Movie review of “The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows”: Exquisite animation in a variety of styles makes this collection of 11 shorts a visual feast. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 4.
The 11 short films gathered under the banner of “The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows” are linked by a unified sensibility, which sets this collection apart from other animation showcases that come down the pike from time to time.
Unlike the haphazard crazy quilt of visual styles and thematic approaches that characterize most other collections, a gentle winsome feeling tinged with melancholy is the thread that runs through the films chosen by curator Ron Diamond for this “Show of Shows.”
Clay animation, line drawings and photorealistic computer-generated imagery are all to be found here. Themes ranging from environmentalism to romantic love (achieved and thwarted) and social pressures to conform (and resistance to same) are briefly and perceptively addressed.
Movie Review ★★★½
‘The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows,’ a collection of 11 shorts, various directors. 96 minutes. Not rated; suitable for general audiences. SIFF Cinema Egyptian.
The works of artists from the U.S., Russia, Iran, Australia, France, Ireland and Switzerland are all in the mix.
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Among the most emotionally resonant of these shorts is the Russian-made “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos,” about the close friendship of two cosmonauts whose giddy love of space training has them jumping up and down on beds like exuberant kids. Tragedy transforms their joy into wistful, wordless grieving.
Resistance to societal norms is at the heart of “The Story of Percival Pilts,” about a character whose decision to live out his life on stilts perturbs his family and bemuses the local townsfolk.
“Stripy,” made by two Iranian brothers, is a comical and captivating look at a factory worker whose artistic inclinations put him at odds with his foreman, but then in a twist, his art becomes commercialized.
Interview segments with several of the filmmakers are included, and the unifying theme in those is how much they all love the art of animation.