Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ottawa 2007

I can’t make up my mind on what to write about the Ottawa International Animation Festival. So forgive me if this entry is too long.

While our trip was slightly unpleasant (we got kicked out of our first hotel for getting too many people in), the animation festival was amazing, and the majority of the films were amazing. There are too many to discuss, so I selected only three for right now.

Achi & SSipak (AAchi Wa SSipak)
(directed by Bum-Jin Joe, South Korea).

The subject of human feces is particularly touchy when handled in animation. Most of the time, shit is just an element of gross-out humor and crass (which I often find to be handled carelessly). The plot of this South Korean film is unique in that the element of shit is crucial to the story. The movie takes place in a future where shit is society’s primary source of energy. As it turns out, anytime someone takes a dump, they are instantly rewarded with a JuicyBar, a desirable and highly profitable treat, addictive to many of the characters in the film.

Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor (Franz Kafka's Inaka Isha)
Koji Yamamura is becoming one of my favorite animators. This is the first time I’ve seen this film, and the second I’ve seen from Yamamura (the first being Mt. Head (Atama Ya). His drawing style is so unique and distinctive, and yet, it suits many moods. And lord knows, this film has many moods, although the most apparent mood is disillusionment.

(Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, France)

This was the Hollywood event of Ottawa. I was lucky enough to see this, because it only had two screenings, and both sold out quickly. I’m not sure what to say about this film, but I can safely say that I can watch it again. Really a great movie.

Pratt’s animators hanging out at the Animator’s Picnic.

Joanna Quinn (one of my great favorites), had a retrospective of her work. I couldn’t get a decent picture of her at the festival, so I am using this one.

Joanna Quinn displays many of her animation drawings. Sights to behold. It was amazing to look at these up close. She truly is one of my favorite artists and animators. I highly urge everyone to check out her work.

Signe Baumane (far left, whose Teat Beat of Sex was in the festival) dances compulsively, while my friend Marina drinks and dances quite casually.

Jessica Button and I enjoyed a brief waltz.

I’ll be back soon.

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