MIFF 2007 Animation Shorts Programme

This year’s animation shorts programme offered a great deal of variety. Norbot, an Australian short animation, told the story of a child that was born with huge ears, and his fight to find his place in the world. This was a very funny film, with some very cute animations. Horn OK Please, a UK animation, offered a day in the life of a Mumbai taxi driver, as he struggled to raise enough money to upgrade his ageing car to a shiny new model. It had fantastic animation, and some very funny moments. Adjustment was what I would regard as an experimental short film that used a whole heap of different stop motion animation techniques to fell the story of an obsessive visual diarist, who documents the disintegration of his relationship. It mixed normal video footage with stop frame animation, as well as photo realistic 3D graphics, and traditional flip book animation to great effect. I felt like this short film was more about the techniques than the story, but never-the-less, I was very impressed. I really loved the flip book style animation using a toilet paper roll, and also the section where they mixed current video footage, with flip book animation from the past. The Lady on the Threshold, was a bizarre animation, about a sea captain who arrives home and is intrigued by a mysterious beautiful women. He soon finds out the woman is married to another sea caption, who has be involved in an accident in the past that has resulted in a loss of his legs and hands. As the story continues, we learn what really happened to the sea captain. This was a very dark piece, with a very satisfying, although slightly sick conclusion. The Bronze Mirror is a very funny short film about some villagers in ancient Korea, who stumble across a mirror – a piece of technology that is not yet known to the masses. They get quite a shock when they see a familiar face in the piece of glass in front of them! Fetch, is a great, yet really short, film about a man trying to get his dog to fetch a stick. Slightly sick, but very funny! Lapsus, was also another funny, yet very simple animation about a nervous nun, a white space and a black void. Driven purely by visual humour, the nun is forced to explore the dark and the light side of the screen. Despite its simplicity, this is very cleaver concept that is executed perfectly! The only other film work mentioning (although there were several other films shown), was Ark. This was a very dark film, about an unknown virus that has destroyed almost the entire human population. Unsure of why all this is happening, the remaining survivors escape via the sea to a far away island. Although the ending is a bit of a letdown in some ways, the 3D animation is some of the best I’ve ever seen. It has a very dark, and almost Matrix feel to it, but it’s extremely realistic.