Animated Film on a Palm of Your Hand
16th World Festival of animated Film, Zagreb, June 14th-19th 2004
The critic Petar Krelja emphasizes the enormous job of the selection committee that chose 74 films to be screened at the 16th Animafest among more than 1500. After such a job, the hard work of a critic who attends Animafest seems insignificant. Among the films there are fast, (funny, gag) entertainment films; then dark, often grotesque (and visually artistic) films about a person’s destiny; and, abstract films. In the first group there are some particularly funny films like those by Japanese Yoji Kuri, Norwegian Astrid A. Aakra and the author known as PES, but there were also some committed and funny animated films, for example, American film Uncle by Ray Kosarin, a commentary of resurrecting nationalism in the most powerful country in the world. The films by Amandine Fredon, Bill Plympton, Jochen Echmann, Marcel Mourao, Alex Budovski and Christopher Hinton were also funny. Konstatin Bronzit’s gag-film about God who is pestered by a simple fly is superior to the ambitious work of Estonian Priit Parn, but the witty Australian author Adam Elliot made one of the best films seen at the festival, a funny Harvie Krumpet. The author of this review experienced the Austrian-Luxembourgian Fast Film by Virgil Widrich as a part of collective subconscious that has been filled by film scenes for decades, so this film deserves to be watched several times.
Films in the second group, like those by Simone Massi and Isabela Bouttens, often haven’t fulfilled their ambition with elaboration of structure, so they feel more like sketches of really successful films. Nevertheless, there are pearls in this category like film Life by Jun Ki Kim, articulated in a perfectionist manner, in which the story of a father and a son ascending to the top of the totem pole is less important than impressiveness of computer animation used to conjure the effort of ascending, dizziness of heights and passage of time expressed in fine animation and elaborate ellipsis. While praising aspects of films by Oksana Čerkasova, Meštrović and Međurečan (Ciganjska) and other authors, Krelja shows deep constraint towards some works. Finally, the third group consists of abstract films, whose structure is formed by the relationship between music (sound) and picture. In this group he emphasizes works by Hungarian, Tomas Patrovits; Americans, Stephanie Maxwell and Allan Schindler; Russian, Dmitriy Geller; and Dane, Lejf Marcussen. It is strange, Krelja points out, that Croatian critics do not express very much interest in Animafest, because there is not a more attractive or a more important event in Croatian culture.