Every film is beautiful, original and somewhat out-there. From the semi-photorealistic Junkyard, to the fabric world of Oh Willy, this collection of short films proves that “traditional” animation is still a viable form of art in our digital world, and gives us a glimpse at the vastness of human imagination.
The show begins with Move Mountain, a charming stop-motion story by Kirsten Lepore. This short brings the environment to life, as cute Claymation characters ascend a mountain to attend a party. The wealth of interesting and unique characters in Move Mountain is astounding. This short is a pretty, adorable and light-hearted way to start off the whole show.
The next short, Kick-Heart, by Hidekazu Terakawa and Justin Leach, is vastly different. This psychedelic love story about wrestling carries with it a lot of fun and wacky anime traditions, but is animated in a unique, almost grotesque, style that sets it apart from the crowd. The colours, characters and scenarios certainly invigorated the audience.
Feral, by Daniel Sousa, is the tale of a wild boy brought into an oppressive and cruel society. Told in a style that resembles a moving painting with minimal use of colours, Feral is an absolutely stunning short that directly opposes the almost violently vivid Kick-Heart, yet hits us just as hard.
Following Feral is the delightful and minimalist animation Futon, by Yoriko Mizushiri. Futon seems to be an experiment in animating the human form and food in the most sensual and cosy way possible.
My favourite film of the night, But Milk is Important, by students of Volda University College, Eirik Gronmo Bjornsen and Anna Mantzaris, is a charming exploration of anxiety. In a superbly made world of cardboard, a man must contend with his social anxiety (a puffy monster that follows him everywhere). This short got the whole audience laughing raucously and proved a crowd favourite also.
Eija Saarinen’s Sock Skewer Street 8 (Sukkavartaankatu 8), is an absurd short about a girl who keeps finding tiny socks in her empty apartment. This piece has an interesting style, but had trouble following But Milk is Important.
Junkyard, by Arnoud Rijken, Michiel Snijders, Willem Thijsen and Hisko Hulsing, is an epic in comparison to the other shorts. This piece is more realistic than the others, and presents a tale of drug abuse and a friendship gone horribly wrong. Junkyard is shockingly confronting and masterfully animated.
The show concludes with Oh Willy, by Ben Tesseur and Nidia Santiago. This short is perhaps the most visually beautiful. Constructed entirely out of felt and other fabric, the world of Oh Willy is so pleasant and so real, you just want to reach out and touch it. The short, about a man losing his nudist mother, is tragic in ways, hilarious in others and fantastically silly in the rest, and is a perfect way to wrap up an almost perfect show.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Rating out of 10: 9
- Adelaide Film Festival
- But Milk Is Important official website
- Feral official website
- Junkyard official website
- Kick-Heart Kickstarter page
- Move Mountain official website
- Oh Willy, Beast Animation official website
- Sock Skewer Street 8 official website
Photo: But Milk is Important. Source: www.adelaidefilmfestival.org