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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Monday, September 26, 2005

11:26:18 pm , 433 words, 853 views     Categories: Animation, Studio

Animation 80

Hisashi Mori from Samurai Seven #7Browsing through the VIFF schedule today I smugly noted the improbability of there being a Brian Ferneyhough companion piece to the Arvo Pärt documentary on the schedule. (You know... new simplicity versus new complexity...) But it seems I was hasty, as there's something just as good - a doc on Elliot Carter, who, astonishingly, at 95, is still alive and composing. Having seen both WWI and 9/11, he comes across as the embodiment of the American Century in New Music, and I very much look forward to seeing this film.

Last year the festival introduced me to the Korean independent animator Lee Sung-Gang, and this year they're spot on in saying that the last thing in the world I would have been expecting as a next project from him would have been the live-action supernatural erotic thriller being featured at this year's festival. I didn't think I could admire the man more than I did before, but it just happened. (Though I do look forward to his next piece of animation.) Though a far cry from his debut animated feature, the new film actually sounds close in spirit to his early independent animated films. It's refreshing to find an animation figure like this who can effortlessly shift between such extreme poles from one project to the next, much the way Walerian Borowczyk did. I'm reminded of the motto for the Animation 80 "circle" in Japan: Animation isn't a genre of movies - Movies are a genre of animation.

Animation 80 was one of the biggest of the many animation "circles" that appeared on the scene in the 80s. These were groups dedicated to promoting the creation of amateur animation, with the main activity being the screening of animated shorts from around the world and shorts made by members. Animation 80 is still active and holds a screening each year in November. They're currently looking for submissions, and accept submissions from overseas. They also hold a 1-minute animation festival. You can see some of the films from previous editions online (in low quality) on their home page.

I've been under the distinct impression that Hisashi Mori has been doing uncredited work in Speed Grapher lately. Today I had a look over his other work trying to get a grasp of his line to see if I could find conclusive, telltale proof in this hook or that angle (didn't work), when it suddenly occurred to me that his characters looked very Pärn-ish, and that that was probably a subconscious reason why I liked his work so much, besides the obvious main pull of the incredible and unique movement.

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6 comments

tim_drage [Member]

Animation isn’t a genre of movies - Movies are a genre of animation.

I like that motto!!

09/27/05 @ 02:56
tim_drage [Member]

by the way, any chance of a translation of the rules/guidelines for submission to their screening? I’d love to submit some of our animation but I can’t determine from altavista translation quite what the criteria are!?

09/27/05 @ 03:00
Harrold
Harrold [Visitor]

It is interesting that you should mention Parn (I think he’s brilliant), as I have thought often that he seems to be someone you would like, judging by the kinds of animators you highlight on your site, he has a lot of that rough looseness in his work, but I haven’t seen mention of him before. Do you know if he’s well regarded in Japan, and in particular amongst these animators like Mori, Ohira etc ?

09/27/05 @ 06:44
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Tim:

Actually, it appears the deadline is past for the main screening this year, but I’ll translate it anyway for future reference.


Animation 80 is soliciting animated films to be shown at the 31st Animation 80 Screening to be held on 6 and 20 November 2005.

Rules:
1. Most of the film must consist of animation.
2. Length no greater than 10 minutes.
3. Visuals and audio must be suitable for display in a public place.
4. No material that infringes on copyright.
5. The preview copy must be an NTSC format VHS, Mini-DV or DVD-R.
6. Please also send a CV, work list, and a brief description of your film.
7. Send the filled-out entry form together with the preview copy and the aforesaid documents to the address below.
8. The preview copy and entry form must be recieved by August 31, 2005.
9. You will be contacted in September after Animation 80 has judged the entries and made the selection.

Address:
Mori Tadashi
14-70-209 Sugenotoro, Tama-ku
Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken
214-0002
JAPAN

Though it’s probably a bit short notice, it looks like you still have a two days to make it for this year’s 1-minute animation festival

09/27/05 @ 11:12
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Harrold:

I’ve actually been a huge fan of Priit Pärn since I first discovered his work about five years ago (at Scarecrow Video in Seattle, I think), but I’ve never mentioned him here because he’s already pretty famous… But I definitely count him as one of my handful of all-time favorite animators.

I haven’t really heard a lot about Pärn being popular in Japan, so I’m not sure. I know there was a Priit Pärn Film Festival held last November in Kobe, and Hotel E was shown at the 2003 Laputa Animation Festival’s Best of the Best program, but with no DVD of his work available over there yet I’m guessing that he’s probably not yet as well known as he deserves to be among general animation fans… as for whether the seemingly similarly-inclined animators like Mori, Ohira et al. are familiar with and/or influenced by his work, I have no idea… Hashimoto and Ohira never mentioned him in interviews I’ve read.

09/27/05 @ 11:44
tim_drage [Member]

Ah, too bad… but thanks anyway, good to know about the group + their events for future reference!!

09/27/05 @ 15:53