Notes from MIAF #2
Russell Degnan

Day 4

The panorama sessions are often good value entertainment, less likely to be memorable, but generally entertaining, and a far cry from the technical abstract session that can't help but lull me into sleep. That said, a lack of memorability makes it hard to identify standout films.

The well plotted

Blown AwayAust. panorama A clever combination of mundane encounters and out-there comedy with a feel-good ending unusual in animating.

The entertainers

MillhavenPoland #2 The Nick Cave song makes the film, but the gradual movement into insanity of the character is impressive in its use of colour and movement as well.

Day 5

Animation has big sunk costs, in scripts, drawings, models and backgrounds that might only be used for a few seconds. The longer the short, the more worthwhile it is to invest in those elements. The long short session is almost always the best for that reason, fleshing out a story, and elevating the form to art.

The entertainers

Rubikale lab de'images Great idea, didn't really run with it as far as it could, or build characters.

The technically superb

Babellong shorts Merges layers of live action seemlessly to reflect on development and the different paths of men and women in urbanising China.

The well plotted

Zbigniev's Cupboardlong shorts Eastern european amimations do't often deal with communism. This is a touching and sad reflection.

The bizarre but brilliant

Muzoramale lab de'images Completely odd, but amusing with a unique animating style.

The External Worldlong shorts So random it is almost abstract, but with moments of sharp humour, only ruined when it broke the 4th wall.

Love Patatelong shorts I love the subtle mix of styles in this film, from 2D to live action. The premise is a little odd.

Day 6

Seeing the Supinfocom logo tends to be somewhere between excitement and a relief. They aren't necessarily incredible, but they usually bring colour, fun and music into programs that can otherwise drift into artistic corners. As 3D animation has developed, their style has become more complex and diverse, which has limited their pure entertainment value this year, but strengthened the films. Having them all in one session ruins their value as fun interludes, but is an interesting experience given their general style.

The entertainers

8 Bitssupinfocom Questionable plot, but love the use of gaming techniques and variable graphics quality of old platforms.

Hezarfansupinfocom Typical Supinfocom, lots of movement, colour and fast paced, comedic action.

The technically superb

D'Une Rare Cruditesupinfocom Simple idea: plants with heads, and therefore personalities. But wonderfully put together through the seasons.

Day 7

A day now traditionally book-ended by kids and late-night bizarre, with the bulk of international programs in between. The latter can be trying when it is something other than uncensored amusement, though the uncensored, technically awful and not funny are the ones I'd really like to see cut. Still a better program than last year though.

The entertainers

Mobilekids Charming, funny. Variable physics is the great friend of animators.

Memeeint #4 Whimsical take on a nursing home resident and her neighbour that, without being special, worked.

Mr Choco In Lovebizarre So many chickens had their head cut off this week.

The technically superb

Pixelsint #2 Plotless, but another making great use of live footage, computer graphics, and old school computer games.

Love & Theftint #4 These type of morphing musical films are brilliant when they work, and this one does - or I was going crazy by this point of the day.

The well plotted

Bike Raceint #2 Not as funny as the very similar bicycle from a decade ago, but the ebb and flow of narrative is mesmeric.

The bizarre but brilliant

Wisdom Teethint #2 Don Hertzfeldt, an awful lot of blood, what more needs to be said?

Day 8

The more animation I watch, the more I start to agree with the judges over the popular choice. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. Nevertheless, I still see some films way more than I want to, and some never enough. This year's winner, Love and Theft was good, not the best, but it was a year with no standout film. I won't choose, because I don't have to. The list of worthwhile films serves its purpose for jogging my memory.

The technically superb

Big Bang Big Boomint #3 In typical outdoor style for Blu, but more ambitious in use of external objects and the scope of its reach.

The bizarre but brilliant

Polo's RobotAust. Still not entirely sure what to make of this film, but it looks brilliant.

Finer Things 28th June, 2011 13:47:47   [#]