“Animation Spotlight” – 2015 Sundance Collection of Short Animated Films

Next up to see:  “Animation Spotlight” at The 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

 

Animation Spotlight

The animated film “Beach Flags”.

Beach Flags—Vida, a young Iranian lifeguard, is determined to be the one to participate in an international competition in Australia. However, when Sareh, who is just as fast and talented, joins the team, Vida faces an unexpected situation.

Palm Rot—An old Florida fumigator discovers a mysterious crate in the Everglades that ruins his day.

Two Films About Loneliness—A split screen separates the worlds of Jonathan Smallman, who is recording his online dating profile, and Philip Button, Internet chef and hamster, who is noisily recording his new cooking video.

Mynarski Death Plummet—A completely handmade historical micro-epic combining wartime aviation melodrama with classical and avant-garde animation techniques, Mynarski Death Plummet is a psychedelic photo-chemical war picture on the themes of self-sacrifice, immortality, and jellyfish.

Bath House—Six characters meet in a public bathhouse: the pedant bathhouse manager, a couple with a strange way of communicating, and a gang with shady intentions. Something goes wrong.

Tupilaq—The Tupilaq is both a symbol of the spirit of a forefather and a curse. This personal and moving short film revolves around the themes of cultural alienation, abuse, and the contrast between mythological Greenlandic nature and Western urban culture.

The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal—A computer and a woman fall in love, only to be torn apart because of their inappropriate feelings for each other.

The Horse Raised By Spheres—Horse ponders his loneliness.

Storm hits jacket—A storm reaches the shores of Brittany. Nature goes crazy, and two young scientists get caught up in the chaos. Espionage, romantic tension, and mysterious events clash with enthusiasm and randomness.


Quick Review “Chorus” (**1/2) – 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Chorus” – RATING (**1/2) at The 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Many recent films have been shot in black and white: “Nebraska”, “The Artist”, “The White Ribbon” and “Ida”. This film, like those, is beautifully shot and the cinematography is one of the best things about it.

 

Chorus

Fanny Mallete in the drama “Chorus”.

Chorus follows a couple, who separated ten years earlier after their only child disappeared. Iréne took refuge from her pain by singing in the chorus of the title and Christophe took his in the oceans of Mexico. They are brought back together when the body of their son is found.

Chorus

Actress Fanny Mallete from the drama “Chorus”.

The film moves very slow and has many shots of the mundane things of their lives. The story line jumps around some and it is never quite clear what is real and what is a fantasy or dream. Also, there is a voice-over that is a bit distracting, but really helps to gets across some essence of the character we have missed.

Chorus

Director François Delisle and Fanny Mallete from the drama “Chorus”.

The screenplay should be commended for its minimal use of dialogue. There are many scenes that get across everything without saying a word. There are several scenes where Iréne sings with the chorus. Music is another great thing about the film. These scenes are wonderful to listen to, but don’t move the story forward. Also, we never get the feeling that Iréne is joyous about her singing. It seems like a job to her. Perhaps the fact that she seems to be lip syncing to the music didn’t help.

 

Chorus

Director François Delisle from the drama “Chorus”.

In the Q & A after the film, actress Fanny Mallette, who plays Iréne, said the days working with the great Genevieve Bujold, who plays her mother, were much more emotional and powerful for her. As a viewer I have to agree, those are some of the best scenes in the film. Much of the rest of the film didn’t have that same sort of emotionality to it.

Chorus

Actress Fanny Mallete from the drama “Chorus”.

I ended up not caring about what happens to these characters and that is a sure sign that I was not drawn into their world and never developed empathy for them. Overall the film is beautiful in sight and sound and tries to get across the theme of loss, but was missing something to draw me in, plus it moved too slow to keep my interest.

 

IMDB page for “Chorus” 


Quick Review – “Best of Enemies” (****) – 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Quick Review:  “Best of Enemies” – RATING (****) at The 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

In 1968, ABC, the third place television network, decided to boost their ratings by hiring liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. to discuss and debate the happenings at the Republican and Democratic political conventions.

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Directors: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

The result was a series of debates, discussions and heated exchanges between two of America’s intellectual giants with inverse political leanings. It was captivating television that drew in viewers, partly to understand the issues presented at the convention, partly for the witty banter between them and partly for the conflict and possibility of a fist fight. This unconventional news method paved the way for the modern pundit media circus that we have today.

 

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Director: Morgan Neville

The film is as intelligent as its subjects. It delves into the psyche of these opposite men and shows up how they used the power of language to shape people’s views and change the course of history.

 

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Director: Robert Gordon

Although it covers events decades past, it shows us the origins of the political landscape we have now and is just as relevant today. It’s delicious to watch and makes us long for the time where intelligent discussion was acceptable on TV. It subtly brings up excellent points about what the role of the news media is and should be, without ever being preachy.

 

Best of Enemies

William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal in the documentary “Best of Enemies”.

IMDB page for “Best of Enemies” 


Ticket Pickup for Sundance 2015

We have picked up our tickets and credentials for 2015’s Sundance Film Festival. Our first film is tomorrow.

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We currently have tickets to 14 films.  Hoping to waitlist several more over the next few days.