|Intensity TV: Episode #103
Intense Animation: Cartoons for Adults
Shane Acker's first film, The Hangnail, was produced in 18 weeks at the 1999 UCLA Animation Workshop. It tells a cautionary story about a man, a man's best friend and what eventually tears them apart. The lesson to be learned: like the thread that unravels the sweater, a hangnail is better left alone. The Hangnail is a sick and twisted tale of love, rejection and a piece of skin. Among others, this film appeared at Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, Animac Film Festival (Spain) and UCLA Film Festival.
Writer and director Guy Lampron, who has worked as a 3D animator and developer of special effects, needed three years to finish this film. Sentinelles is a stunning piece of animation that blurs the line between the living and the inanimate. From their posts high atop a skyscraper, the metallic heads of two eagles come to life in a surreal tale of love and survival. This poetic short film about the value of persistence has appeared at Berlin International Film Festival, Imagia 2000 (France), Melbourne International Film Festival, Anima Mundi Animation Festival (Brazil) and Festival des Films du Monde de Montreal.
French director Sebastien Drouin shows us a futuristic western in a post-apocalyptic world where cowboy robots rule the town of Dust City with an iron fist. A must-see for everybody who wonders if David will have a chance against Goliath in the future. Among others, this film appeared at Prix Artfutura (Madrid).
Little Milosh (Maly Milos)
Born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, animator and writer Jakub Pistecky and his family escaped to Canada in 1982. This is a dark and poetic fable about a meek man named Milosh, who is suffering from his evil wife Babka. One day, with the help of a new friend, he faces her. Friendship triumphs, as they put an end to her wicked ways. Little Milosh won several awards including Prix Ars Electronica 2000, Vancouver Effects and Animation Festival and Toronto Digital Image Festival. It was shown at Bonton Zlin Film Festival (Czechoslovakia), Toronto Digital Image Film, Brussels Animated Film Festival, Krok Animation Festival (Russia), 1 Reel Film Festival (Seattle) and Siggraph (Los Angeles).
American director and animator Mark Osborne, who has worked on animation for cable channels E!, TBS, The Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, was nominated for an Oscar for More. This is the first fully animated, stop-motion film to be presented for an exhibition in the IMAX 70mm format. More is a story about a tired, old inventor struggling to find meaning in his bland, colorless life. He breaks out of his oppressive assembly-line existence by creating a remarkable invention—special goggles that allow the wearer to see only beautiful things. His invention becomes a sensation. However, his subsequent success does not come without sacrifice. The inventor learns that true happiness is not a product that can be manufactured. This film appeared at Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, ResFest, Toronto International Film Festival, Sweden International Short Film Festival, Taos Talking Picture Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival.
Bride of Resistor
Bride of Resistor is about a freak of nature made of a jumble of transistor parts searching for love in all the wrong places. After many failed attempts, he decides the only way to get a mate is to set a trap. In the end, Mr. Resistor finds out, as most of us do, love hurts. Among others, this film was shown at Black Maria Film & Video Festival and Northwest Film & Video Festival. Filmmaker Mark Gustafson has earned several Emmys and Academy Award nominations since this production.
Marvin and the Martian
Animator Dustin Adair combines his reverence for the classic 1950's cartoons with today's computer generated animation. The entertaining result is Marvin and the Martian, a story about a boy whose brand new computer game becomes a little too virtual. Marvin finds himself face-to-face with a heavily armed spaceship hell-bent on his destruction (not to mention his room). When the spaceship gets out the "disc-O-death," Martin must resort to drastic measures. This American short film has been screened at New Orleans Film Festival, Toronto Digital Festival and Atlanta Film and Video Festival.
Kerryn Z. Miller, who attended the UCLA School of Animation, tells us a story about the misadventures of Phil Lament, a light bulb that refuses to shine. He argues, the more he is lit up, the closer he is to death. He comes up with a not-so-bright idea on how to live forever. Although the hero of this film was never actually harmed during the production of this film, many real light bulbs gave their lives as a result of this short. The film also gives new meaning to conserving energy during California's much-maligned energy crisis.
The Yellow Umbrella
The Yellow Umbrella -- directed and illustrated by Victor Robert and written and produced by Rodney Hom -- is about a melancholy boy, living in a dark world of constant rain. One day he discovers a yellow umbrella that, when opened, emits sunshine. Both the boy and the umbrella stand out from the rest of the nightmarish town. The greedy leader of the town swiftly spreads rumors about the unique boy and manages to snatch the umbrella. As the brave boy tries to get it back, the unexpected happens. The two young and gay filmmakers hope this fable of tolerance promotes understanding and respect for people that are different from ourselves. The Yellow Umbrella has been included in Next Frame Festival and Los Angeles International Short Film festival.