Film Review: World of Film Animation Showcase

In association with the World of Film International Festival

Attending an international film festival is more than just watching a film. The event comes with the expectation to be transported to new countries, where the pictures projected on the wall tell different stories to the ones the viewer is used to. Animation has the power to tell stories not only from different places, but from different worlds altogether.

As Mich Gerber’s music hypnotizes the unsuspecting audience of the CCA, Mauro Carraro’s Aubade slowly drags them into a vortex of surrealism. A cellist emerges from a lake, a bird dives into a window on the surface of the water, and the weird dream-like experience begins. The next few shorts – a documentary on a street in Montreal, a journey through the fundamental feelings of mankind, and the adventures of a man following a burning woman – merge perfectly on the screen.

The styles used here differ from the old Disney style not just aesthetically, but also in terms of plot complexity and the development of the characters’ personalities. Through 11,000 hand-drawn pictures and not a single word of dialogue, David Jansen’s Däwit follows the story of a boy whose life has been heavily impacted by his parents’ violent marriage. Delicately bringing up themes of alcoholism, domestic violence, loneliness, and suicide, Däwit’s ultimate climax delivers a touching message of forgiveness. The style of the animation – inspired by the art of woodcut – expresses the roughness of the themes without coming across too realistic or disturbing.

Luminaris is a more visually striking film, though the content is closer to the Disney standards. Using real actors as the basis of each frame, Juan Pablo Zaramella designs a world where everything revolves around light. The human puppets are cogs in a funny-looking but horribly alienating system. As the creativity of the main character gets him out of his daily routine on a hot-air balloon, the soundtrack enhances the positive experience of the screening.

The lights are finally up, yet the mind of the audience is probably still on a hot-air balloon or on a street in Montreal, trapped for a while in the world of animation.

[Ludovica Credendino]

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