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.
August 2005
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Archives for: August 2005, 31

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

08:33:44 pm , 402 words, 3053 views     Categories: Animation, Misc

Moving Picture

Just watched Devouring Buddha on the Canadian Documentary channel, among the many great and obscure films this station has shown me. A narrator speaks a short prelude in Cambodian, after which plays out a poetic and beautifully shot walk through the streets of Cambodia around the imfamous prison where the girl was among the many killed. I've seen my share of self-indulgent artsy DV shorts, but this one worked very well. The ambient soundtrack melds with the various hues the footage is tinted to create a ghostly atmosphere. I've seen numerous films on the same material over the last few years, but beyond a point you almost don't want to know any more of the facts. This film makes you feel. A model example of the sort of guerilla filmmaking I like to see.

A while ago they showed a film called Moving Picture, which was made in Canada almost two decades ago. It's incredibly dated and embarrassing to watch, but of interest to animation fans, so I was rather happy to see it. It tells the story of a guy who becomes interested in animation to try to win the attention of a woman he likes. It's mostly wordless, depicting his metaphoric journey of discovery through the history of animation by way of lots of incredibly sappy pantomime that's rescued by being peppered with interesting clips from many of the major animation figures - from Cohl to McKay to McLaren. It's a sort of paean to the form. A cheesefest, but kinda heartwarming, though only to an animation buff. It's great to see that a film like that got made in the first place, and twenty years ago at that.

There was a scene I liked in Hosoda's One Piece film done by a female animator I'd never heard of named Ayumi Shiraishi, the one with Usop and Kappa. The timing of the movements was great, meshing well with the dialogue. I noticed she did work on one of the two IG ventures that just came out, including animation and prop design, so I'm curious to see those. There aren't enough interesting female animators these days. No surprise, the films seem well endowed animator-wise, featuring all of the usual suspects, including Ohira and Hashimoto. It's interesting that they got Tsutomu Mizushima to direct one of the films. I don't know how he went from doing Shin-chan films at Shin'ei to IG.