‘Irish Folk Furniture’ by Tony Donoghue

Irish Folk Furniture [clip] (2012) from Alan Eddie on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/59224188

We must have been busy with all sorts of of other things here at the blog (we have! – more soon) as it’s taken us a few months to catch up with this short which won the Short Film Jury Prize for Animation at Sundance this spring.

It has screened at many festivals, including Sheffield Doc/Fest this June, who described it thus:
“A strikingly beautiful stop motion animation exploring a local craftsman’s restoration of rural furniture in a small Irish community. Experimenting with the vivid expression of folklore storytelling, artifacts of bygone days are transformed from decaying neglect and brought to life, with playful vivacity.”

An interview with director Tony here:
http://irishamerica.com/2013/03/irish-folk-furniture-an-interview-with-tony-donoghue/

And various news reports here:

And here:
http://www.thejournal.ie/sundance-irish-folk-furniture-763455-Jan2013/

The film was funded by the Irish Film Board’s Frameworks scheme:
http://www.irishfilmboard.ie/funding_programmes/Frameworks/65

‘I Met the Walrus’ by Josh Raskin

I Met the Walrus’ is the animated extension of an extraordinary interview that took place in 1969. A fourteen-year-old Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape machine, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto. The ‘Beatle’ rewarded the teenager’s pluckiness with an interview that contains the distillation of the musician’s message of peaceful protest. Thirty-eight years later Levitan adopted the role of producer on this short animated documentary, providing his original recording as the source material. The teenager’s naïve interview style, along with the kind authority with which Lennon imparts his wisdom, constructs a wonderful sub-narrative; the dynamic of master and student.

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The director and animator, Josh Raskin, expands on Lennon’s words with a stream of images that complement the verbal content. The camera manoeuvres around a constantly developing two-dimensional graphic field, new images sprouting out from the previous area of focus. Much of the imagery correlates directly to phrases they depict, but on occasion this deviates from literal representation. For instance, when discussing how one could combat the establishment of a nation suppressing its people, Lennon states: “…the only thing they [the establishment] don’t know about is non-violence and humour.” The moment the last word of this sentence is uttered an illustration of a humerus bone bounds on to the screen. The pun behind this visual/verbal collision is instantly absorbed while echoing the point that comedy can be powerful and elegant.

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This animation is littered with carefully thought out imagery that strikes a balance between augmenting Lennon’s words without distracting from them. The pace at which pictorial components are introduced is strangely rhythmic. Such a mesmeric stream of audio-visual information allows little room for the viewer’s mind to drift.

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James Braithwaite provides the distinctive plethora of pen illustrations. Influence from William Heath Robinson’s eccentric machines can be detected in Braithwaite’s retro style. The turn of the century artist drafted impractically complex and counter intuitive industrial activities. A comparable wit and tension is notable throughout ‘I Met the Walrus’.

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Alex Kurina is credited as a computer illustrator. This new media artist is likely to be responsible for the modern edge that acts as a counterpoint to Braithwaite’s traditional pen drawings.

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Although the division of labour between Raskin, Braithwaite and Kurina is not entirely clear, what can be said for certain is that the team have created a rich visual language that balances past and present. Traditional forms of illustration help conjure nostalgia for the era. These are subtly contrasted with modern pink graphic components, along with snappy swivelling camera motions. For five minutes this film evokes the excitement felt by a teenage boy as his hero indulged his enthusiasm. ‘I Met the Walrus’ has won all manner of international animation awards, received over two and a half million views on YouTube and was Oscar nominated for best animated short film in 2008.

‘The Animadoc Dove’ – new award to be given to Best animated documentary at DOK Leipzig.

Great news over at the documentary and animation festival DOK Leipzig, they have just announced that this year they will be giving a prize to the best animated documentary in the festival. There is still time to enter!

To find out more, read their press release here:

http://www.dok-leipzig.de/festival/festival-news?start:int=0

‘An Oversimplification of her Beauty’ by Terence Nance

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty‘ By Terence Nance

An autobiographical debut feature which documents the frustrations of creator Terence Nance’s ambiguous relationship. Live action is interspersed with a variety of animated sequences from a team of over fifteen animators including Nance (also the writer, director, producer and central protagonist).

The film received enough attention at Sundance 2012 to get Jay-Z on board as an executive producer and Janelle Monae contributing to the soundtrack. It received a Gotham award in 2012 for ‘Best Film not Playing at a Theater Near You’, which thankfully no longer applies as it is set for U.S. release in April 2013.

Enjoy the overwhelmingly enticing trailer. We’re hoping it makes it over to the UK!

Article on ‘Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes’ by Mary Talbot, illustrated by Bryan Talbot

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Happy New Year Readers! We have a new category for the blog featuring graphic novels and comics – all exploring real life stories or subjects. Our first post is about the award winning autobiographical graphic novel written and illustrated by a husband and wife team. Article  below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/02/costa-awards-graphic-novel-biography

‘Lies’ by Jonas Odell

Lies – Part 1 – Directed by Jonas Odell from FilmTecknarna on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/32735700

If you like ‘Never Like the First Time’ you may enjoy this, the first of three first person narratives, from a film which won at Sundance 2009.

Review from Short of the Week here.

‘Why Build a Sun on Earth’ by Nik Morris

Why Build a Sun on Earth? from Nik Morris on Vimeo.

Short film made by Nik Morris in collaboration with fusion scientists at York Plasma institute, this is a beautifully designed film which disseminates academic research.

“Touring UK schools in a portable ‘Sun Dome’, this film offers an informative and entertaining spectacle that demonstrates the benefits of nuclear fusion research and empowers its young audiences to be part of the solution for our energy future.”

Winner: 1st Prize, Durham New Energy Futures Film Festival at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, UK on September 27th 2012

Review on One & Other here: http://www.oneandother.com/articles/why-build-a-sun-on-earth/