming story going.

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