December 1st – 7th
Imagine Cinemas Carlton – 20 Carlton St
2:00PM, 7:00PM daily
TAIS is pleased to partner on the Toronto showings of The 19th ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS.
This year’s edition of the Show of Shows presents 16 exceptional and inspiring animated shorts from around the world. At a time of increasing social instability and global anxiety about a range of issues, the works in this year’s show have a special resonance, presenting compelling ideas about our place in society and how we fit into the world.
Can You Do It
France, 2:53m, 2016
Belgium, 5:29m, 2017
U.S., 3:21m, 1991
An over-imaginative young girl drives her middle-aged neighbour crazy with her noisy adventures, until a shared enthusiasm brings them together. Directed by two-time Oscar-winner Pete Doctor when he was a student at Cal Arts, Next Door is a wonderful evocation of the power of imagination and the possibility of finding common ground, rendered in a style which presages the director’s future work with its striking design and highly imaginative visuals.
The Alan Dimension
UK, 8:46m, 2016
Sometimes having special powers beyond those of most mortals doesn’t work out all that well (especially for your long-suffering wife), as this very funny tongue-in-cheek fable amply demonstrates. Blessed – or cursed – with the gift of precognition, the eponymous Alan discovers that being “the next step in cognitive evolution” can wreak havoc with your domestic life – and lead to some hard choices.
Beautiful Like Elsewhere
Canada, 4:41m, 2017
As much about light, colour, texture and sound as it is about story, this film evokes a mysterious dreamscape of shimmering tableaux that seem to exist just on the edge of consciousness. Populated by human and nonhuman organisms, classical images and pure form, this allusive world, which may be a vision of the afterlife, hints at a deeper level of awareness and meanings beyond words.
Paul Julian and Les Goldman
U.S., 10:45m, 1964
Originally produced in 1964 and restored by the Animation Show of Shows,
“Hangman” is an adaptation of a poem by Maurice Ogden about a town that allows its
citizens to be executed one by one. With its universal themes of persecution, injustice and
personal responsibility, this powerful film speaks to all eras and nations, and may be seen
to have particular relevance in our own time.
The Battle of San Romano
Switzerland, 2:25m, 2017
Georges Schwizgebel’s deconstruction of a painting by Paolo Uccello (1397-1475) is a meditative and hypnotic exploration of the visual elements that comprise Uccello’s masterpiece, which itself is renowned for the skill with which the artist brings order to the chaos of armed conflict. Yet, with its deliberative pacing and haunting score, the film is more than simply a masterful exegesis of colour, form and space, evoking deeply felt emotions about the nature of conflict and the horrors of war.
Clémentine Frère, Aurore Gal, Yukiko Meignien, Anna Mertz, Robin Migliorelli, Romain Salvini
France, 6:53m, 2016
Channeling the spirit of Charlie Chaplin – or perhaps Jacques Tati – this very funny tale of a series of unfortunate events in a Japanese mall displays both an impressive attention to detail and great comic timing. Even if you’re not a fan of chiropractic, grown men dressed as fuzzy animals, automated conveyances, garish décor, and/or robotic cleaning devices, “Gokurosama” will show you how, when you put all of these together, it spells highly entertaining animated mayhem.
U.S., 5:23m, 2017
Max Mörtl and Robert Löbel
Germany, 2:30m, 2017
Giving new meaning to the term “rhythms of nature,” a host of fanciful flora, fauna and geological formations go about their daily lives in this engaging and highly imaginative foray into the wilds of a strange and colourful world. Accompanied by hissing, wheezing, whistling and tweeting, the action takes on increasing urgency, ending in a surprising climax that’s as natural as it is unexpected.
France, 1:17m, 2016
Min Börda (The Burden)
Niki Lindroth von Bahr
Sweden, 14:15m, 2017
Les Abeilles Domestiques (Domestic Bees)
Canada, 1:58m, 2017
Usually it’s not a good sign when a film opens with death walking in the door; however, in this wry short, the appearance of the Grim Reaper is just one of several intersecting stories that unfold within the hive-like confines of the film’s tranquil universe. Deftly playing with narrative structure – while challenging the viewer to keep up – “Les Abeilles domestiques” is both extremely clever and highly entertaining.
Our Wonderful Nature: The Common Chameleon
Germany, 3:32m, 2016
This cautionary tale reminds us yet again that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing, especially if our powers of discernment leave something to be desired.
Canada, 3:58m, 2016
This jazzy, impressionistic depiction of the iconography and energy of a gambling casino (a favourite destination of director Steven Woloshen’s late father, to whom the work is dedicated) is all the more impressive for having been created in Woloshen’s signature style of drawing directly onto the film. With Oscar Peterson’s “Something Coming” as its upbeat soundtrack, the film is a breathlessly kinetic and visually dazzling representative of the possibilities of nontraditional animation techniques.
U.S, 10:37m, 2017
Everything – Based on the work of philosopher Alan Watts, who was instrumental in popularizing Eastern religion in the West, this brilliantly conceived and executed short explores the interconnectedness of the universe and the multiplicity of perspectives that underlie reality. Like Watts himself, the film is both playful and profound, and its unique iconography – from somersaulting bears to interstellar flora – allows it to convey weighty ideas with lightness and lucidity.
About the Animation Show of Shows
Since 1998, The Animation Show of Shows has selected the best in animated short films from the world’s most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors. Curated by Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond, he created the annual Animation Show of Shows as a way of bringing the year’s best shorts, selected from festivals around the world, to those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to see them.