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Blogs

THE BLACK CAT (1981) (**)

Lucio Fulci has forged his name as a master of horror with his outlandish death sequences. He brings that style to this very loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe. It certainly does nothing for the classic tale.

An English town is plagued by gruesome deaths. Present at the deaths is a black cat with a mesmerizing stare. He belongs to former professor turned psychic Robert Miles (Patrick Magee, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE). He claims he can communicate with the dead and tries to record their voices. Drawn into the investigation of the deaths are American photographer Jill Trevers (Mimsy Farmer, AUTOPSY) and Scotland Yard inspector Gorley (David Warback, THE BEYOND). The question they need to answer is whether Miles controls the cat or if it's the other way around.

Chen Blogs

San Diego Asian Film Festival Review - Animation: The Illusion of Life

By Perry Chen | Friday, November 5, 2010 at 7:07am

Which type of films do you like better, animation or live action? If you are an adult, you’ll probably say live action, but “Animation: The Illusion of Life” aims to change that! It has much of the same themes as live action films, except with more humor, clever storyline, imagination, and fantastic music to match.

Blogs

Movie Review: 'Megamind'

By Dan Sarto | Friday, November 5, 2010 at 1:48am

If you’re looking to spend a couple hours sitting back and having a good time, then get yourself to the theatre this weekend and go see Megamind, DreamWorks’ latest animated feature. When I got to the press screening last Saturday, I put on my 3-D glasses in search of some good old fashioned entertainment and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Blogs

Short film draws attention to plight of children in war

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 3:31pm

Frank Gladstone shot me a note about a short animated cg film called Mila being made by former Disney, DreamWorks and Imageworks animator Cinzia Angelini. Hoping to push the boundaries of non-photorealistic rendering to create a painterly aesthetic and character design, Cinzia is also striving to tell a socially relevant story about war’s most tragic collateral damage – the youngest civilians.

Blogs

127 HOURS (2010) (***1/2)

This true-life survival story makes you wonder how you would handle the same situation. If you were trapped in a remote canyon could you cut off your own arm with a dull blade? Danny Boyle's film puts the viewer in that situation with all its physical and mental challenges. This is the rare thriller with an existential thread.

Blogs

127 HOURS (2010) (***1/2)

This true-life survival story makes you wonder how you would handle the same situation. If you were trapped in a remote canyon could you cut off your own arm with a dull blade? Danny Boyle's film puts the viewer in that situation with all its physical and mental challenges. This is the rare thriller with an existential thread.

James Franco plays Aron Ralston, an experienced hiker, who took off by himself to hike Blue John Canyon in Utah. Even though he was a member of the search and rescue team, he told no one where he was going. While climbing down he canyon, a boulder broke loose and crushed his right forearm, pinning him between the rock and canyon wall. Chipping away at or trying to move the rock quickly proved futile. The title tells us how long he was stuck there with little food and water. His multi-tool was dull and could barely scratch his skin, so when he got desperate enough he broke the bones in his arm and used the pliers to snap the stronger tendons.

Digital Blogs

What are digital skills and why should you care about them?

What are digital skills and why should you care about them? You're an artist, right? Well, if you are and you are reading this from the AWN Web site, you're already tuned into digital skills in a big way whether or not you're aware of them. The truth is, to be an artist today and get paid for it, a working knowledge of computers is a necessity.

Blogs

Review: Megamind

By Joe Strike | Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:18am

Ever wonder how Wile E. Coyote would feel if he ever caught the Road Runner? (Actually, Seth MacFarlane did more than wonder; in his Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy show, with the bird long digested, Wile E. turns to Jesus to fill the void in his heart.) The inept arch-villain Megamind has the same problem; now that he’s finally offed his nemesis, the smug ‘n smarmy superhero Metro Man… what’s left to do? Terrorizing Metro City and kidnapping feisty reporter Roxanne “Roxie” Ritchi doesn’t have the same zing without someone to oppose him. There’s only one option left – and it ain’t looking for Jesus…

Digital Blogs

What are digital skills and why should you care about them?

What are digital skills and why should you care about them? You're an artist, right? Well, if you are and you are reading this from the AWN Web site, you're already tuned into digital skills in a big way whether or not you're aware of them. The truth is, to be an artist today and get paid for it, a working knowledge of computers is a necessity.

Blogs

Gary Schwartz - Stop Motion Mayhem in a Single Ottawa Day

By Dan Sarto | Monday, November 1, 2010 at 11:07pm

I’ve known Gary Schwartz since, well, since he was a much younger zany filmmaker and animation teacher. In the Webster’s Dictionary, under the word “energy,” there is a picture of Gary with his infectious grin, a camera and a tripod. This year at the Ottawa Animation Festival, as he does every year, Gary made an extremely cool stop motion short – in one day! Fa Fha Pha Ottawa!, inspired by the Ottawa festival award designed by sculptor Tick Tock Tom, is his best yet!

Blogs

I Just Hung Up On Morgan Freeman!

By Dan Sarto | Monday, November 1, 2010 at 9:41pm

I just hung up on Morgan Freeman. He called right in the middle of dinner and at our house, dinner is family time. Friday evening I hung up on Martin Sheen. I’m sure many other A-List celebrities have been calling of late, but I’ve hung up before they could introduce themselves and implore me to vote one way or another. The campaign phone calls have been relentless, like ants in the pantry in the middle of summer! I cannot remember a more vicious and completely demoralizing election. Who’s in charge of this pop stand? I demand to see the manager!

Blogs

Are You Scared S#!%less?

By Lisa Kaye | Monday, November 1, 2010 at 2:18pm

The next time you feel like throwing a pity party because you are stuck in a dead-end job or still haven’t found one, stop and take a moment. Suffering from the fear of failure, or worrying about what is coming next is not going to help you move forward no matter how much you tell yourself it will. Doubt is a feeling we all struggle with especially when we are burdened with an unstable economy and a sagging job market. Finding your way out from the middle of your own fears, no matter how scary truly is the only way to look ahead.

Blogs

A VISION OF CENTRAL EUROPE ANIMATION PROGRAMS

If you are anywhere near Brugge, Belgium in the next few weeks a veritable treasure trove of Central European animators will appear in person to  introduce their films as part of a special city wide Festival titled A VISION OF CENTRAL EUROPE.

4 November - Marcin Gizycki - Poland

18 November - Priit Parn - Estonia

25 November - Jerzy Kucia - Poland

2 December - Quay Brothers (they live in London but have done a great deal of their amazing work in Poland)

9 December - Igor Kovalyov - Ukraine

The screenings take place at 20h00 (8:00PM)  at:

Cinema Lumiere  (Blauwezaal)
Sint-Jacobsstraat 36
Brugge

As part of the city wide festival the Groeninge Museum has mounted a major exhibit titled  VAN EYCK to DURER bringing together works from many major museums that have never been on view as a group before.

Blogs

Holland Animation Film Festival Announcement

Silver Junkie: MARIA By  Gitte Le Bruyn                                                                                                                                                                    


Not too long ago I wrote about an interesting animation, SILVER JUNKIE:  MARIA by Maria Gitte Le Bruyn.  I have just received a press release from the prestigious Holland Animation Film Festival to be held 3 - 7 November in Utrecht, Holland that MARIA has been selected as the International Web Animation Competition.

Film Blogs

Leveraging Priorities; Every Budget has its Look, but not every Look has its Budget

By David Maas | Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 2:55am

Occasionally I'm confronted with the following scenario: an independent or student film is already half-finished, but now the budget's used up and the initiators are running out of steam / taking on jobs / otherwise reducing their future engagement on the production in question. But the film is really looking good and - yeah, it's half-finished! Here's what I tell them...

Blogs

Idiots' Diary #20: What's With the LA Times?

It’s Friday, Oct. 29. I’m in Los Angeles for the premiere of I&A (Idiots and Angels). It opens tonight and I’m not a very happy camper. Even though the L.A. Weekly gave my film a wonderful review and a great article, the all-important L.A. Times refused to review the film!

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