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.