Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mill Valley Film Festival - 2008 - Preview: Animation Programs

The Mill Valley Film Festival held its press conference and preview this morning at the Dolby Labs screening room in San Francisco. (A HUGE Thank you to Karen Larsen, aka Larsen Associates, for including me!) There are several animation programs scattered among the various sidebars. In fact, there are enough presentations that I think the form deserves a sidebar to itself! There are the compulsory animated shorts program, as well as a program for young audiences. However, MVFF has actually scheduled a couple event worthy screenings.

Bill Plympton will be present with his latest feature, IDIOTS AND ANGELS, which features a score by 3 Leg Torso, who will also be present and performing at a post-screening reception, on Sunday, October 5, 2:45 pm. (The film will play a second time on October 7.) Plympton's short subject HOT DOG will also screen in the shorts program, which I hope he attends, as well.

The animated shorts program, under the title Lost Souls and Malcontent Beasties, will screen: Hsiao-wen Chiu's BREATH, Dennis Tuipicoff's CHAINSAW, Tom Schroeder's YELLOW BIRD, Dana Dorian's SNOWTIME, Johannes Nyholm's TALE OF LITTLE PUPPET BOY, Madevi Dailly's WESTI and a pair of films from Germany: MY DATE FROM HELL, by Tom Bracht and Tim Weimann, and MY HAPPY END by Milen Vitanov. The entire program runs 85 minutes and screens on October 4 and 7.

Another program which sounds fascinating to any cineaste, and should be of even more interest to animation fans looking for something "adult" before launching into the matinees, is David Peters' presentation TYPECAST: THE ART OF FILM TITLES. According to the MVFF program, he "presents a grand and glorious tour through some of the most innovative title sequences in Western cinema," including the work of Saul Bass amongst many others!

The Children's Film Festival features an exceptionally international selection. Foremost for the more serious animation fan will be the collection of Osamu Tezuka shorts, entitled appropriately enough, The Amazing Osamu Tezuka. Fred Ladd will present and speak after the screenings of three of Tezuka's non-anime works: LEGEND OF THE FOREST, JUMPING and BROKEN DOWN FILM, as well as a restored episode of the American TV version of ASTRO BOY: EXPEDITION TO MARS. He will also speak about the new Astro Boy movie to be released in 2009. Ladd will be making the presentation on October 4 and 5, at the (un-festival-friendly) hours of noon and 10:30 am, respectively.

Of the eleven Children's Film Festival full-length features, four of them are fully animated. (Of the live action films, I am sure there might be extensive animated elements, though not noted in the program notes.) They include TERRA (dir. Aristomenis Tsirbas, US), LOTTE FROM GADGETVILLE (Janno Poldma, Heiki Ernitz, Estonia/Latvia), NOCTURNA (Victor Maldonado, Adria Gracia, Spain/France) and QUEST FOR A HEART (Pekka Lehtosaari, Finland).

I am sure there are also a great number of animated shorts in You Can't Do That!, the children's shorts program. The MVFF specifically points out taht "fans of puppet animation director Janis Cimermanis will find two of his films in this collection, HUNTING and SMILE MY FRIEND!"

The Mill Valley Film Festival also has a sidebar dedicated to expermimental film, called v(ision)fest, aka VFest. The previously mentioned TYPECAST is in this group, as are seven other features. There is also the program of eleven shorts in Decoupage Digital VFest Experimental Shorts Program, which should hold some visual surprises for the animation oriented.

The Mill Valley Film Festival runs October 2 - 12 at various venues around San Rafael. Full schedule and ticketing information can be found at the Mill Valley Film Festival website: http://mvff.com.

Maxxxxx says
re 'toons: "Wooooooo!"

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