Monday, May 28, 2007

Japanese Classic Cartoon(1933)

Here is a nice piece of inspiration to kick this week off. I am no expert at Japanese animation but I liked the Fleischer likeness of this cartoon. I also really like the inventiveness of the scenes ala Felix the Cat kind of stuff. I don't have any info about the film as I just happened upon it on Youtube. But, here is a 4 set dvd collection of old classic Japanese cartoons put out by Digital Meme to fill this largely missed historical void! Oh and I would like to highlight Anipages for the source I use to fill in this gelatinous void of mine about the Japanese scene.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sweet Salt

While taking a break from devouring the newly served up morsel, the Animate! book: Rethinking Animation, I thought I would take some time to see what animators I could snack on-line on. So there, lo and behold, Dek from No Fat Clips! has Katerina Athanasopoulou stuck between his teeth and I thought I would pick at the Sweet Salt taste of it. I mentioned this film awhile back when talking about Suzie Templeton, who was the set designer on this film. Now you can see this short film in it's entirety in various concession stands on the net and better still nibble on a podcast interview with Katerina here. I will go more into the Animate! scheme later on but I just wanted to point out this short film. Katerina studied painting in Greece and that is very evident in the sensual mood and other-worldliness in each frame that is created by the effects here but unfortunately I think the story as a whole suffers from it's sumptuousness. The narrative isn't hard to follow it is the empathy of the characters that is too sweet rather that salty. The ending needs to be more apparently bitter rather than subtle to my taste. Nevertheless, Sweet Salt is still a beautiful digression and it's experimentation in it's effects and themes reminds me of Lorelei Pepi's short film Grace. Take knife in hand and go and gorge yourself on the layered fillings of these two films.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Russian animation part 2

I don't know where I found this but here is a mined mountain mother load of contemporary animation from Mother Russia. Rambler Vision has many prrreh-shh-us nuggets to stare at that will undoubtedly be forged into rings of grandeur, most notably for me is Konstantin Bronzit's At the Ends of the Earth (shown above)!! Yesssss! Not much else to say but to go open your omnipresent blood shot eye and spend thousands of hours watching the glowing cube. In the end you will look like troglodytes mesmerized by strange shiny Cyrillic symbols and not wanting to share with the rest of those in the dark. Just remember it was miiine first!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Animatsiya - Russian animation

Well there is a new blog on the block, Animatsiya, and it is pointing it's telescope up into the night sky to bring news and reviews from the animated stars of Ursa Major! Niffiwan's (0r ESN) website is devoted to exposing, highlighting and translating Russian animation. He has just recently finished translating, The Cat Who Walked by Herself (shown above)! It is an obscure film that dates from 1988 and is based on a Rudyard Kipling short story. Here is the Wikipedia synopsis of it. This is great stuff! Not only is it laid out like a Russian feast for our viewing pleasure here but it is a film that is little known even to the Russian populace. So please take the time and watch this unknown feature length film clocking in at 1 hour 9 minutes. It uses various animation techniques and has a cool 'soundtrack'! Also, check out the rest of his blog and leave lots of comments of encouragement. Thanks for exposing this film for us. I will certainly raise a glass of vodka to that...URA!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Well, the Clyde Henry train has finally pulled into the station and arrived with a suitcase filled with menace and particularities! Madame Tutli Putli, I have been awaiting your visual haunting for what seems an eternity now. Not that anyone is reading this blog anymore but the impending clickety clack of this film is enough to break my stopped motion and begin to turn the hamster wheel again!! Here is the synopsis of the film:

Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past.

She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace of strangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons and is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense.

The Clyde Henry's are the team of Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski. You wouldn't know it to see it but this is their first professional film. The trailer alone reveals beautiful animation, the sets meticulous and the music will no doubt be epic ( as it was composed by David Bryant, who was one of the founding members of Godspeed You Black Emperor). This film has been an epic in itself as it has taken at least 5 years to make. To see it you can go to Annecy this year or just go and collect the snippets of isolated mementos and details at the Official NFB site and watch the trailer and the interviews. But I am sure this film will be making it's way through a festival town near you!

Also, there is actual news on the Clyde Henry site about their future projects which include 'The Seige of Quebec' with Momentum Theatre for a t.v. mini-series. And, they are working with Bruce MacDonald's production company to adapt Chester Brown's, Ed the Happy Clown, to film.
Great STUFF!! So go my lemmings and wait for the Northern train to take you over the surreal cliff and into the desolate landmindscape of Madame Tutli Putli.

UPDATE: Cartoonbrew post
Drawn! post
and better still: Jason Walker's site (who worked on Madame Tutli-Putli)