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: February 2006, 10

Friday, February 10, 2006

11:24:23 pm , 355 words, 1639 views     Categories: Animation

Best of Ottawa

In what to me is one of the biggest pieces of news in quite a long time, Mitsuo Iso has come out of hiding. He posted a note on his home page saying that he will soon be announcing details about the project he has been working on over the last several years.

Yasuhiro Aoki seems to have done some uncredited animation near the ending of Kamichu, but I haven't been able to figure out in what episode. It's not in 11 or 12. The entire staff was so stunned by the work that he turned in that it went in completely unmodified, so supposedly it practically looks like a different show. I guess he must have handled the processing too. I'm curious how he got involved. It's the first time I see him doing anything outside of 4°C in years. Having rewatched all of his work in Arusu too many times already, I'm yearning to see some more drama from this new master.

Yesterday I saw the Best of Ottawa selection, and it was excellent, much better than I remembered last year's being. The balance was perfect and each film was totally satisfying, with perhaps only one exception, which is saying a lot. Robert Seidel's _grau was my favorite film and also the one that moved me the most, which speaks to the power that pure abstract animation can have when handled as brilliantly as it was here. He creates a world made up of complex and constantly morphing shapes that all seem somehow vaguely familar, and seem to behave according to some mysterious hidden internal logic that you can never quite put your finger on. The effect creates an irresistible fascination as your mind struggles to assign meaning to what you're seeing. You're really following every move of those shapes on the screen with fascination, which is a hell of an acheivement. Beautiful, brilliant work. Just the kind of innovative use of digital technology to create new forms of animation that I like to see. Apart from that, curiously, all of my favorite films in the selection this year were either German or British.