In the end, the film did a decent job of pointing a not-so subtle finger at the potential of social decline due to an inundation of consumer culture that feeds on the one thing it promotes.
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In the end, the film did a decent job of pointing a not-so subtle finger at the potential of social decline due to an inundation of consumer culture that feeds on the one thing it promotes.
If you are looking for a short with a deep story or that makes a lot of sense, then do NOT watch LOGORAMA. It will probably make your brain hurt if you try to make too much sense out of it. However, it is one of the most stunning films visually and the concept is just brilliant. It consists of a magical land where everything is logos--advertising signs and figures used throughout the world. Here, the AOL man, Bic pen man, Bob's Big Boy and many others live and the buildings, wall, etc. are all advertising logos. And, interestingly enough, Ronald McDonald is an evil psychotic!! This, however, is not the reason that this film was shown last after a special warning appeared on the screen indicating this last film was not appropriate for children. It's because the film is very violent and the language is amazingly harsh. Little kids might be traumatized to see the characters acting in a very R-rated manner!
I really wish, however, that they'd shown the movie in French with subtitles--as I assume the version I saw was dubbed into English since the film was made in France. If there is no French version or if you know how I can find it, let me know.
Aside from a relatively weak narrative and language that could have been toned down a bit to make this a better film for a wider audience, this is a brilliant film and I respect the great job they did. As I said, I won't be surprised if it's picked and can easily live with this result...as I had a great time viewing it.
By the way, for all you "Futurama" fans out there, look carefully--there is a logo for Slurm Cola during this film!! Pretty clever!
UPDATE (3/7/10)--well I picked this one correctly. Too bad I wasn't so talented when it came to Best Live Action Short! I was really wrong there!
What starts like a surreal parody of crime films eventually turns into something that one would expect from an apocalyptic disaster movie, and the most incredibly thing of this is that it works very well, being actually more exciting (and also, more entertaining) than anything made by filmmakers like Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich.
While the animation from this short isn't really that impressive (Don't get me wrong, the animation is decent, but not incredible, and it merely serves as a vehicle for the clever plot) is the brilliance of the script from this short what makes it a worth-watching experience, having an impressive use of logos and corporate mascots in a way which never fails to surprise and amuse.
I think that the Academy Award that it got was more than well deserved.
Whether or not it is intended as a commentary on the nature of American "culture" (and I think it is), this is a remarkably well made short film that mixes clever ideas with a real understanding of the genre that they are using as a vehicle to their satire. To deal with the surface first – this film is very clever in the way it utilises brands and logos in every aspect of the world it creates. Not all of them will be recognisable but the design of them will make them unmistakable as brands even if the names escape you. It is startling how many you will recognise and, while some have complained that the film is little more than a game of "spot the brand", I did think that the high hit-rate was perhaps part of the point and it was a point well made.
If the film was only a cleverly use series of logos then perhaps this may have been a valid point, but the short goes onto to spoof American movies and culture by delivering all this in the middle of a high-octane crime thriller where everything goes up to 11 and, if it can be destroyed in glorious Technicolor, then it is. It gets this spot on and shows a real understanding of the genre. OK the Tarantino-esque chat is a little obvious but past this the direction and framing of the shots and "camera" movements could all be taken straight out of many blockbuster action movies – movies perhaps that are accused of product-placement with their cars, watches, drinks etc etc. In this way the film actually engages beyond "spot the logo" and "isn't America morally bankrupt?" because it delivers an exciting action short with plenty of movement and style.
I really was surprised by how enjoyable it was. I would have liked it to have had a bit more teeth in regards the satirical aspect to it but this part still did just about work for me. Beyond it though I can understand why some did see it as all style and logos because the logos are used really well and the style is genre-perfect. A very clever short film that deserves credit for not wallowing in the smartness of its idea or for being snide or acerbic in its commentary.
What needs to be said is that the authors of this short film are French, I don't know how much they have come in contact with American Society, but their depiction of it is very accurate, even if at times hyperbolic. The script is constructed as that of a box office hit, complete with a villain (Ronald McDonald), tough cops (Michelin characters that make you think, image wise, of donuts eating police officers), and is somewhat chaotic, but I see it as an irony to the recipe of block busters grossing billions of $. The ending to the film - the earthquake followed by the "apocalypse of petrol" - make it seem like a very intuitive prediction (the film was made in 2009) of what has happened this year (Haiti + Balkan Petroleum). With the characters being profit motivated, walking clichés, violent and blood thirsty, the aftermath - destruction, disasters - is easy to anticipate, although sad.
And what the story amounts to, a Noah's Arch type of apocalypse, is very well put into perspective by the zoom-out end: we're just a dot in the Milky Way Galaxy.. Insert Registered mark logo here, of course..
When it's all said and done, the movie is well made, accessible to all ages and a great run of humorous inter-texts.
Calin Radulescu @ Shorts Up Romania, June 2010
On the first viewing, many would be disoriented by the hype that Logorama has received. Even I was bemused, since the short is profane, violent, dispassionate and also a bit sexist. Pringles Hot and Sweet taps the Esso lady's butt and also passes crude remarks in the beginning. Ronald is a completely berserk Joker meets Alex from Clockwork Orange. Mr. Clean has been reduced to an effeminate zoo-keeper, while the famed Leo the Lion has been reduced to a big p***y. But I made a mistake of watching this right after reviewing Geri's Game, a luminous Pixar effort. Now you get why I was not crazy for this the first time. But watching it again today, I got an entirely different perception of the movie. Logorama was not made to sermonize, it was created to entertain and acknowledge the supremacy and influence of brands over modern man.
USA is probably more loaded with brands considering the market economy that it has adopted. The film is over-loaded with brands, with brand names on animals, apples, birds, buildings, cars, CDs, earthquake cracks, guns, hats, human beings, hoardings, motorbikes, roads, signage, tiles, tables, walkie-talkies, windows and even Orange juice! The principal characters include two puffy, fast-food loving officers, a nefarious Ronald McDonald, an Esso waitress and two bratty kids. The officers are to apprehend Ronald McDonald, who is an inveterate criminal who causes collateral damage to the city.
The animation is well-defined, with special attention paid only to the characters and things that matter, just like an advertisement. Some would complain that the environment is shoddily done, but Logorama does not intend to be Pixar; its only intention is to satirize the modernized society. Ronald is the most clearly drawn character, with dark and menacing eyes and voice and a foul, impulsive behavior. The two snotty children are spoilt, impish and materialistic, mooning in front of the lion and using cuss words. Much like the children of today. When one of the guys lies on the grass with the lady after an adventure, I thought it would have been a good idea to hand him a hand-held console to show how indifferent and self-involved today's children are.
The two fat officers begin a random conversation about zoos, thus linking the two children with the story. One of the officers sounds like Morgan Freeman from Nurse Betty or Samuel Jackson from Pulp Fiction and the other like John Travolta from PF, except these are cops. When the second cop goes to buy a snack and look at all the available options, there's a 'Yum!' sign behind the cop as his mouth waters. There are various other innovative ad references, including the surprising Nickelodeon logo, the hard-to-notice Xbox logo and the wittily used Viao logo.
The plot itself is cheesy and reminiscent of a 80s exploitation film, with the vulgar tone, the inane lines, the potty humor and the objectification of women by Pringles men! But everything adds to the zaniness that this movie is. The mindless action and the deus ex machina both are great references to the current fad among many teenagers, who have no liking for meaningful films.
The music in the film has probably been inspired by Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove and is very mild and intentionally paradoxical compared to the rest of the film. It may be a reference to those goody-goody ads and films showing how perfect everyone's life is.
Logorama is a cogent short effectively conveyed in its convenient sixteen minutes. Just one advice- do not go for this after watching a Pixar film, or you'll be shocked and offended! My rating: 8.5/10
I cannot imagine how much work it must have been filling this virtual city with all of those brands. Each logo fits in in some logical way. Boxy logos, for example, are often used as buildings, while pedestrians are made from the yellow AOL Instant Messenger guy or the Bic pen guy. Cops are Michelin men. The zoo includes the MGM lion and the Linux penguin. Hundreds and hundreds of everyday logos are used and they are used so cleverly that it nearly boggles the mind. As new logos reveal themselves, the viewer is awestruck. "Aw, man! No way!"
It's that cool.
The plot is secondary, but includes chase scenes, gunfire, and natural disasters. It's action-packed. The dialogue is laced with profanity and the cartoon has a mature (PG-13?) edge.
LOGORAMA doesn't seem to have any deep symbolic meaning. It's just a fun way to kind of comment on how many different corporate logos people are familiar with nowadays. Our everyday lives are flooded with these images on TV, in newspaper ads, on the street, etc. This film takes these well-known images and has fun with them.
I think it's great fun to see all of the familiar logos and images, but the profanity seems a little unnecessary and off-putting and the low-budget voice cast could be better. (Just my opinion.) Still the visual experience is well worth it and the details in this short warrant repeat viewings and freeze-frame inspection.
How many logos can YOU name?
This is a semi-deranged bit of madness. I find myself wondering what various executives of some of the companies which still exist think about various characters and incidents taking place in this short (particularly McDonald's). Let's face it, it isn't every day an iconic figure goes off the rails as spectacularly as the clown does here. He's one "Top of the world, Ma!" away from Cody Jarrett territory.
There's a lot to like about this short. It's visually stunning to look at and every time I watch it, I notice quite a few things along the edges I didn't see before (at six times so far, I'm still noticing stuff for the first time).
The choice of music is fascinating. They start with a peppy song sung by Dean Martin and end with the Ink Spots. The underscoring is effective and fitting.
You'll see appearances by Mr. Clean, the Jolly Green Giant, The Pringles guy(s), your favorite M&Ms, Mr. Peanut and other trademarks (some of which may have caused various lawyers some sleepless nights). The language is colorful and definitely the kind of thing you'd find in a Scorsese or Tarantino film rather than the average animated short. This not meant for children in any way, shape or form.
Blink and you'll probably miss something. Not for all tastes, but it's fast-paced, entertaining and funny in a disturbed, chuckle with a gasp and a drop of blood at the corner of your mouth kind of way. Available on a Blu-Ray/DVD combo release from Shorts International (which is itself a very good compilation of Academy Award winning shorts, live action and animation). Logorama is well worth watching and most recommended.
"Advertising is legalised lying." – H. G. Wells
"Logorama" is a short film which takes place in an "over-marketed" world in which nearly everything is constructed from corporate brand images. Capitalism's commodification and advertising's proliferation taken to grotesque extremes, the film also satires big budget Hollywood action movies, whilst homaging fare like Altman's "Short Cut's", "Blade Runner", "Falling Down", disaster movies and Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". As post-modernism is the logic of late capitalism, it's no surprise that virtually everything in this film is a ripped from somewhere else.
The plot is simple, and involves police forces tracking down a deranged Ronald McDonald, who has recently committed a robbery and kidnapping. As the film unfolds, we're treated to some expertly mounted action scenes (with excellent virtual camera work), the overriding point being that big corporations, oil conglomerates and brand heavy businesses are not only run by sleazy people, but completely wrecking the world.
When its not critiquing corporations and when Ronald McDonald isn't shooting up the place with a machine-gun, the film makes some subtle jokes. Most of these are noticeable only with re-watches, but some of the more blatant ones include Ronald McDonald tripped by a Weight Watchers billboard, an IBM building collapsing such that its catchphrase loses an "s" to read "Solutions for a mall planet" and a sequence in which Enron, K-Mart, and Freddie Mac - all of which have been marred by scandal, bankruptcy, and government bailouts - fall during an earthquake. A later scene featuring several logotypes drowning in oil even includes Phillips 66, Chrysler, and a "W", from the George W. Bush reelection campaign of 2004.
Though the film critiques consumption, Americanocentrism, mindless entertainment, corporate branding, cultural imperialism, globalisation and capitalism's rampant reification, it's ultimately a very limp work of satire. Functioning more as product placement, "Logorama" adopts the tactics of and revels in exactly that which it damns. It's as stupid and crass as the action movies it parodies and as reliant on gimmickry and the novelty value of symbols as the brands it tries to mock. The notion that having characters cursing somehow taints these corporations is also naive (Most of the logos on the screen are not portrayed in a negative light. They are just there.), as modern advertising now works despite being annoying. The ads of today – think internet pop-ups, IMDb banners and spam – do not seek to ingratiate themselves with the consumer, only to get their name out there, in the public's consciousness, by whatever means necessary. The ad, in other words, no longer advertises a product, but the ad itself. That the companies whose logos appear in this film have not blocked the release of "Logorama" is merely an indication of how comfortable they all are with the current state of things, and how ineffectual such small acts of protest really are.
Then there's the fact that H5, the company that produced "Logorama", is itself a well known French company which works in music video, advertising and packaging, servicing such brands as Audi and Cartier. With that in mind, consider the way discussions relating to "Logorama" always degenerate into a game of "spot the logo" or "spot the brand". This effectively reverses the usual operation of advertising. The ad is no longer pushed upon the consumer, but the consumer is actively searching for the ad and rewarding himself for spotting it. Creepy.
7.5/10 – Plays better as an Ellroy/Chandler styled cop movie than a satire. Worth one viewing.
Though this 2D animation can be considered rough on the edges, it befits the aesthetic conceit of making it look like a collage awash with pop culture images with a soundtrack and musical score that succinctly captures the broad array of moods explored throughout. It is a severely violent animated catastro-vaganza that's never short on both visual and ironic humor.
All flash, not much substance; a sort of an inbred love-child of pop and postmodernist art. This 16-minute-plus film addresses the disdain felts towards the by-products of American brand of capitalism, everything that can be considered as unhealthy, garish, flamboyant, and ostentatious, and who better tackle that than the French, the people who pride themselves as having introduced the cinematic medium to the world. And by using Los Angeles as the setting for the film, home of the most prominent cinema and television industry in the whole world and dumping all those global capitalist brands and appropriated corporate mascots such as the ubiquitous McDonald's clown embodying the angst of somebody who feels more and more estranged by the fast pace of the ever-expanding universe he's in, it accomplishes in becoming a sheer escapist fantasy that's ridicules something, but it's certain that no one can ever feel slighted by such a gesture.
My rating: A-flat.
By the way, don't expect this little movie to end on a happy note : it pretty much implies that Mankind will happily export this kind of egregious ugliness to other planets, even other dimensions. Space, the final frontier, just panting for the chance to get buried under mind-boggling layers of greed, crassness and impudence...
I stand in awe of the daring of the various makers of the movie - from a legal point of view, I can only suppose that they've either got b*lls of iron or excellent lawyers. Or they might have excellent lawyers with b*lls of iron, that's a possibility too.
Richly deserved the awards thrown in its direction, plus a few other ones it should have obtained.
You wont learn any positive message in any way, maybe no message at all. Its just a cool action/persecution story with extremely funny animations, but then you might just spend 15 min on an entertaining story than wasting 1.4hrs in an ultra positive badly forced like Pixar's Up.
Then, even if you don't like it you would have wasted that much time
"Logorama" may be viewed as innovative and entertaining as it incorporates so many brands and logos in the film. it may help to connect with the viewers as people and backgrounds are already familiar. However, I argue that "Logorama" could be a vehicle marketing, serving to advertise hundreds of brands in a space of 16 minutes. Most of the logos are on the screen for no apparent reason, and adds no storyline or depth to the plot. The logos are there just for the sake of being there. The inundation of unsubtle product placement and in your face advertising makes me wonder whether artistic merits are still prevalent in the short. I am hesitant to praise this short in a positive manner.
I'm not sure how I came across film but I'm happy I did. The plot opens up a familiar but strange world to the viewer. Its use bright colour creates a level of juvenile cartoon but its very much an adult film with its explicit content.
The writer does a great job of changing mascots aimed for good behaviour in our real world to bad rebellious protagonist in this world. Pay close attention to characters like Ronald McDonald and the Haribo Kid.