Sunday, March 1, 2015


Day three of the New York International Children's Film festival was an all day affair for me. I saw both Shorts programs and a wonderfully wicked animated feature from Korea.

First up was SHORTS ONE a collection of 11 films, all containing some form of animation.

IMAGINATION had a young girl first fall into one of her drawing and become two dimensional but after rectifying that she became trapped in a world made of Plasticine. Its a good little film.

5.8 METERS has a bunch of giraffes going through their high dicing paces. Wickedly cool and damn near perfect- only a cartoony movement in some of the high dives detracted from an otherwise photo realistic perfection.

EYES has a brother and sister pondering who has the eyes in the darkness. If it didn't look so much like Chuck Jones it would have been perfect (come on you make a wonderful original film was riff Jones?)

LITTLE COUSTEAU is about a little kid who wants to be Jacques Cousteau. A neat little film.

ANATOLE'S SAUCE PAN is about a kid who has to drag a sauce pan around. Allegory about our baggage isn't bad until it gets a bit too overt at the end.

SUBMARINE SANDWICH- New Pes film is, like everyone of his other films a joy.

MY BIG BROTHER-Truly great film for anyone with a sibling. Deeply deeply moving film about a boy and his brother who's a giant. I loved it.

WAYNE THE STEGOSAURUS-an illustrated poem. Its okay.

THE TRUMETER is probably the worst film in the set about an army bugeler who wants to play jazz.

LEAVING HOME- is about a young man who keeps trying to leave (his father pushes him out) who can't leave. The people around me were not happy with the bittersweet ending.

ME AND MY MOULTON was nominated for an Oscar and I have no idea why. A memory tale bout a girl and her parents and the quest to get a bike, Its amusing and I probably would have liked it more with out the Oscar nomination.

SHORTS 2 has some winners but also two of the weakest films of the festival.

JOHNNY EXPRESS-has a lazy delivery man try and make a delivery man and cause apocalyptic destruction on the tiny inhabitants of a planet. Its one of the funniest films of the fest especially if you love giant monster movies.

A SINGLE LIFE- Oscar nominated short about a woman and a record single. Its a very funny blackout. that doesn't really work on repeated viewings.

BALLOONA LAGUNA-The worst film of the festival so far. I hated it. Whats worse I have no idea what its about.

I'LL STOP CRYING IF YOU STOP CRYING a young boy from Eritrea recounts his flight from his homeland to England. A touching slice of life.

MYTHOPOLIS- one of the best of the festival films concerns life in an apartment block where creatures from mythology live, in particular a Minotaur child and his mother-Medusa who's looking for love. It will warm you heart.

BY THE STREAM- The life of a newsseller over the course of his life. Its nice

EYES ON THE STARS-Bill Wray animates the story of Ronald McNair as told by his brother. It will make you tear up.

RAYS BIG IDEA-New Aardman story has a primordial fish climb out of the much and mire...

LAR-GAR-TO a young boy learning Spanish goes to Nicaragua and is menaced by lizards. Really weak

ELECTRIC SOUL- Life in a city presented through various electronic parts. I loved it. it just looked cool. Some people hated it.

TIGERS TIED UP IN ONE ROPE- a lazy kid comes up with a way to get enough money to remain lazy. Visually amazing film is really neat.

GIOVANNI AND THE WATER BALLET- wonderful documentary about a young boy who wants to do water ballet. We watch him practice, hang out with his "girlfriend" and just be. Charming and it has the line "Karate is not my thing unless it's murder"

After meeting up with Joe Bendel in the snow it was back into the darkness for SATELLITE GIRL AND MILK COW

Joe Bendel said it's very much like other Korean romances- perhaps but it doesn't have a collection of characters like this.

The film has a failed satellite  coming to earth after hearing a song by an unknown young man. Because o circumstances the satellite ends up changing into the form of a young girl (think ASTRO BOY) while the object of her search has been changed into a milk cow by weird forces that are turning people with broken hearts into animals. Meanwhile a giant incinerator is going around trying to devour the animal-people and a magician is trying to steal the animal people's livers. (It makes sense in context-sort of). Add in a some other weirdness including a wizard turned into a toilet paper roll ((again it makes sense in context)  and you have one of the most original films I've seen...ever.

This film is a gem. Yes you've seen some of this before, but most of this is it's own riff on romance and it's wonderful as a result. What I absolutely love about the film is that it sets up a completely believable world. Strange things happen? Why not? It all works on its own terms and we're so much better for it.

This film breaks every rule in the book and it doesn't matter it just grand story telling.

I know that sounds like gibberish but frankly there is no way to explain the film because to explain it strips it of the magic and internal logic. this is real. The best review would be to just hand you the film and have you watch because I can't explain it.

This is a great film and a perfect example of what happens when a man with a vision is allowed to go for it.

This is a treasured gem of a film.. Its one of those films that will delight anyone who can get on its wavelength and confuse the hell out of the rest. This is the sort of tale that the movies were invented to tell.

If you want to see a great romance or a film unlike any other see this film.
And with that the first week of NYICFF is done. I have next week off but look for reviews of BALLET BOYS, SECRETS OF WAR and write ups of WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE from me and SHAUN THE SHEEP from Hubert.

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