Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Archives for: August 2004, 28

Saturday, August 28, 2004

07:24:20 pm , 748 words, 4062 views     Categories: Animation, Indie

Alternative anime at the VIFF

My reply to TenAJs's comment was getting long, so I thought I'd post it here.

I'm incredibly out of it when it comes to stuff like this, so thanks for mentioning this. And no problem at all - anyone and everyone feel free to post like this if there's something you'd like to mention.

Here's another bit that caught my eye:

This year we are also pleased to honour the great Korean animator Lee Sung-Gang with two special screenings. Part One of our tribute is a screening of his 2001 feature, MY BEAUTIFUL GIRL, MARI, winner of the Grand Priz at the Annecy Animation Festival. It concerns a 12-year-old boy living with his mother and grandmother in an isolated fishing village who tries to escape into a parallel world. Part Two of the tribute comprises a selection of the shorts and music videos he has made. ONURI AND OTHER SHORTS includes his music videos for the band Rainy Sun Ocean (co-directed with Nam Ji-Woong of Teenage Hooker fame), his animated sequence for Jang Sun-Woo’s Bad Movie and his latest short, Onuri, based on a Jeju Island creation myth.

Looks like I'll be spending a lot on gas for about two weeks come September 23.

As for "Imagination Practice", so far there are only two titles mentioned, and I can only find information about Naoyuki Tsuji. Before now I'd never heard of either of these animators, but that's no surprise, because I'm not very well informed about alternative animation in Japan.

Profile of the artist:

Born in Shizuoka in 1972, Naoyuki Tsuji (辻直之) debuted in 1992 as an independent animator, and has regularly submitted his short films to festivals such as the Golbang Film Festival and the London Film Festival. A graduate of the Tokyo Plastic Arts School, he has been equally active in various other media including sculpture and illustration. Since 1999 he and Takumi Terakami (寺上匠) have hosted a yearly guerilla art exhibition entitled "Scrap Festival" on the streets of Yokohama, planting sculptures and drawings and other strange and wonderful things at various propitious locations in the urban landscape, even being so kind as to provide self-guided tour maps for each year's festival. Since August of last year he has organized a bi-monthly film screening for the Iwasaki Museum in Yokohama showcasing short, feature-length and animated films made by local independents from Kanagawa prefecture and around the world, providing locals with a much-needed venue to see films by local artists that would otherwise remain hidden from the view of the general public. Tsuji submitted his film Rules of the Night to a festival of Japanese experimental animation that toured ten cities in France in April 2003, and it was here that Tsuji came to the attention of a member of the planning committee for the Cannes "Director's Fortnight", who was impressed enough by the film to invite him to submit his most recent film, Feathers gazing into the darkness, which in turn wound up getting him invited to this year's Cannes Film Festival for that event.

Tsuji on his animation:

"One of the main characteristics of animation created using charcoal, oil or pastel is the afterimage. With these methods it's easy to erase or draw over or add details to a previously drawn image, but the previous image never completely disappears. My method is quite simple. I sit in front of the paper and wait for an idea. When I get an idea, I draw it down and click the shutter a few times. Then I erase a bit and redraw and click the shutter a few more times, and so on. So it's random, yet with direction, ordered towards the future. I start with no set idea for the film. Each image I draw and photograph creates suggestions which lead to the next image, and these images build up inside me as the film advances. The reason I take this approach to filmmaking is to pursue the unique possibilities of this particular medium, which doesn't require any special preparation beforehand other than charcoal and paper." (translated from here)


1992 - Wake up (覚めろ / Mezamero)
4 mins / 16mm → DV / puppet+pen animation

1994 - For almost forgotten stories (消えかけた物語たちの為に / Kiekaketa monogataritachi no tame ni)
10 mins / 16mm / puppet animation

1995 - Rules of the night (夜の掟 / Yoru no okite)
6 mins / 8mm / charcoal animation

1997 - experiment
4 mins / 16mm / stop motion+pen animation

2003 - Feathers gazing into the darkness (闇を見つめる羽根 / Yami wo mitsumeru hane)
17 mins / 16mm / charcoal animation

2003 - Breathing clouds (呼吸する雲 / Kokyu suru kumo)
3 mins / 16mm / charcoal animation