Summer Shorts: Nine Nation Animation
Now Showing at: The Carnegie Arts Center
Presented by Cincinnati World Cinema on July 23 and 24
Review by: Larry Thomas
In the midst of yet another summer movie season full of films that have numbers instead of titles, leave it to Cincinnati World Cinema to come up with something different. It’s a new collection of animated shorts from around the globe, some good, some less so, but all interesting and worth seeing. The countries represented by the nine films are Norway, Turkey, France, Ireland, Belgium, Croatia, the UK, South Africa and Sweden. As with any eclectic compilation of styles and subject matter, you may have a different reaction to the various films than I did, and that’s as it should be. That’s what provokes discussion of and interest in filmmaking that’s outside the plex.
I particularly enjoyed Belgium ’s Flatlife, about four adjacent apartments whose tenants have obviously known each other for a long time, drawn in the style of a panel cartoon strip of the newspapers. There’s no dialogue, but a catchy, rhythmic percussion score enhances the action.
The British Home Road Movies is a bittersweet memoir of a family’s driving vacations over the years. A live actor placed amid his animated family and settings plays the dad. It’s sentimental and nostalgic and may stir up a memory or two of your own.
If you’ve ever wondered how some people can calmly muddle through life seemingly unruffled by current events, perhaps Norway’s Deconstruction Workers gives a view of a couple of construction workers who seem to have blinders on when it comes to the world around them.
Sweden’s Nothing Like The First Time, in which the filmmaker has taken taped interviews from real life subjects about their “first time” and set them to animation, covers the subject of sex. At fifteen minutes, it’s the longest film, and quite interesting.
And, as you would expect, there are a couple of really weird films here. Maybe the best way to describe them is… well… remember that cold night in January when you and a few of your closest friends went out and got totally hammered? At 4 am you found yourself sitting in the middle of an all-night greasy spoon diner downing a five-way in hopes the intake of food might help absorb your evening’s excesses. But once home, you fall asleep and visit some of the most bizarre landscapes, characters, and situations in at least one quirky, disturbing dream… if not more. There are a couple of films here like that. That’s not to say the films are bad, just quirky, disturbing, and like a bad dream. You’ll no doubt want to talk about them afterward.
Nine Nation Animation is showing next weekend in Covington ’s Carnegie Arts Center , with performances on Saturday, July 23 rd at 6 pm , and Sunday, July 24 th at 4 pm . There’s a social hour and cash bar one hour prior to each screening.