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 2006
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Archives for: August 2006, 01

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

09:35:04 am , 268 words, 2111 views     Categories: Animation, Animator

Mihara strikes again

As if there weren't enough to look forward to in Masaaki Yuasa's Kemonozume, which begins airing on Wowow this Saturday, here's something else.

I've been a fan of Michio Mihara's work since he (almost) singlehandedly animated ep 4 of Paranoia Agent and contributed some nice work to ep 12. Besides just being a fan of folks who make the valiant effort to animate an entire episode singlehandedly in this day and age when the demands of quality have risen so much higher than they were decades ago when this sort of thing was more common, I just loved his style. Well, I'm delighted to learn that he's up to it again. And I'm even more happy to learn that it's on Yuasa's Kemonozume. According to his latest column on Anime Style, he's doing episode 12. What better present could there be than a cross between two of my favorite animators?

I've also been curious how long it takes someone to do this feat in this day and age, and he mentions that he has four months, and there are a total of 280 shots for the episode, so his calculation is that he has to manage 70 shots per month... I'll be rooting for him. Even Norio Matsumoto was only able to manage the feat on one or two occasions. The other times, like for ep 39 of You're Under Arrest, he only got about 3/4 of the way through, and the man was so stoic about his defeat that he refused to even be credited on the episode because he had failed in his goal. But Matsumoto is special that way.

Related: Michio Mihara

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

09:19:50 am , 344 words, 1236 views     Categories: Animation, Indie

Misc animation tidbits

I learned through Koji Yamamura's blog that it's possible to see four of the extraordinary films of Igor Kovalyov right here. If you want to see them in the international order in which they were made over the span of the 90s, it would be Hen and his Wife (1989) and Andrei Svislotski (1991) in Russia and then Bird in the Window (1996) and Flying Nansen (2000) in the US after his emigration to Hollywood. There's a discernible difference in the style of the animation, which seems to have a little less of the wonderful improbable deformational Parnishness of the early stuff in Russia. But it's still great. I just had the pleasure myself. He's a guy who can tell incredible stories that mean a lot without saying a word or making any sense. He just finished Milch which is thankfully available on DVD. I'm going to hen hop for it.

Koji Yamamura's blog has in fact turned into a set of DVDs collecting the eponymous Unknown Animations that he's been hilighting there over the last year since the founding of the blog. The two volumes cover ten films including Christopher Hinton's Flux and Janno Poldma's On the Possibility of Love.

I'd been wanting to see Flux for some time, and it's currently available for viewing on the NFB site along with a number of other classics from the vaults. (via Progressive Animation Review)

I'm glad to see that a DVD of Oskar Fischinger's films has finally been released. (via antville) Although I wish they would have put more than ten films on there. Maybe they don't qualify as visual music, but it would have been nice to be able to see his amazing marching cigarettes & other commercials in pristine quality. Basically, I want to see it ALL. Presumably there must be more. But I'm very happy indeed to see that the results of his revolutionary deli-slicer wax-ball animation technique have been included on the disk, as I was very curious to see those after reading about them in the late William Moritz's great biography Optical Poetry.