So, last weekend we hosted a pop-up cinema screening as part of Sticky Shoes all-ages music and arts festival at The Orangery in Wakefield, which was awesome and we’ll be posting about it in the coming days.
As part of the event we screened Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, as well as a programme devoted to animated short films, and in many ways it served as an unofficial start to our Animates season. The season proper gets underway Thursday 24 July at Armley Mills with a screening of Ernest et Célestine. The feature presentation will be preceded by a selection of family friendly animated shorts which in turn will be preceded by the following soundtrack playing as our audience arrives.
Our playlists are determined on their music videos as much as their song choice and we feel this, the first of three this season, is arguably our most visual yet; showcasing animation techniques such as traditional hand drawn, stop-motion, computer-generated and rotoscope.
Nobody Beats the Drum ‘Poisson Vert’ dir. Rogier van der Zwaag – If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a… well… an awesome light show. This stop-motion art-piece sends the camera foraging through a forest, illuminated by various light sources which flash in sync with the beats of the track.
Grizzly Bear ‘Ready, Able’ dir. Allison Schulnik – We first discovered Allison’s work when stumbled across her short film Mound, her constantly morphing characters become almost hypnotic. This video is no different and will leave you mesmerised.
Pearl Jam ‘Do the Evolution’ dir Kevin Altieri and Todd MacFarlane – Planned and animated in 16 weeks by more than 100 artists, this video is as unrelenting as the song it accompanies, depicting numerous failings and atrocities of man’s love affair with technology.
Efterklang ‘Polygyne’ dir. Carolina Melis – What starts as intimate and simple soon escalates to a cacophony of syncopated sounds and images. This is a video more interested in suggesting feelings than ideas, continually pushing its visual tapestries as far as they can go before moving on to the next.
Clinic ‘Bubblegum’ dir. Alasdair & Jock – A video in which nothing is what it seems; toadstools become ladybirds, and one reality turns out to be the inside of a donut. Travelling by bubblegum certainly looks more fun than taking the No.9 bus.
Queens of the Stone Age ‘Go With the Flow’ dir. Shynola – We’re big fans of Shynola, the British visual arts and effects outfit, which is why we’ll be showcasing them in each of our three video playlists this season. This sexual-charged promo utilises rotoscope techniques, which we’ll be looking at more in our third playlist, that takes live action footage which is then animated over to achieve realistic movements – like 2D motion capture. With its vivid imagery and break-neck pace this video is likely to leave you breathless.
Stuck in the Sound ‘Let’s Go’ dir. Alexis Beaumont & Rémi Godin – The tale of a cosmonaut who rejects the love and affection of those around him in order to achieve personal excellence… only to regret his decisions when he lands and the Moon and the Earth promptly blows up. Full of dry wit and dead-pan humour, this is a grand story to fit into such a short film but is balanced brilliantly. It’s way better than Gravity too!
Danger Beach ‘Apache’ dir. Ned Wenlock and Rodney Selby – What makes this video so great is that it is both simple and complex, all at the same time. Its landscape is ever-changing yet the shot remains the same. This being an instrumental track, like with most silent cinema, the absence of a human voice commands greater attention from its audience allowing for a more engaging experience.
Darlingside ‘The Ancestor’ dir. Keith Boynton – With its strong themes of mortality and loss this video could have been a downer but its beautiful style and palette of psychedelic pastels soften the blow.
Gorillaz ‘Clint Eastwood’ dir. Jamie Hewlett and Pete Candeland – An instant hit when it first debuted at the beginning of 2001 (it’s been 13 years already?!), This video introduced us to the greatest animated musical group since The California Raisins. More so than most live action music videos, this one does a great job of showcasing each band member and their personalities. peppered with pop-culture references – from 2-D’s Resident Evil T-shirt to the zombie gorillas mimicking Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ music video – this promo has a little something for everyone.
Check out the videos on YouTube at the link above or head over to 8tracks to listen to the songs.
What do you guys think, any favourites? Let us know in the comments.
Enjoy and stay ‘tooned for more animated videos next month.