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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Animation Festival
The Dynamism of a Dog on a Lead
For five days last week, I more or less lived in ACMI Cinema 2 during the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

This is at least the fourth year running that I've gone to as many sessions of this thing as I physically can. It actually started on Monday, but I didn't start going till Wednesday. My schedule was roughly:

Wednesday: two sessions
Thursday: three sessions
Friday: two sessions
Saturday: five sessions
Sunday: four sessions

For a total of sixteen. They averaged somewhat more than an hour each, in fact closer to an hour and half, so that's, what, about 22 total hours in the cinema in the space of a week. I also did loads of bike riding and staying up late on Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday I came down with a cold. Funny that!

The last sessions every year are the "best of the festival", which includes some of the best films, and a "winner of the festival" film, plus the best Australian film. This year, on the Thursday, I saw a film in the Puppet Panorama, which I knew straight away was going to win the festival. It was called Madame Tutli-Putli, and really defies description. And I was right, it won!

The Canadian Film Board run an amusing online contest with the film - for every unique visitor who watched the film, they'd ad one more frame to the length shown online. Since several hundred people have now done so, you can watch the whole film. And try and work out for yourself what the heck it is about... I have to say, it's the best, smoothest, marionette/puppet animation I've ever seen. The solved one of the puppet animators major problems - how to do eyes - by the (seemingly) simple method of editing in real eyes onto the puppets. Gave the whole thing a really uncanny look.

The best Australian film was a really clever computer animation called The Passenger which is the charming story of a fish on a bus...! Man, read the blog, the dude spent eight years making a seven minute film. Even "Eraserhead" took less time!

I can really only measure how many festivals I've been to (almost) in their entirety by remembering the winning films from each year. In 2007 it was a hand-painted master piece called My Love. In 2006 it was, as I mentioned in a previous post, Jona/Tomberry. 2005 must have been the brilliant animated and very touching Ryan. The year before that, 2004, I can't remember, which probably means I wasn't at that festival for much of it.

Next year I should demand to be a judge :-)

Actually, next year I'll probably be overseas when the festival is on.

One of the hazards of seeing so many session is one tends to see the same film two or more times. This year I saw "The Passenger" three times. In 2006 I say "Jona/Tomberry" four times in three days (or it might even have been two days) which twisted my brain far more than it was already!

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I actually didn't like Madame Tutli-Putli that much. It was kind of weird/freaky and I didn't get it. The Passenger was great though.

It was weird, that's what I liked about it. Also didn't involve fish like every second animation at the festival!

Including the passenger! Hey, go read his blog about how many years it took him to make it....

Fine, fine... old man...


This is the thanks I get for, er, years of teasing????

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