6 items from 2015
★★☆☆☆ Sylvain Chomet's feature-length foray into live action, Attila Marcel (2013) sees him making stylistic nods to the auteurs of his homeland - think Tati, Jeunet and Gondry - while maintaining his own sense of whimsical tenacity that has become a hallmark of his trade. Chomet has made a name for himself in constructing animated worlds that hearken back to the glory days of cartoonish delight. Indeed, his previous works, The Triplets of Belleville (2003) and The Illusionist (2010), have been praised for their surreal charms and comforting qualities. But while Attila Marcel is altogether a saccharine diversion, it fumbles with tone and direction.
- CineVue UK
Treading Water is a modern-day fairytale complete with hero and heroine, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, a fairy godfather (of sorts) and an unexpected all-dancing / all-swimming finale.
Mica (Douglas Smith) faces a number of challenges. He’s grown up in a house that’s actually a museum celebrating the renowned Mexican crooner Guillermo Garibai (Gonzalo Vega). Mica’s mother Sophie (Ariadna Gil) is the guardian and tour guide of this wildly over-the-top shrine. And then there’s the fact that Mica smells like fish…
Mother and son are both too much (or not enough) for Mica’s father Richard (Don McKellar), who ends up abandoning them. No one around Mica, not even his therapist Catherine (Carrie-Anne Moss), is able to get him on track, until his childhood crush Laura (Zoë Kravitz) swims back into his life. For the first time in his life he feels happy, but Mica ends up losing her as well. »
- Michelle McCue
While this year’s nominations included another Disney short from the makers of The Paperman and a 20-minute emotional rollercoaster from some animators that left Pixar, the Oscar field for animated short included a director who would go on to earn a feature length animation nomination a few years later.
The debut short by director Sylvian Chomet, who would later direct The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, was released online. The film, titled The Old Lady and The Pigeons, runs 22 minutes long and came out in 1997 before being nominated for a best animated short Oscar (it would lose to Pixar’s Geri’s Game).
The short tells the quirky story of a skinny, starving French policeman who dresses up as a pigeon and forces an old lady to feed him. And things get weirder from there as he keeps returning to the old woman’s house and ballooning in size. »
- Zach Dennis
yt id="MqhVcRrrauY" width="500" Directed by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville, The Illusionist), below is his 1997 short film The Old Lady and the Pigeons (La Vieille Dame et les Pigeons), which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. It lost the award to Pixar's Geri's Game (included below). An emaciated Parisian policeman discovers an old lady who feeds pigeons in the park excessively. After having a nightmare ending in giant pigeon-men pecking at his stomach, the policeman constructs a pigeon mask, which he wears to the old lady's home. She welcomes him inside and, despite his rude behavior, allows him to gorge himself. As weeks pass, the policeman grows increasingly fat. As he goes up flights of stairs to the woman's home each day, he passes a maid sweeping the floor. Eventually, the policeman discovers the old lady's other pet: the woman who swept the floor, »
- Brad Brevet
Sylvain Chomet's beautiful, distinct animated films take time to make. It was seven years between his feature film debut "The Triplets Of Belleville" and "The Illusionist," and while he did most recently knock out the live action "Attila Marcel," he's got another animated feature cooking with "Ten Thousand Miles." But right from the start, Chomet's talent and style made itself known with the short "The Old Lady And The Pigeons." Kicking off Chomet's career, this 22-minute 1997 short tells the quirky story of a skinny, starving French policeman who dresses up as a pigeon and forces an old lady to feed him. And things get weirder from there as he keeps returning to the old woman's house and ballooning in size. And yet, even in this surreal tale, Chomet's unique visuals are impressive. So much so, that the short won a nice handful of awards around the world, and was »
- Kevin Jagernauth
By Anjelica Oswald
When the 87th Oscar nominations for best animated feature were announced Jan. 15 and excluded The Lego Movie, the Internet exploded with confusion and disbelief. The film, which was largely expected by many pundits to win the Oscar, was a critical (holding a 96 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes) and commercial hit (earning $257.7 million stateside). It also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations and won the Critics’ Choice Award for best animated film. It seemingly had everything going in its favor, so what went wrong?
One sentiment is that the animation branch of the Academy, which chooses the nominations, admire hand-drawn traditional animation and want to celebrate and preserve a fading craft rather than nominate solely computer animated and digital films.
The first computer animated film was Toy Story, which was released in 1995 and was nominated for original screenplay, original song and original score. Director »
- Anjelica Oswald
6 items from 2015
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