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Cheer and Loathing in Animation: Episode XXXIV - Disarm the Settlers

Every Friday, Chris Robinson unleashes improvised and hastily scribbled cheer or loathing on the animation community to be digested, swallowed or... expelled. Today, some cheer for animation's defiant and foul mood.

Boy, if the OIAF animation festival submissions this year are a sign, the animation community is in a fiery, provocative, fuckyou kinda state. It’s actually nice to see. Someone once called animation something like the ceramics of cinema…maybe the knitting …or the rummy…or plane model building of… and I mean, they were sorta right at the time. As I’ve spouted on and on for on and on, animation does too often veer towards the privledged...somewhat narcissistic, detached, isolated in comfy chairs, far from the messy truths of real existence. Its like they just didn't want to see, acknowledge… admit… so they just drew their funny characters and cute little tales. An escape maybe. Why not I guess. Oh occasionally we’d get some well-meaning cautionary tales from animators who’d never been near, say,  a war zone (cough… Rights  from the Heart… cough)… BUT anyway, let’s close those left eyes and look forward…or close both eyes and look here and now… but how can u see it if your eyes are closed? Damnit Ushev. What exactly were you on about or maybe at writer guy can explain. ANYWAY…okay..sorry… enough… we’re here and now…and it’s fine… from music videos, to non-narrative to narrative… boy… we had films about pedophiles, rapists, assholes, addicts murderers, slackers, racists, domestic abusers, the economic system …  lots of sexual/gender diversity works (including Clyde Peterson’s lo-fi South Park transgender coming of age story, Torrey Pines and the acclaimed short, Fish Curry). It all sounds kinda dark, but it aint. In fact, it cheers me up. It makes me feel all warm and protected to see my fellow human colleagues standing up to poke, prod, question and provoke. This is how you can protest. You just keep speaking. So animators… keep on with it..  speak out, speak for, speak against…just keep speaking no matter how chaotic or uncertain or unrestrained. So long as you can keep doing that, things should be ok-ish.

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.