Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Victor Romao

With an old car battery, tattered wires, lubricated jelly and smelling salts, this lusus naturae is woken by the distilled vitriolic work of Victor Romao!!  Testosterone fuelled anthropomorphic gangs wait at the  towns edge, at the four corners or in the back bush to bludgeon, maul and drag you into Victor's world.  Like the detailed styling of Julie Morstad, Victor's beautifully rendered prints almost hides and belies the ritualistic rural barbarism and captures the sublime violent allegories that underpin all of his works.  Having grown up in a small town and just having lived in one this past summer, I recognize full well the themes of fear, xenophobia, violence and knowing one's place as it coldcocks me and knocks me down to the beer stained floor. I awake in an abandoned shack with misshapen balaclavas, bits of rope and plaid-shirted clansmen indoctrinating me in their 'Southwestern Gothic' ways.  The fine detailed work will pull you in like a slick tourism brochure but look closer under the surface and see the true 'Mayberry' after the "We're Open" signs are turned off!  Victor's body(bag) of work, Southernwestern Gothic, can be seen @ Artcite until Febuary 18th.  Don't miss it!!  Best of all, he is Windsor's very own!  So support Local or we'll leave you in Detroit to really see the horror!

Monday, March 02, 2009


Even though, Theodor is a multi-disciplined animator that has used various techniques in his creative process, I wonder if working on a film about Arthur Lipsett influenced him on this film?

Anifest hraje KJFG No.5

Those Hungarians...heh heh!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Matthew Walker

(click on image to see film)
It was a rainy kinda day yesterday and the 'blahs' were visiting well after morning tea, so, I rang Matthew Walker and just like that they were gone.
I've written about Matthew before as he is part of the World of Arthur Cox studio. His other films 'Astronauts' (BAA winner) and 'John and Karen' have been standouts for me as well and his latest one 'Operator', which won the 2007 Depict! award. Operator was completed by Matt as an animator in residence at the University of Wales Newport. Scott MacDonald who was a bg animator for the short reports it was animated in Flash with the backgrounds done in Maya and PS.

What I like best about Matt's films is that they are centred around basic human conditions. The mundane slice of life activities (albeit everyone seems to be eating or having tea!) set against the out of ordinary events is brilliant. They are simple, funny and universal to what makes everyone tick. So watch, enjoy, drink tea, eat bickies, and chuckle the blahs away!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Revolver - Jonas Odell

the OIAF is coming around once again!

Flattened fish, beating hearts, spinning churches, jonas odell, hour glasses, retrospective and much much more. It won't be like the First Time but it all comes around to the same spot with Family and Friends!

If you are still confused, watch above and pull the trigger. It's all there in glorious black and white:)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Blu - Muto

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

I know this is old news, but, I thought it would be a good crack in the wall to lead me back to my br o ke n animated thoughts.

I don't know what to say about Blu's work but I'll try this...his work is a surreal prestidigitation of megalithic graffiti art that monstrously crawls and morphs over the urban landscape. The forms eat up and spit out the usual 'tagged' street vocabulary as his own visual style transforms the concrete horror vacui into a frame by frame take over of both space and time. Like a precise marauding horde of locust, Blu's images spread over and interact with the specific site or environment, as the seemingly psyche-driven marks shrink and grow to get around every corner. The end result is where one can follow the traces of the artist's anarchistic romp around the city block to wind up at the final stilled image that is uniquely his own. Blu is painting over the walls that separate contemporary street art and Art and taking animation to a whole new scale, both physically and culturally!!

In other words, I really dig it!

Here is his site yet again! BLU

Friday, February 01, 2008

Florence Miailhe

I have been putting off writing about Florence Miailhe for awhile now and what do you know, AniPages beats me to it with a great article about her!! So, I will just direct you to that and the two films that you can view of hers online: Les Oiseaux Blancs, Les Oiseaux Noirs (below) and Conte de Quartier (via Arte TV). Nothing more to say 'cept that I look forward to seeing more of her work and to break out the paint and sand!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kat Fight

You know the saying: if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all! Well, needless to say, as I am licking my wounds, you can chase yer tail to Caspar Konefal's Katfight!! I saw this last year at the Ottawa Animation Festival and thought it was a nice change up to the 'Sheridan style' of animation. This may be because Sheridan changed to a degree program a couple of years ago and have been in the painful process of chasing the string back to stability. It looks like they are going in the right direction when you look at Caspar's or Trevor Jimenez's work. Katfight is a send up of Eastern European animation as filtered through Western eyes: heavy on style with no political or social commentary. Just pure absurd FUN is what it is about!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peter and the Wolf

Don't worry, I wasn't just 'crying wolf' when I said that I was back posting again, I just went away for a week. So, here is the delectable morsel that was waiting for me when I popped my giant head back out of the bunny hole, Suzie Templeton's Peter and the Wolf!! It was just announced that it has been nominated for an Academy Award and it can now be watched for your consideration.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Panique Au Village

I don't know how I stumbled across this crazy Belgian stop-motion series, Panique Au Village, but I am so glad that I did!! It just makes you want to get all the toys out of the closet and off the shelves and start animating. I am just going to let the show speak for itself on this one. I will only say that it is from Vincent Patar & Stephane Aubier and that they are turning it into a feature film. Check out the production blog here. It will be interesting to see how they will pull it off with the quirky limited style for over an hour. Other than that, grab your bow and six-shooters for this show down with hilarity. Don't worry, you don't have to comprend ahnudder langwadge to get it!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday Inspiration: Julie Morstad

A book which I picked up last year was Julie Morstad's Milk Teeth (published through Drawn and Quarterly's Petits Livres series). Since I have recently been afflicted with cross-hatch-itis, Julie's book feeds my ink-meth addiction. It also exposes my own milk teeth, as compared to her well-cut fangs; the latter bear a world of child-like imaginings and innocence lost. I am pretty sure the Petits Livres series is in the business of showing sampled works of artists, but it would be nice to see Julie do some sequential work. Don't get me wrong: each work is like an inked tapestry, filled with impending tales of fantastical (mis)adventures, but having Julie's own words affixed to them (or even just the wordless story) would bring to life the hypnotic surreal places that she creates. However, this is just minor floating-heads-under-the-bridge and wishful thinking on my part: I guess what I am saying is, I want more. I'm a junkie, and I will take a collected book of her beautiful illustrations any day. Speaking of fixations, I will leave you with my other addiction, Neko Case and her video Maybe Sparrow with Julie's art/animation.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Well, talk about the dark pit of our psyche: Ericailcane certainly sews the knitted folds of my gray matter into a black-pearl-stitched cranial cozy. It is covered in a menagerie made in formaldehyde, and dyed in the deepest recesses of the mind. The cross-stitched dark fairy tales, cross-hatched out of the imaginings of this Italian artist, took me in right from the opening page. Engravings, drawings and installations display an unnatural animal kingdom as collected in Victorian museum collections. Interestingly enough, Ericailcane has worked with many artists, including street artist Blu (see earlier post). He will have a show this year in Chicago @ the Italian Cultural Institute. So, while you wrap yourself in the cold, fleshy blanket, with a strong cuppa tea, and wait impatiently for this, you can watch his stop-motion videos. Il Galione is below and there is more on his site. No moral ending to this post.
(thanks to Katrzyna!:)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Juan Pablo Etcheverry

A good follow up to the last post is this beautiful stop-motion animation, Minotauromaquia (2004), by Juan Pablo Etcheverry. The film explores the creative demons/inspiration of the one-and-only Pablo Picasso! Using the fitting metaphor of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth, Juan starts with young Picasso as he paints Les Demoiselles D'avignon, and then quickly delves into the crevices of the artist's psyche. An old Picasso resides in the bullring/maze of the Minotaur, trying to find his way out after stealing the creativity from the Man-beast. All the motifs from Picasso's creations appear out of the shadows of the twisting corridors, prompting him this way and that, but it's not that simple as the blood-thirsty, anthropomorphic image of the psyche's dark side hunts him down. From concept to final frame, Juan himself has conquered the Minotaur with this impressive short film, and seeing Picasso's paintings realized in 3D left me wanting more. After watching Simon Schama's Power of Art, Juan literally shows what Simon says of Picasso: "...Picasso connects with our worst nightmares. He's saying, “Here's where the world's horror comes from; the dark pit of our psyche." This is a nice homage to the artist's creativity, and his vision which would shape the art of the Modern era. That is the Power of Animation.
(thanks to Ticklebooth and Milk and Cookie's for this one!)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Michael Dudok de Wit

Sunday inspiration posts was something that I used to do and it was initially inspired by a Masterclass by Michael Dudok de Wit. In his presentation, Michael talked about Creativity and how everyone of us suffers from it's mercurial rise and fall. This is a good reminder to all, especially, as students crush back into the enclosed environment of higher education and the pressures that come about. So, without sounding too mercurial myself, I thought as I am waiting for the slow thaw to come about that you could warm yourself by the glowing embers of Michael's films. Father and Daughter (shown above), The Aroma of Tea, The Monk and the Fish and Tom Sweep will definitely give rise to inspiration and get the Muses dancing a wicked beat. Watching these films over again, not only are they visually stunning, but it is nice to see how much the rhythm and timing of the music are attached to the action and how it becomes the principal motivator in his latest film,the Aroma of Tea(2006). So, enjoy these films!! I lost all my bookmarks over the holidays and I am in the process of (re)collecting all my favorite things. If you want to share what gets you fired up, please do!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Jillian Tamaki

Instead of trying to put together a 'Top 10' list for 2007 comics (which would take me forever to do), I'm just going to put them out there as I go through the stack....

Jillian Tamaki's, Gilded Lilies, is definitely one of those books that I love more and more upon each visit. Beautiful colour sense and stylization that was a big inspiration for me and still is as I find her work as my desktop background more times than not. I'm not saying this just cuz she's Canadian too, eh! Check out her on-line sketchblog and I wish I could be taking her class @ Parson's!!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Julia Pott

I have a crush on Julia Pott and her short film, My First Crush! I know everyone must have seen this by now but I just wanted to scrawl my opinion on the bathroom wall about it. It's like finding one of your high-school note books with the pages filled with graffiti. Love notes and doodles of classmates underline and rule the place of awkward feelings and new found expression from that age. My First Crush perfectly captures the memory of first love in a deceptively simple style that is all Julia's own, quirky and poignant! Her animation lends well to the stories with creative transition shots and composition as the animal characters re-enact the interviewed tales of infatuation. The film would fit nicely in front of Jonas Odell's film, Never Like the First Time! and Matthew Walker's film, John and Karen, in an animation program!! This is a good short to watch to kick off this New Year as it made me weak in the knees and has me writing in the margins again. Be sure to check out her blog too!!

Happy New Year...I think!

Well, last year was full of upheaval for me in this here bunny hole. I am still trying to pull this proverbial rabbit outta the hat and find a place in this here Trickfilm of an industry. But, I will say that I am going to make the resolution to write more and stop inhaling from the exhaust pipe to keep this place a hoppin' for a little while longer! Anyhow, Happy New Year and sharpen up the knives to dissect the delectable morsels of visual specimens that lie just underneath the soft fleshy surface.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Naoyuki Tsuji DVD

Here is a nice after-image to the last post, Naoyuki Tsuji!! It is very hard to find information on the independent animation scene from Japan so I was very surprised to find this DVD collection of Tsuji's work!!! This is from Facets Multi-media, which is a non-profit distribution house out of Chicago that focuses on art house, foreign and hard-to-find cinema. Here is a small clip of Tsuji's film Trilogy about Clouds. Naoyuki works on a single sheet of paper with charcoal in hand as he works in an almost stream-of-conscious process. He lets the images emerge and transform out of the ghosted thoughts of childhood and memory in an almost delicate meditation of subject and medium. Erasing, blurring and drawing on top of as the last image becomes the new memory of the memory. Animation is very much like how the brain and memory function but it is interesting to add on the creative process of re-enacting that in a contemplative and intuitive way of working.

Naoyuki Tsuji has become synonymous with independent animation as the discussions about the art form are now starting to take hold. He gave a talk at the MOMA earlier this year and was apart of a brilliant exhibit this year at Parasol Gallery in London called Momentary Momentum. From the likes of William Kentridge, Kara Walker, Michael Dudok de Wit, Paul Bush and David Shrigley this exhibit establishes the role of animation in Contemporary art and the impacts on both (I noticed you can buy the catalog and dvd of this in N.A. from the New Museum). Here is a review and an excerpt of Tsuji's new film Children of the Shadows from the Dazed Digital site! Also, Naoyuki will be in a group show at the Dorsky Gallery in Long Island from November 18th to the end of January. Finally, there will be a program of Tsuji's films at this year's Aurora festival (November 7-10th). You can now view the full schedule and programs for this coming-soon festival! That should get you caught up on everything that is Naoyuki Tsuji...enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't be BLU!!

Here is a fantastic animation that picked me up out of my doldrums! I don't know much about the Italian artist named BLU but here is his website. All I can tell you is that this film was done for the Fantoche animation festival that was just held last month in Switzerland. It reminds me very much of Naoyuki Tsuji's work in both look (as in seeing the ghosting of the previous images) and surreal subject matter but on a huge scale.

I need my bedroom painted...I wonder if he does house calls?!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sleeping Betty

I know, I know...what the! But, here I am finally awoken from my 'Sleeping Betty' sort of slumber. Alas, no Prince Charming came to my rescue but at least it was a horse's swift kick that has jolted this bunny back up and staring with a stiff upper lip at Claude Cloutier's new short film. Sleeping Betty (Isabelle au bois dormant) not only took the Best Canadian film category at this year's Ottawa International Animation Festival but it also took the Public Award! In fact, after the showing of the film they introduce the film maker and I think Claude was caught like a moose in the headlights of the audiences thunderous applause.

Here is the synopsis of the film:
In a sumptuous palace in the basement of a house in a Montreal working-class neighbourhood, Princess Betty sleeps in a narcoleptic stupor. The king is at her bedside. He appeals to Uncle Henri VIII, Aunt Victoria, an emotional alien, a cool witch and, why not, a handsome prince! This worthy Prince Charles lookalike has to leave his royal suburb, confront a Canadian dragon and brave a surreal set of road rules in order to save the princess. But will Betty be wakened with just a kiss? (watch teaser)

Sleeping Betty is an anachronistic romp and rout through a richly illustrated style that could have easily come out of the pages of Punch magazine or the satirical caricature papers of the late 19th century. Mix that with Avery-style slap stick gags and let steep with the absurd predicaments that enfold in order to wake the too much Nyquil hibernation that Betty is in. Stir in a couple of lumps of Canadiana and now you've got the perfect brew to serve up in that cracked Queen Victoria patterned china cup. I would say though, that it is the ginger-snappy timing that carries this wordless film and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. In the end it will make you want to plant your own sloppy kiss on Betty in order to end the tea party insanity!!

Bonus: watch Claude's film Overdose here!