Sunday, November 27, 2005

Scratched surface

This is the midnight run before the close of this weeks focus on the German scene. Of course, I just lightly scratched the surface of the current films coming out let alone the long history that the 'Trickfilm' has in Germany. The origins starting with the beautiful silhouette films of Lotte Reiniger, Prince Achmed(1926), which is attributed as the first feature animated film going up to the Academy Award winning Balance by Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein. I remember seeing this short at the local indie film theater in the Spike and Mike festival and was blown away by it's simple yet powerful social and political statement. So I was pleased to see that the twin brothers are still at it.
This survey would not be complete without mentioning Raimund Krumme. Influential independent filmmaker who like Phil Mulloy uses a simple figural style to convey complex ideas. The Cinémathèque québécoise just screened a retrospective of his work. Hopefully, that most excellent fpsmagazine will have a review of it in an upcoming issue. I also want to mention the Periwig Maker by Annette and Steffen Schäeffler. Which is a gorgeous puppet animation short about plague striken London adapted from the writings of Daniel Defoe. A strong U.K. connection with Kenneth Brannagh narrating, it was nominated for an Oscar in 1999. You can see it in it's entirety at Atomfilms.
Lastly, I want to point out Harold Siepermann's blog. One of the industries current top notch character designers. Join him as he shares drawings, thoughts and advice on design and animation. He is now teaching at the German film school which was sponsored by CARTOON as a professional training center and of which Raimund Krumme is a founding member of.

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