Summer blues have hit with the heat, putting this blogger in something of a sentimental mood. At play in this week's Friday Five is plenty of gentle beauty, and a tinge of melancholy, not to mention a bit of old-school nostalgia that could not be resisted. Water, whales and other large mammals, reflective vampires (without reflections), and some modern magic that could almost be old school round out the list.
Up and down, underwater and above, meld into one another in atmospheric music video Bubble, from Elliot Dear. This delightful piece features a black dog adrift on a boat, who watches, or perhaps imagines, his doppelganger at play in the reflected world beneath. Produced for the Jon Hopkins and King Creosote track 'Bubble', the video effortlessly takes a stop-motion set, 2D animal animation, and effects filmed in a water tank, and blends them seamlessly. Equally fun, and informative, is the making-of video, which can be found here, on Domino Records' YouTube channel.
Futurist paranoia and retro motion graphics make for compelling modern viewing in graphics experiment TELEPHONEME, from the motion wizards at MK12. In the short, A.I. conspiracy theories run rampant, boosted by visual allusions to the Illuminati, film filters, moire patterns, and old-school CMYK separations. Too smooth to be anything but new, this nod to the old is a pleasant stylization that won't make you duck and cover.
Deceptively minimalist animation makes for an illustrated book come to life in Cherry Blossom Elephant in Forest, from Young-jun Kim of Earth Design Works. What seems at first to be a cutout-style forest journey is quickly elaborated by subtle CG modeling, and hand-drawn animated textures. The surreal tale, best summarized as a girl encountering an elephant, is loose, and maintains a soft, dreamlike quality not unlike a slightly melancholy bedtime story. I personally prefer the quiet instrumentals of the festival version to the original, but you can judge for yourself by viewing the one with lyrics here.
Sivan Kidron gives us a tale of an old man, the sea, and his inquisitive granddaughter in Blue Whale, a graduation film from the Belzalel Academy of Art and Design. A unique, illustrative 2D vision, the colorfully realized figures traverse a bleached-sand landscape of lines and an etched texture like that of wood. Sensitively drawn, and beautifully simple in execution, this seaside short is worth revisiting again and again.
In the highly original vision Kali le le petit Vampire, from Regina Pessoa, a child vampire watches a group of boys play near the train tracks, and, subsequently, must come to terms with who, and what, he is. Reminiscent of psychologically complex vampire features like Let the Right One In, Pessoa's tale has it's own poetry, both in appearance - which beautifully uses 2D and some 3D- and in message. With narration provided by Oscar winner Christopher Plummer, this is one to look for when it's full version has finished its acclaimed festival run. For now, the trailer is available to watch on YouTube. To whet your appetites further, a longer version, with narration, can be found on the NFB's website: http://www.nfb.ca/film/kali_little_vampire_trailer/