Animation and Anime

The Lovely Roxanne Reports on the Animation Spotlight at Sundance!

Published at: Jan. 17, 2009, 2:27 a.m. CST

Hey folks, Harry here with our first report from our girl in the snow, the lovely Roxanne - who is dutifully going to be filing reports on anything and everything she can get into at Sundance. Filmmakers? Publicists? I'd recommend contacting Roxanne at that above link to make sure your wares are in front of her eyes, right? Right.

Greetings fellow film nerds, Roxanne here scrounging up some free wi-fi in the Sundance Filmmaker Lounge in sunny Park City. I managed to beg, borrow, and steal my way into town late yesterday evening from LA (this may have included holding a makeshift 'Park City or Bust' sign while standing out front of the SLC Sundance box office for 2 hours). Press, festgoers, and a bevy of locals filled the streets of Park City last night for the kickoff of both Sundance and Slamdance. Yours truly couldn't sweet talk my way into Sundance's post-Mary and Max opening night party, but down the street Slamdance's 'housewarming party' was more than happy to admit the masses. If Sundance is cocktails and velvet ropes, Slamdance is PBR in your favorite dive bar. Inside, Slamdance filmmakers and a good ¾ of the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia talked movies and listened to the ever-changing indie band lineup while throwing back some longnecks. This morning's screening of The Animation Spotlight was packed considering its early scheduling, with Bill Plympton's short Hot Dog and Don Hertzfeld's I Am So Proud of You (rumored to be shot with one of the same cameras that captured the animated version of Schulz's Peanuts comics in the 60s) garnering the most audience attention. Both filmmakers were on hand for the post-screening Q & A, where Plympton talked up the short film as an art form and the next addition to his 'Dog' series, Horn Dog, due out this year. A standout of the group was definitely Roland Becerra's Dear Beautiful, what he deemed his "homage to Romero". Dear Beautiful appeared earlier this year in the Toronto After Dark Film Fest shorts program. A combination of airborn virus paranoia, zombies with hand cream fetishes, and a failing relationship make this painstakingly detailed stop-animation short well worth seeking out. Becerra started work on the short in 2003, hand painting nearly every frame. Two other notable mentions both hail from France, Jérémy Clapin's Skhizein and Franck Dion's Monsieur Cok. Both deal with psychological and societal paranoia in very different ways. Skhizein's Gondry-esque main character is struck by a meteorite and finds himself exactly 91cm out of sync with the rest of the world, while Monsieur Cok presents a surreal dystopia commenting on dehumanizing politics and industrialism. Oh, and the animation is bad ass too. That's it for now gang. I'll keep you up to date on the festival happenings over the weekend, you let me know what you want to hear about and I'll be sure to check it out. Right now I'm off on the hunt for tickets to Sundance's sold out midnight screening of the nazi-zombie horror flick Dead Snow, and the much-anticipated Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (title of the year, anyone?) showing at Slamdance later this week. -XOXO Roxanne
Skhizein trailer (no subtitles):



Monsieur Cok trailer



Hot Dog trailer:



Dear Beautiful trailer:



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