Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Nine Nation Animation

A compilation of nine animated short films from around the world contains hits and misses.

Sept 30, 2010

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/153417-Nine_Nation_Md.jpg

"Please Say Something"

For movie details, please click here.

The World According to Shorts presents a new lineup of films in an omnibus package titled Nine Nation Animation. While this isn’t the best collection of short films, some of them are noteworthy. Adult audiences will appreciate these set-pieces more than children or anyone expecting funny-cute or benign cartoons.

First up: Kajsa Naess’s “Deconstruction Workers,” a cleverly named (maybe too cleverly named) Norwegian vaudeville routine between two construction workers debating their outlooks on life as the world (literally) crumbles around them. The animation is of the Beavis and Butt-head school, but the idea is a good one.

Second: the Turkish “Average 40 Matches” by Burkay Doğan & M. Şakir Arslan, a most skillful use of stop-motion animation that delivers an anti-smoking message in an unexpected and ironic way.

Third: Patrick Pleutin’s “Bâmiyân,” an overlong, overly serious attempt to honor the artifacts destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. The French-born Pleutin uses Asian-inspired artwork to retrace the history of the Buddha statues, but his style (and the segment) overstays its welcome.

Fourth: David O’Reilly’s “Please Say Something,” a spare view of the future, with a cat and mouse negotiating a hostile landscape. The “Spy vs. Spy” style works particularly well for this bleak Irish/German entry.

Fifth: “Flatlife” by Jonas Geirnaert, the closest thing to a traditional-looking cartoon, with four quadrants representing a house and the four separate inhabitants who drive each other crazy. The Belgian piece is mildly amusing.

Sixth: Veljko Popoviç’s “She Who Measures,” the smartest segment—a critique of modern consumerism from Croatia—using drawings seemingly inspired by Bosch, De Chirico and Mardi Gras.

Seventh: Robert Bradbrook’s “Home Road Movies,” a British short in similar terrain as “She Who Measures,” yet this affectionate “nostalgia” for what was once breakthrough technology is less effective than Popovic’s, despite more dimensional animation techniques and some fun ’60s-style Muzak.

Eighth: “The Tale of How” by the South African Blackheart Gang, an ambitious combination of a Gilbert and Sullivan-type score with creepy Tim Burton-esque (or is it Edward Gorey-an?) drawings to tell the history of the dodo bird. This one is a matter of taste.

Ninth: Jonas Odell’s “Never Like the First Time!,” which doesn’t quite fit with the others as it deals with frank sexual matters. But this Swedish finale has an intriguing premise, contrasting male and female views of first-time sexual encounters by using different animation styles.

Nine Nation Animation represents a potpourri of sociological statements, some more meaningful than others, in animated forms, some better than others. A DVD would make it easier to skip around, but the entirety might be worth catching in a theatre anyway.


Film Review: Nine Nation Animation

A compilation of nine animated short films from around the world contains hits and misses.

Sept 30, 2010

-By Eric Monder


filmjournal/photos/stylus/153417-Nine_Nation_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

The World According to Shorts presents a new lineup of films in an omnibus package titled Nine Nation Animation. While this isn’t the best collection of short films, some of them are noteworthy. Adult audiences will appreciate these set-pieces more than children or anyone expecting funny-cute or benign cartoons.

First up: Kajsa Naess’s “Deconstruction Workers,” a cleverly named (maybe too cleverly named) Norwegian vaudeville routine between two construction workers debating their outlooks on life as the world (literally) crumbles around them. The animation is of the Beavis and Butt-head school, but the idea is a good one.

Second: the Turkish “Average 40 Matches” by Burkay Doğan & M. Şakir Arslan, a most skillful use of stop-motion animation that delivers an anti-smoking message in an unexpected and ironic way.

Third: Patrick Pleutin’s “Bâmiyân,” an overlong, overly serious attempt to honor the artifacts destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. The French-born Pleutin uses Asian-inspired artwork to retrace the history of the Buddha statues, but his style (and the segment) overstays its welcome.

Fourth: David O’Reilly’s “Please Say Something,” a spare view of the future, with a cat and mouse negotiating a hostile landscape. The “Spy vs. Spy” style works particularly well for this bleak Irish/German entry.

Fifth: “Flatlife” by Jonas Geirnaert, the closest thing to a traditional-looking cartoon, with four quadrants representing a house and the four separate inhabitants who drive each other crazy. The Belgian piece is mildly amusing.

Sixth: Veljko Popoviç’s “She Who Measures,” the smartest segment—a critique of modern consumerism from Croatia—using drawings seemingly inspired by Bosch, De Chirico and Mardi Gras.

Seventh: Robert Bradbrook’s “Home Road Movies,” a British short in similar terrain as “She Who Measures,” yet this affectionate “nostalgia” for what was once breakthrough technology is less effective than Popovic’s, despite more dimensional animation techniques and some fun ’60s-style Muzak.

Eighth: “The Tale of How” by the South African Blackheart Gang, an ambitious combination of a Gilbert and Sullivan-type score with creepy Tim Burton-esque (or is it Edward Gorey-an?) drawings to tell the history of the dodo bird. This one is a matter of taste.

Ninth: Jonas Odell’s “Never Like the First Time!,” which doesn’t quite fit with the others as it deals with frank sexual matters. But this Swedish finale has an intriguing premise, contrasting male and female views of first-time sexual encounters by using different animation styles.

Nine Nation Animation represents a potpourri of sociological statements, some more meaningful than others, in animated forms, some better than others. A DVD would make it easier to skip around, but the entirety might be worth catching in a theatre anyway.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

20K on Earth
Film Review: 20,000 Days on Earth

Goth rocker turned postmodern bluesman Nick Cave turns himself inside-out for this transformative, electrifying documentary about the dark and often mundane wizardry of creativity. More »

Altina
Film Review: Altina

One artist's long, kaleidoscopic life is explored in detail in this comprehensive but somehow drab doc. More »

The Man on Her Mind
Film Review: The Man on Her Mind

Cutesiness carried to nauseating extremes. More »

Pirates
Film Review: The Pirates

For the undemanding, like Korean mass audiences who reportedly have made this the most-seen film in their history, this will serve. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Drop review
Film Review: The Drop

An excellent cast carries this familiar crime story that relies on revelations a little far-fetched. More »

Dolphin Tale 2
Film Review: Dolphin Tale 2

Handicapped dolphin Winter finds a new friend in this wholesome sequel to a family favorite. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here