The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows

17thASOS_Poster_Edu

The Animation Show of Shows returned to the RISD Auditorium Sunday night for a night of independent award-winning animated shorts. Now in its 17th year, the show is curated by producer Ron Diamond each year and screened at colleges and studios each year to showcase the work of independent animators from around the world. For the first time this year, it will also be screened in theaters across the U.S., thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The theatrical program features “We Can’t Live Without Cosmos” (16th) and “Ascension” (15th), films screened in past Shows of Shows. The non-theatrical program features three films instead, “Edmond,” “Yul and the Snake,” and “Sanjay’s Super Team” (though “Sanjay’s Super Team” wasn’t screened at RISD). The screening also included artist bios of the creators behind “Snowfall,” “Stripy,” and “Love in the Time of March Madness.”

Hosted by the RISD FAV (Film/Animation/Video) Department, members of the RISD, Brown, and the Providence community gathered in the RISD Auditorium for a screening of this year’s show. Keep reading for recaps of what we saw — and click the titles for trailers!

The Story of Percival Pilts
Created by Janette Goodley & John Lewis (Australia)

Created in a beautiful pastel miniature stop-motion world, this story follows Percival Pilts, the narrator’s brother, who starts walking as a kid on short tin-can and wooden stilts. Percival’s stilts grow and grow as he gets older until he’s too tall for their family’s house. He takes off to a new town, facing ridicule from the townspeople until they realize the stilt life is the way to go.

Tant de Forets
Created by Geoffrey Godet & Burcu Sankur (France)

This short showed a forest being torn down for paper manufacturing, industry, and urbanization. With sort of a PSA feel, it did not have much of a definitive ending besides just ‘sad,’ though the papercut illustration style and shifts between 2D and 3D perspectives were interesting.

Snowfall
Directed by Conor Whelan (Ireland)

The first part of this short is a pretty generic party scene accompanied by electronic music with a thumping bass, all animated illustration of course. But there are quirks — the people move by morphing in and out of formless shapes across the room. Clips moved quickly through interactions amongst various characters, like from two men talking to a man and woman suspended in air. The subsequent segment profiling the director revealed that he wanted to explore the emotions involved in the rejection of a queer individual by a straight individual in a social setting.

Continue Reading


Students who do cool things: Olivia Pecini RISD ’16 and Maddie Dennis RISD ’17, co-founders of Muse’s Milk

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 6.23.42 PM

Meet Olivia Pecini RISD ’16 and Maddie Dennis RISD ’17, co-founders of Muse’s Milk, a website that highlights “women working in various creative fields—to share their origin stories, promote their work, and offer readers advice from the women making the art world spin.” The talented RISD Animation-majors themselves have interviewed a range of professional women from production designers and art directors to writers and fashion photographers. I sat down, BlogDH-interviewer-to-Muse’s-Milk-interviewers (sooo meta), to learn more about the development and growth of the site. Check out the interview below if only to be reminded that our neighbors down the Hill are pretty f*cking cool.

BlogDH: In your own words, what is Muse’s Milk and how did the idea develop?

Olivia: It started back in January when Maddie and I realized that a lot of people at RISD don’t really have female artists as inspiration. Even we realized that in naming our favorite artists, most of them weren’t women.

Maddie: We’re both animation majors and the field is very male-dominated. Essentially, we wanted the site to be a place to celebrate women working in creative fields, whether it’s visual arts or music. It was an opportunity to poke around for interesting women in fields we want to be in.

BlogDH: Is there a story behind the name?

Olivia: Essentially we had no idea what to call it and we were coming up with names for a month, and constant streams of lousy titles. So then I asked my friend who’s an art history major for literally any reference that might be fitting. It was true desperation. She sent me a list, and there was this one that was really bizarre— “the muse’s milk.” Supposedly the breast milk of a muse will give you endless creativity.

Maddie: As soon as you told me about it you said, “this is pretty weird, but what do you think?” And I was like “oh yeah.” (laughs). I think we wanted something that made people question, and having a name like that will at least make people look at our site a little longer. We kind of went from there. It’s not a dramatic story, it just happened!

Continue Reading


16th Annual Animation Show of Shows

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 2.34.52 PM

Last night, RISD Auditorium hosted the 16th Annual Animation Show of Shows, curated by Ron Diamond, founder of ACME Filmworks. It was awesome. That’s really the only word for it. And beautiful. And inspiring. And funny. And disturbing. Okay, there are lots of words to describe it, because each of the films was wildly different, both aesthetically and thematically. Here’s what you missed, with videos embedded where I could find them:

CRAC!

This was weird. It was the epic tale of a quaint French-Canadian village where a rocking chair brings a family enormous joy. The animation style resembled a dancing crayon illustration at a master-level (I clearly lack the vocabulary to talk about animation with any authority). Industrialization rears its ugly head and the chair is thrown away as the village becomes a city. It receives a second life as the chair of an art museum security guard. CRAC!, if your curious, is the sound of a tree falling before it becomes a chair.

Feast

Feast will appear before Disney’s new animated feature Big Hero 6. It is the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life. A little puppy who loves food is rescued by a man who also loves food. When the man gets a girlfriend, she forces him to eat healthier. The dog hates healthy food. But when the man and woman break up, the man becomes sad and unhealthy It’s then that the dog must decide if he should let his master be unhealthy so he can eat pizza, or if he should help him get the girl back and risk eating spinach.

Marilyn Myller

This is a surrealist, stop-motion short about a sculptor who plays God. It’s in black and white, but the lighting is unreal. The whole thing is impossible to stop looking at, and the end has a surprise twist that pokes fun at self-important artists.

Me and My Moulton

Oh my god, this might have been my favorite. I have never been so into the way animated trees look. It’s 2D and very simple but the humor is so on point. It’s about a Danish girl who wants her parents to be normal, but they are avant-garde and her dad is the only man in town with a mustache. It’s the epic quest to convince your parents to get you a bike. And it’s so good

Continue Reading


A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Animation Show of Shows

ASOS15email

As the weekend approaches, and parties entitled “2 Chainz, No Midterms” and “Top Gun: Drink Like You Love Freedom” near, you are bound to need some serious R&R by Saturday evening. RISD’s Film/Animation/Video department has you covered: the Annual Animation Show of Shows will be screened on Saturday, October 26th at 7 p.m. in the RISD Auditorium. No, not this animation show. The Animation Show of Shows features 12 award-winning animated shorts from around the world. The festival is curated by Ron Diamond, the founder of Acme Filmworks, who compiles DVDs of short animated works that are otherwise pricey and difficult to find. You can even purchase DVDs from past shows before and after the screening: each DVD includes three films and goes for $5. Free admission! Open to the public! (Although seating is limited to the capacity of the auditorium.) RISD students who attended last year’s show gave it rave reviews, deeming it “weird, but amazing!” Continue Reading