Thursday, July 5, 2007
TAIS Showcase report
Well, I've had a whole week to recover, so here's the post-game on the TAIS Showcase, which took place on the 27th of June.
Attendance: Full house, doods! Seriously the place was packed. Lot of curious NFB members, OCAD students and young'n's from other schools in the GTA as well as some familiar faces to TAIS circles, including Patrick Jenkins, former TAIS head-honcho. As well, lot of the filmmakers in attendance, including Mike Weiss (Inheritance), Charuvi Agrawal (10th Avatar) and Christopher Walsh, whose film The Magic Projector had it's world premiere at the show.
Films: All round a great selection...click on the poster above to link to a PDF of the program, just be aware it's a six-meg download. There were some real standouts, though. Chris Walsh's 'Magic Projector' was a gorgeous puppet animated black and white fable, complete with the dulcet tones of Canuck stage n' screen legend Gorden Pinsent.
Ashley Baird's 'Nuts and Bolts' was damn goofy fun. Puppet animation again, but this time employed in the telling of the story of a young prince and a peeping robot.
Emily Touesnard's 'Sir Gammer Vans', a surrealistic nonsense poem told in varied styles of cutout and print art was just gorgeous stuff, and a nice, tightly edited lil' film at 1:24 (I like shorts that are, well...short!)
I saw Mike Weiss' 'Inheritance' at Ottawa '06, and it made a big impression on me. A film that manages to be creepy, introspective and funny at the same time, plus some really great puppet design by Mike hisself.
And, of course, there were standout submissions from the board: Felix Heeb's 'Le Bonheur', Madi Piller's 'Toro Bravo', and Oleh Mole's 'Waiting', all premiere films.
The real standout for me was a film I didn't even know was in the screening! Lukej Gustafson's 'BLUEBEARD', a wonderfully surreal composite of CGI and traditionally animated elements, caught me completely by surprise. Programmed by Madi (I think!) as a last-minute replacement for another film, 'BLUEBEARD' feels like Max Ernst animated, with a touch of Bosch in the various creatures milling about as the title character quests for a door to...what, is never revealed. Lukej has his 9 to 5 at 'Odd Job Jack' studio Smiley Guys.
Anijam: Ah, yes, a strange tale there. Apparently, my timing was less than perfect for announcing this...we got plenty of nibbles, only one real submission, a groovy lil' toy themed piece from Jillian Catton. Two other submissions from Ryan van Steenburg and Mike Constable were adapted from existing films. What's a dood to do? Fortunately, the board cooked up the idea of using the films we had (the three abovementioned, plus films by myself, Ruth Tait and Marc Beurteaux) as interstitials. They were programmed between the larger films, to a really great effect! I think we'll probably do the exact same thing next year, only I'll announce the thing in the fall, give people plenny o' time to cook sumpthin' up.
Whew! Well, that's it! Congrats to Madi for programming a stellar show and thanks to one and all for comin'. See ya at TAIS Showcase 2008!