Last night I went to a short film screening that turned out to be my favorite movie-going experience since seeing The Incredibles for the first time with a theatre full of SCAD animation/vfx students. Magnolia Pictures is showing a collection of 2006 Oscar Nominated and Shortlisted animated short films, I saw it at the IFC Center here in New York. Check out the playlist: The Danish Poet (Torill Kove), Lifted (Pixar), The Little Matchgirl (Disney), No Time for Nuts (Blue Sky), A Gentleman's Dual (Blur), Guide Dog (Bill Plympton), One Rat Short (Charlex), The Passenger (Chris Jones), Wraith of Cobble Hill (Adam Parrish King), and Maestro (Geza M. Toth). Let me tell you, nearly every single film was compelling and thoroughly enjoyable, and in my opinion beats Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeld's "Animation Show 3" by a long shot. Don't get me wrong, there were some great films in The Animation Show 3, but there was also some that just weren't my taste--your sort of grotesque indy 2D animated films. That shouldn't be a surprise coming from Judge and Hertzfeld though.
In all honesty I went just to see Rats again on the big screen and see some of my Charlex friends, having no idea what else was showing. To my surprise the Pixar logo shows up at the beginning and "Lifted" starts playing! Film after film surpassed my expectations, most surprisingly "The Passenger" by Chris Jones--a practically one-man film that I had not even heard of, that presents a visually stunning, while funny and engaging horror story of sorts. (One of my friends told me it took Jones 6 years to make it!) "A Gentelman's Duel" was also a nice surprise, since I didn't know when I'd be able to see Blur's new short, but had seen some images on CG Talk.
If anyone has a chance to see this traveling exhibition, it is well worth your time and money! Check out the playdates/locations, and other information here. There is also a screening of live-action shorts by Magnolia that I was not able to see, but if the animated selections are any proof, I bet the live action selections are great too.
By the way, I have updated the look/template of this blog, and hopefully will be using this more often! I know I've said that before, but I think I have a plan this time. I've also transferred all the previous posts from my website homepage to this blog, so there may be some strange references to updates that don't make sense anymore :P