Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

The Great SXSW 2010 Preview Dump: Emerging Visions, Part 1

March 11, 2010

The legendary Austin hospitality is especially extended to first-time filmmakers. That’s what the Emerging Visions section is about—highlighting the talent making the move from attention-getting short to career-making features. In with a chance this time around are documentaries tackling topics like Bill Hicks and bears, as well as features revolving around mung beans and android love.

Read our SXSW Headliners Preview.
Read the first part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read the second part of our SXSW Spotlight Premieres preview.
Read our SXSW Narrative Features Competition preview.
Read our SXSW Documentary Features Competition preview.


Remember 2008? Man, wasn’t that a time! We were all running around, registering to vote, filled with hope in our hearts, shouting “Yes, we can!” at the top of their lungs … 2010 and the suck has set in. That hasn’t stopped director Jeff Deutchman, so inspired by the spirit of the times that he made this documentary on what people were doing the day Barack Obama was elected president.

A Different Path

For many, getting to work means jumping into the car and enduring a slow commute to the infernal chatter of morning zoo radio. Problem is, all this four-wheeled to-ing and fro-ing is killing our planet by degrees. Monteith McCollum took his cameras and went looking for those who do it differently. He found a quartet of characters who have taken to the pavement and waterways to get to work.


Fist of Film: They All Played Alice

March 5, 2010

The Rev. Charles Dodgson’s devotion to Alice Liddell is well-known, but is his fictional Alice really that plum a role? After all, it’s Alice’s task to act as audience avatar, a perplexed witness to the nonsensical residents at the bottom of the rabbit hole. Regardless, starlet Mia Wasikowa is the latest to fluff the tresses of the Victorian era’s dizziest blonde. While audiences flock to the Burtonized Alice in Wonderland, we thought it would be beamish to survey who else once ran with White Rabbits.

May Clark in Alice in Wonderland (1903)

The first surviving film that drew on Lewis Carroll’s fantasia was filmed by Cecil Hepworth, partly on the estate belonging to travel agent Thomas Cook. For the heroine of what would be the longest film yet produced in Britain, the Brighton filmmaker cast May Clark, a 14-year-old who had been doing odd jobs at his studio. Both Clark and the Hepworths’ dog Blair would reappear in Rescued by Rover (1905). Download it at

Gladys Hulette in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1910)

Seven years after The Great Train Robbery, Edwin S. Porter directed a version for Thomas Edison. He cast the 14-year-old Hulette, a stage actress who didn’t share her contemporaries shame over appearing in silent films. The one-reel adaptation was well-regarded, despite excising many of Carroll’s characters. As an adult, Hulette appeared in John Ford’s Western The Iron Horse (1926).


Work in Progress: American: The Bill Hicks Story

March 3, 2010

In the years sine his untimely demise in 1994, Bill Hicks has become a god among comedians. His take-no-prisoners style often saw him willfull battling audiences. His acute political observations struck right at the heart of George Bush Sr.’s vision thing. It’s a good story worth retelling, although in this sequence, directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas resort to using some pretty chintzy-looking animation. Screening at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.

Trailerama: Mars

February 12, 2010

A race to Mars between humans and robots should be stuff of James Cameron’s next 3D-ring circus. Instead, it’s filtered through the modern indie sensibility of director Geoff Marslett. So astronaut Mark Duplass (Humpday) instead gets sweet on Zoe Simpson, and the space opera becomes a pop art yak-fest. The animation looks like an attempt to make Waking Life with photocopiers, but this still qualifies as one of the oddest movies of the year. With a cast that includes Kinky Friedman and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb. Expect Mars to come in for a landing at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

Trailerama: Samâ wôzu (Summer Wars)

January 20, 2010

Kenji Koiso is a maths whiz who has it bad for Natsuki, the prettiest girl in school. When she asks him to pose as her fiance, it’s both a dream come true and the beginning of a nightmare. Because in this future, there’s also avatars running amok and the possibility of a parallel world smashing into their own. This spectacular-looking anime was directed by Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time).

Work in Progress: Arias With a Twist

September 12, 2009

The forthcoming documentary Arias With a Twist tells of the collaboration between puppeteer Basil Twist and performance artist Joey Arias on their acclaimed show. As well as interviews with the participants and footage of their inspirations, director Bobby Sheehan has also commissioned some animation from Mort Todd, a former editor-in-chief of Cracked.