Some of my favourites from the London International Animation Festival

This past week, I’ve been practically living in the Barbican’s lovely subterranean cinema, soaking myself  in animation goodness thanks to this year’s London International Animation Festival, which I’ve been covering for the folks over at Cine-Vue.

It’s been tremendous.  A full report will go up on Cine-Vue in the next few days here’s the full report on Cine-Vue, but for posterity’s sake, I thought I ought to save some of the best films I’ve seen here, if only so I can remember them myself.  They’re all short, most under ten minutes and none over twenty.  If you have the capacity, I recommend you watch them in HD, and full screen.  In no particular order:

NUIT BLANCHE – slow to begin, then hits you in the face like a sack of rocks. Stunning. Worth watching the making of – you’ll be surprised how much is computer generated.

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COURS TOUJOURS – fast, funny, and very French.

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BIKE RACE – a real-life love story, based around documentary audio.  Sweet and charming.

MEM – crams some impressive abstract ideas into 120 seconds.

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LOOM – from the same outfit as Mem, but more breathtaking. A spider catching a fly in an eye-poppingly electronic universe. Possibly the best thing I saw all week.

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WISDOM TEETH – hilarious, excruciating bit of nonsense from the legendary Don Hetzfeldt.

PIXELS – you may have seen this clever and impressive viral elsewhere on the internet; still brilliant with repeat viewings.

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VIRUS – one of many excellent Polish animations; gorgeous, fluid style, with music from the Herbaliser.

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ANIMATED HISTORY OF POLAND – spectacular, mind-blowing, government-commissioned chronicle of a country’s turbulent thousand-year history.  All history lessons should be like this.

UN TOUR DE MANEGE – as mesmerising and beautiful as CGI can ever be.

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THE EXTERNAL WORLD – seventeen minutes of utter madness, with vocal work from Adam Buxton and Julian Barrett. This one comes stamped with a ‘definitely not for everyone’ label, but if you like dark, crude, surreal humour, then this is for you.

Honourable mentions must also go to the films which I loved but currently only exist in trailer form on the internet – keep your eyes peeled at an arty film festival near you for the following:

A MORNING STROLL – a witty story about an odd chicken, set over 150 years.

PATHS OF HATE – WW2 meets the satanic underworld, via metal guitars. Extraordinary.

MOBILE – belly-laugh inducing silliness.

LITTLE QUENTIN – stylish and witty noir tale with a neat twist.

THE WONDER HOSPITAL – another ‘not for everyone’ slice of brain-melting surrealism.

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