Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some quick notes

Saw the 2010 animated shorts screening. A few thoughts:

The Lady and the Reaper: Easily my favorite. I don't think I can say much more without spoiling it, so scrollover if you really want to know: it's hilarious. What starts out as a touching moment of an old lady dying and getting ready to see her dead husband quickly becomes a madcap, slapstick, Chuck Jones-esque romp. Totally fantastic and has a great post-credits sequence involving Cerberus.

Granny O'Grimms Sleeping Beauty: Very funny. A revisionist version of Sleeping Beauty told by an Irish grandmother to a terrified little girl. Her lullaby at the end is particularly fantastic.

French Roast: Fairly straight forward. Enjoyable, but nothing special. A snooty businessman loses his wallet and can't pay for his espresso, so he just keeps ordering more to stall for time. Some nice characterizations.

A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit are always enjoyable and the smart money is on them to win, but it's hardly their best outing. Doesn't stray too far from the tone of a Close Shave or the Wrong Trousers, both of which are better.

Logorama: I still don't know what to make of this one. An L.A. universe completely constructed out of corporate logos with Ronald McDonald going on a Joker-esque rampage. Violent, crude, and unsettling (all those logos?). It's very strange.

Partly Cloudy: Pixar. It starts out terribly (I believe I was grimacing at the screen). I couldn't figure out why Pixar had gone and made something so... cute. Luckily, it's to set up the introduction of our protagonists. Basically, clouds make babies and puppies and kittens for storks to deliver (so. many. anime. eyes.), but our cloud makes babies for the not-so-cute animals that his unlucky stork gets to deliver. Really great.

Runaway: Surrealist Canadian piece about a runaway train. Very weird, and could maybe have been tightened up a tiny bit, but otherwise is zany and fun.

The Kinematograph: Meh. About a guy so obsessed with inventing moving pictures that he neglects his wife. The scene of him working on his latest idea is beautiful, but the figures themselves looked as if they were carved out of wood, which was jarring.

Also - Saw the first two films in the Red Riding Trilogy, and oh my god are they brilliant. They're anchored by two astounding performances in Andrew Garfield and Paddy Constantine, the supporting casts are fantastic and the films themselves are dark, realistic and completely riveting. The first deals with a reporter investigating child murders in Yorkshire and the economic disparity in the region. The second is about a police detective examining the handling of the Yorkshire Ripper case, as he works through a previous case he worked in the area as well as his personal life. They are absolutely an incredible achievement and I highly recommend checking them out. I've heard the third isn't quite as good, but I can't wait to see the loose ends wrap up.


Roscoe said...

Last three aren't nominated, FYI.

Jessica said...

Ba dum dum.