I thoroughly enjoyed this animated short, Vice Versa, by Jacques Khouri, an animation professor at Savannah College of Art and Design. Be sure to watch in full screen for the full effect; its use of multiple panels to tell parallel stories reminds me of Chris Ware’s work.
I was also reminded of Norman McLaren’s classic short, Neighbours:
The animated films of Michal Levy combines jazz music with moving shapes and colours. Above, a piece called One. Her work reminds me of what Norman McLaren did with the music of Oscar Peterson in Begone Dull Care:
Michal’s site has her videos in hi-def, along with storyboards, animatics, and an extensive look into her sketchbooks and processes:
NFB.ca launches today. NFB.ca is the National Film Board of Canada’s new online film site that puts hundreds of animated films, documentaries, and experimental films back in front of the people that created and paid for them.
Here are a few of the most popular animated films (two Oscar-winners). Note that you can watch the films in various levels of quality; if you’re on high-speed, I definitely recommend the highest quality resolution. There are embed codes for all the films too if you want to post on your site.
The Logdriver’s Waltz by John Weldon
Explore all the animated films here.
I’ve been working this site for the last year with a small but passionate team of people at the film board trying to get the site ready for this year – which is the NFB’s 70th anniversary. The site has been in public Beta for the last six months while we were testing various features.
I just read that Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson died last night. In tribute, here’s Begone Dull Care, the groundbreaking abstract animated film from 1949 by Norman McLaren, featuring the music of the Oscar Peterson trio.
One of these is a Norman McLaren movie and another one is a Yeah Yeah Yeahs video:
Boing Boing is doing a great series of illustration swipe posts today. Basically, if you follow their link to the Henry Vallely archive, you can see how tons of panels from early Batman comics were “swiped” from Henry Vallely pulp comics in the previous decade. No one’s saying Batman-creator, Bob Kane is a thief or a plagiarist – it’s just a wonderful example of how dependent artists are on each other to create great works.
I’m a firm believer in Wilde’s maxim that talent borrows while genius steals, which is why I think the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s video for their song, Turn Into, is pure genius.
The video is a gorgeous swipe of a Norman McLaren video-repetition technique, which was featured in his film, Pas de deux (watch it in full on Google Video).
See also: Norman McLaren mega-post
[Link] Thanks, Arthur!
At last, something new in the art of drawing.
- Pablo Picasso speaking of Norman McLaren
No single person embodies the legacy of innovative animation at the National Film Board of Canada like Norman McLaren. So it’s only fitting that they are celebrating 65 years of
animation with a special DVD box set – which includes 15 documentaries, and 58 remastered films.
If you’re not familiar with McLaren’s work, you should check out his classic Oscar-winning film, Neighbours over at the NFB site or his film, A Chairy Tale, which will change the way you sit forever. And, of course, YouTube is hosting a treasure trove of his experimental shorts, but you should start with Begone Dull Care, a gorgeous slice of visual choreography, hand-scratched to accompany the music.
Finally, the Toronto International Film Festival is also programming a series of Norman McLaren classics, including some of the films mentioned above; afterwards the retrospective will be moving to Paris, New York, London, and Berlin – so keep an eye on your local listings.
UPDATE: You can buy the DVD box-set here.
(Disclosure: I work a few days a week at the NFB office in Montreal… where the walls are plastered with images of McLaren and his work).
The National Film Board of Canada has put 50 animated shorts from their library online for free viewing. The collection spans 60 years of innovative animation and Canadian filmmaking. As a young fan of all things cartoon and animation related, I grew up watching these, and it’s great to have them available for free for new audiences.
Some favourites you shouldn’t miss: