Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: DRAWN AND QUARTERED Animated Shorts - Javi's Take

As always, it is my pleasure to highlight the short films of Fantastic Fest, which never ceases to amaze with the wide and varied selection and sheer talent behind these shorts. As always, I like to talk about my five favorite shorts of the block. Not to say that any are bad, but these are just personal favorites.

SLEEP CLINIC (dir. Frances Haszard, Louis Olsen & Luke Scott, New Zealand)
This was part of a competition in New Zealand where the directors had to create a short film within 48 hours. The animation is crude, but the when a man goes to the doctor for his insomnia, what is real and what isn't begins to take a turn for the musical. The script is the strength of the movie with some very sharp musical humor.

THE SAD HORSE (dir. Sofia Catalina Ramirez, Mexico)
Director Sofia Catalina Carillo Ramire returns to Fantastic Fest with another stop-motion animation short. This one in her traditional and very creepy 1920's style depicts the tragedy of family history. It shows how both sets of grandparents and then her parents met. This ended up being one of the most emotional shorts and movies of the entire festival.

                           THE WOMAN WHO HATES PLANTS (dir. Morgan Miller, USA)
I loved it. The short, and hilarious tale of the woman REALLY hates plants.

KICK- HEART (dir. Masaaki Yuasa, Japan)
As amazing as Japanese animation can be, the stereotypical anime style can get a little tiresome, which is why KICK-HEART animated in a very surreal and colorful fashion is a great joy to watch. It deals with a masked wrestler Maskman M. as he gets the shit beaten out of his by his professional rival and crush, Lady S., all while trying to make enough money to help with the orphanage that he grew up on.

As my review of ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW shows, I am super into movies and media dealing with the dark side of a "happy" or romanticized concept. In ESCAPE...the subject is Disney World; in RETROCOGNITION, the topic is the 1950's. Cleverly taking the dialogue solely from radio plays of its time, the movie shows off the disturbing undertones that lie beneath the facade of the post-WWII American nuclear family.

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