Perhaps your cozy Friday night, hard won after the long week, was feeling too safe. Perhaps you'll need something to shake you out of a well-deserved haze and back into work. This week's picks are guaranteed to make you think, make you cringe, or, at the very least, make you re-vise your weekend plan of attack. No matter what, if you want to put a little edge back into the mix, these'll do you just fine.
TOPO GLASSATO AL CIOCCOLATO means "frosted chocolate mousse", an apt description of how your brain might feel once you're done with the organic nightmare mash provided by Donato Sansone aka Milkyeyes. A two-headed body splitting apart into a flock of birds, a school of fish set aflame, and a Rubix cube of body parts that eventually gives birth are only a few of the slick, hand-drawn sequences in this fluid horrorshow. Solid draftsmanship is enhanced by post-production camerawork, as well as by sound designer Enrico Ascoli's nasty, liquid-sounding approach. Audiences at Annecy 2012, and the Holland Animation Film Festival have already taken Sansone's trip; now it's your turn.
Absorbing from start to finish, Kevin Manach's short Vésuves has substantial staying power past its trim three minutes. A bored window-washer connects with a woman through the window of her apartment, only to become an unwitting observer of a tense domestic situation when her husband comes home. Colored in the vintage oranges and blues of a comic strip, Manach's piece has a certain Moebius flavor to its linework and surreal details. The results are as discomfiting as they are effective.
For haunting moments and mystery, turn to Adrien Merigeau's video for Villagers' Cecelia & Her Selfhood. A careful selection of well-composed moments underscores some of the song's darker lyrics, and builds more subtle layers of meaning than a literal interpretation of them might have done. The video contains some cutout animation sequences interspersed throughout the drawn animation. As is the case of some mixed media, not every choice may be your favorite. Even so, there are enough lovely moments to outweigh the flaws.
Maybe mystery is not your thing. Do you fancy a more direct approach? Julia Pott, alumni of MTV's new Liquid Television, continues her specialty blend of simple and grotesque in Bare Bones Volume 4, a clip that can only be described as severed limbs dancing in a Busby Berkeley formation. The leg hair stubble is just a bonus. I shudder to think what Volumes 1-3 contain.
Last, and not least in the bad dream department, a sneak surprise from Cinema4D and Daihei Shibata. In [BRDG007] PLMS_IV_D (SyncBody), Shibata composites Hiroshi Sato's artwork with a CG model to create a truly terrifying android-like freakout. After attempting to tear my eyes away, I found that I had been mesmerized by the test's highly effective creep factor. Fair warning; you may never think of Barbies or mannequins the same way. Bonus: both the project file and the VJ set are available through links on the Vimeo page, so you can play all you like...once you've recovered.