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The 2nd Annual iCMFF: Animation

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The 2nd Annual iCMFF: Animation

#1

Post by outdoorcats » November 1st, 2018, 10:32 pm

Welcome to the 2018 iCheckMovies Film Festival!

Festival Dates: Nov. 1-30

Please rate the films the films you've seen on a scale from 1-10 to help contribute to this year's Audience Award.
(Ratings are due by the end of the month to be counted)

This is the thread where all users can rate and discuss the films in this year's Animation section:

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children dir. Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez. 2015, 76 min. :imdb::ICM:
You've likely not seen many films like Birdboy, a startling adult animated feature following an ensemble of different animals living in a bleak dystopian fantasy world that sometimes eerily resembles our own. This one is not for kids.
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Ethel & Ernest dir. Roger Mainwood. 2016, 94 min. :imdb::ICM:
Raymond Briggs, the classic children's author of books such as "The Snowman," tells the true story of his parents from the first time they met in 1928, revealing a snapshot of British working-class life and changing ideals against the tumultuous times of the Great Depression, WWII and the Cold War.
Image

Long Way North dir. Rémi Chayé. 2015, 81 min. :imdb::ICM:
Chayé, an assistant director of The Secret of Kells, adds style and artistry to spare in this adventurous family film about a 19th century teenage Russian aristocrat who sets off on an expedition to the North Pole to find her missing grandfather.
Image

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea dir. Dash Shaw. 2016, 75 min. :imdb::ICM:
The bored doodles of an imaginative high schooler come to hilarious life in this slapdash, no-budget absurdist disaster movie from graphic novelist Dash Shaw, in which the snobby young protagonist must learn the meaning of friendship while surviving an improbable disaster at his school.
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My Life as a Zucchini dir. Claude Barras. 2016, 66 min. :imdb::ICM:
Céline Sciamma, the director of previous festival film Girlhood, scripts this adaptation of a popular YA novel about a boy sent to a group foster home after accidentally killing his alcoholic, abusive mother. Disarmingly sweet and innocent even while dealing with dark subject matter, Barras crafts an excellent story for mature children.
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The Night is Short, Walk On Girl dir. Masaaki Yuasa. 2017, 92 min. :imdb::ICM:
Yuasa, the master director behind Mind Game, brings his utterly unique visual style to this tale of a teenage girl who goes on an all-night drinking spree and the increasingly bizarre and memorable characters she meets along the way.
Image
Last edited by outdoorcats on November 29th, 2018, 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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#2

Post by Carmel1379 » November 1st, 2018, 10:49 pm

Juror signs up at the party.
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#3

Post by mjf314 » November 2nd, 2018, 9:20 pm

Birdboy: 10
Night is Short, Walk On Girl: 10
My Life as a Zucchini: 8

Nice job to whoever selected Birdboy and Night is Short, Walk On Girl. Both are great. I haven't watched the others yet.

I would've included In This Corner of the World in the selection, but I guess it's my fault for not participating in the programmers' thread.

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#4

Post by Onderhond » November 2nd, 2018, 9:44 pm

Night is Short, Walk On Girl: 8
My Life as a Zucchini: 7

Birdboy looks like something I'd enjoy. Cool pick.

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#5

Post by wasabi » November 4th, 2018, 12:53 am

Birdboy: 8.5
Night is Short, Walk On Girl: 8.5
My Life as a Zucchini: 7.5

I think In This Corner of the World is 7/10, but I personally don't really like it, so not gonna recommend it.

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#6

Post by St. Gloede » November 6th, 2018, 6:51 am

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (2015, Pedro Rivero & Alberto Vázquez)
I thoroughly enjoyed the animation and the dark overtones coated in depressive minimalism and absurd comedy. It did however lack a strong core, presenting a broken narrative that simply tries too hard to be brutal, cold and sad. The drug overtones felt especially empty, while the final climatic situation felt like a second thought. The motif was strong however, and the sorrowful misery often managed to be incredibly effective. 6.5/10


Ethel & Ernest (2016, Roger Mainwood)
Embracing the small moments that captures an ordinary life, Ethel and Ernest ignores grand plots and revelations as we follow the courtship and marriage of our two leads. It is an incredibly personal story as it is the tale of the writers' own parents.Raymond Briggs is also the man behind When the Wind Blows, and you can see the same kind of soft interactions between two simple people. The greatest weakness is that it is perhaps too ordinary, but it brings an incredible amount of emotion and observation, and while it might not be intended their small lives even offers a sorrowful and existentialist look at how we all livebour lives and how fast it is actually gone. 7/10


Long Way North (2015, Rémi Chayé)
Long Way North is perhaps the most ordinary film in the selection, but it still provided strong animation, an engaging heroine and many small and cute moments. While the themes may seem overtly used, it was also more mellow, and didn't tie directly into an established story-structure, focusing instead on the personal quest of our lead, and ending on a soft rather than a climatic note. As such it had enough of its own personality to give in order to make it an enjoyable experience. 6/10


My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2016, Dash Shaw)
Best described as a quirky, off-beat disaster comedy that could remind you of a dryer and slightly more childish Wes Anderson film, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea manages to be charming, creative, but ultimately quite lightweight. The majority of the humor stems from the moderately awkward or otherwise odd and stilted moments, and a rather matter of fact approach to destruction, death and melodrama. Artistically it brings something new to the table by embracing a cheap form of photoshop animation, which adds fittingly off visual touch. 6/10


Ma vie de Courgette / My Life as a Zucchini (2016, Claude Barras)
Few films have managed to capture melancholy this well. The minimalistic scope of claymation works in perfectly for this abrupt human scope of orphans, all longing for love and connections. It is remarkably slow and human. The simplicity elevates it, making us feel closer to each child, and making each emotion mean more. What beautifully crafted animation. I hope we see a lot more in this style. It's only downfall is it's length, and certain choices simply falling a little short. I still haven't made up my mind whether it is truly great, or simply good, so I will leave my rating in the in-between stage for now. 7.5/10.


Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome / Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017, Masaaki Yuasa)
A maddening pub crawl, all taking place in the course of a night as a girl first discovers her love for alcohol and sets out to drink as much as possible. With a bizarre character gallery and a night that keeps being extended, this surrealistic marvel is just as a bizarre and brilliant as Mind Game, and I actually ended up loving it more. Sadly this was the only film I had seen before the event, and while I was fairly sure it would get my nomination I had hoped it would have quite a lot of competition. 8.5/10

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#7

Post by peeptoad » November 6th, 2018, 1:45 pm

Long Way North- 7/10

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#8

Post by mjf314 » November 7th, 2018, 2:36 am

St. Gloede wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 6:51 am
Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome / Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017, Masaaki Yuasa)
A maddening pub crawl, all taking place in the course of a night as a girl first discovers her love for alcohol and sets out to drink as much as possible. With a bizarre character gallery and a night that keeps being extended, this surrealistic marvel is just as a bizarre and brilliant as Mind Game, and I actually ended up loving it more. Sadly this was the only film I had seen before the event, and while I was fairly sure it would get my nomination I had hoped it would have quite a lot of competition. 8.5/10
If you liked Night is Short, Walk on Girl, you'll probably like The Tatami Galaxy (I see that you haven't checked it). They have the same animation style and the same characters.

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#9

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 » November 10th, 2018, 7:10 am

'Long Way North' / 7/10

Really fantastic use of mellow hues here - yellows, ochres, blues. There's a simple elegance to the film's look and the storyline's central thrust. The simple and sometimes angular style with its contrasts is pretty lovely and made me think of cut-out animation. An attractive diversion but ultimately perhaps a touch thin and lacking in dramatic resolution. I will remember the uniqueness and beauty of Chayé animation though! (French-language with English subtitles)

Image

Image

Image
That's all, folks!

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#10

Post by blocho » November 12th, 2018, 4:59 am

Long Way North

Picturesque animation but a rather thin story 6/10

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#11

Post by sacmersault » November 13th, 2018, 2:16 am

OK. So I finished this category. Well mainly because I recommended or backed 5/6 of the films, but I'm done.

In order:
My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea 9/10 I love the humour in this film. The animation was a bit weird; I had never seen something like it. The story is interesting and feels complete.
Birdboy 9/10 A very interesting and different type of animated film. I really liked how it reflected our reality and the darkness of the film. My only criticism is that it felt a bit incomplete.
My Life as a Zucchini 8/10 Very interesting animation and character creation. The story is a bit simple yet effective. It feels totally incomplete though. Could have been much better with a stronger story and more time.
Night is Short, Walk On Girl 7/10 Very fun and weird. The animation is standard Asian animation, thus nothing special. The story is wonkers (in a good way). FUN
Ethel & Ernest 6/10 Very charming film. Well made & drawn. Very British. Traditional animation.
Long Way North 6/10 Good film. Good story. Nothing special, but well made.

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#12

Post by Carmel1379 » November 15th, 2018, 6:29 am

Image
Image


The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017, Masaaki Yuasa)
Intoxicated & intoxicating, ‘The Night is Short, Walk on Girl’ reminds about the finiteness of an already impermanent life, and hence invites reintensification and movement across the multiplicity of existing connections. Fun, love, the overcoming of emptiness, and the expression of feelings, all prolific in every one of Yuasa’s energetically flowing frames, so evocative of a subjective stream of consciousness, febrilility, eccentric tilts, mysteriousness, potentials, and intensities. It’s thinner and lighter than ‘Mind Game’ — one of my very favourite films of all time — but still fairly resonant.

Two screenshot posts on the undergrad's mind:
http://k-goth-explorations.tumblr.com/p ... short-walk
http://k-goth-explorations.tumblr.com/p ... short-walk

7/10



Image
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#13

Post by clemmetarey » November 19th, 2018, 5:58 pm

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (2015) 6/10

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#14

Post by flaiky » November 19th, 2018, 8:27 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
November 6th, 2018, 6:51 am
Ethel & Ernest (2016, Roger Mainwood)
Embracing the small moments that captures an ordinary life, Ethel and Ernest ignores grand plots and revelations as we follow the courtship and marriage of our two leads. It is an incredibly personal story as it is the tale of the writers' own parents.Raymond Briggs is also the man behind When the Wind Blows, and you can see the same kind of soft interactions between two simple people. The greatest weakness is that it is perhaps too ordinary, but it brings an incredible amount of emotion and observation, and while it might not be intended their small lives even offers a sorrowful and existentialist look at how we all live our lives and how fast it is actually gone. 7/10
Nice summary. I found the film surprisingly moving, I remember being tearful by the end. We need tales of the ordinary because let's face it, that's all most of us will ever be. Somehow the film is equally depressing and comforting with this message.

No mention of the hand-drawn animation, though, which I thought was beautiful even though I'm not really an animation enthusiast.
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#15

Post by Lonewolf2003 » November 22nd, 2018, 12:22 am

Did an animation marathon today, here are my thoughts and rating. Before I start I want to say that I loved the animation styles from the more normal mellow styles of A Long Way North and Ethel & Ernest to the unconventional styles of Night Is Short, Walk on Girl and Birdboy.

Psiconautas, los niños olvidados (Birdboy: The Forgotten Children) (2015): 7.2 - Even though it stars cute talking animals, this is not your typical kiddies cartoon, but a feverish toon set in a post-apocalyptic world that deals innerdemons, addictions, poverty and violence. But there is so much going on this movie, that there isn't enough time to go into depth in these topics nor to really develop its many characters in its mere 75 minutes.

Tout en haut du monde (Long Way Nort) (2015): 7.0 - A movie I would recommend to my 12y old niece for its message of women empowerment packed in an enjoyable adventure movie.

Ma vie de Courgette (My Life as a Zucchini) (2016): 7.5 - To me the best of the bunch by dealing with its young traumatized characters in a very humane understanding way, while never becoming too grim or heavy. The stop-motion animation might be less aesthetically pleasing than some others here, but works very well.

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2016): 6.8 - This combination of high school and disasters movie (symbolically) deals with life as a high school student. Unfortunately the nonchalant take on all the violence takes away any emotional involvement. Making it all a bit slight. The frantic crude animation does perfectly fit the spirit of the movie.

Ethel & Ernest (2016): 7.2 - Like flaiky and St. Gloede already said above this touchingly shows that an ordinary life with all the ups and down that come with that, can be just as interesting as any big eventful or fantastic stories people can dream up. Trying to cram up a whole lifetime in just 94 minutes does make it very episodic in nature.
Sidenote: That Raymond Briggs, whose graphic novel this is based on, seems to have been a fathers boy. The dad is almost constantly painted in much better light than the mother.

Yoru wa mijikashi aruke yo otome (Night Is Short, Walk on Girl) (2017): 6.2 - I was looking forward to this, the trailer looked very promising and I rated it very high as a juror for the selection proces. But I was very dissapointed :(. It sure is eccentric. But unfortunately that's all it is; a succession of loony sequences (one can only find in anime). But the it's lacking any symbolic or emotional depth, making it quite boring despite its breakneck pace and over packed scenes.

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#16

Post by Carmel1379 » November 25th, 2018, 3:49 am

Ma vie de Courgette (2016, Claude Barras) 6+
It’s rather rare that I can entertain the idea of children being cute, innocent, and inherently good, but this has also enough nuance to sway an overall positive reaction in me. Courgette renounces his real name Icare, choosing his mother’s ridiculous nickname after an unpalatable vegetable over the mythological one obviously associated with hubristic demise, carrying on living with his kite, alongside all the other zany forsaken children. Quite enjoyed the low-key romance, those little transient joyful moments, and the down-to-earth French children’s dialogue, filled with nice expressions, jokes, and banter I’m rather well familiar with. Well anyway, this is best watched when you’re the protagonists' ages -- 9 & 10 -- which is a compliment.
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#17

Post by Muellwind » November 26th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Birdboy 8/10

My Life as a Zucchini 8/10

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#18

Post by outdoorcats » November 27th, 2018, 2:40 am

Birdboy - 9
My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea - 8
My Life as a Zucchini - 8

[a LION eats GOD. Gunshots ring out. MATT turns around]
MATT: That's the guy I was telling you about.

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#19

Post by Carmel1379 » November 27th, 2018, 3:48 am

Ethel & Ernest (2016, Roger Mainwood)

Image

3/10
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#20

Post by outdoorcats » November 28th, 2018, 2:10 pm

Gloede, what's your numerical rating for Long Way North?

[a LION eats GOD. Gunshots ring out. MATT turns around]
MATT: That's the guy I was telling you about.

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#21

Post by albajos » November 28th, 2018, 2:32 pm

Audience
Ma vie de Courgette (2016) 7/10

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#22

Post by St. Gloede » November 28th, 2018, 2:42 pm

outdoorcats wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 2:10 pm
Gloede, what's your numerical rating for Long Way North?
6/10, added it above.

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#23

Post by outdoorcats » November 28th, 2018, 2:55 pm

Thanks!

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#24

Post by Carmel1379 » November 29th, 2018, 10:09 am

Tout en haut de monde (2015, Rémi Chayé) 3/10

My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2016, Dash Shaw) 4/10
Among the worst “losers try to become popular” comedy high school movies I have seen (it’s like ‘Daria’ without Daria or Jane or anything redeemable, really), with the visual lethargy (/immobility of most of the frame) doing little except prioritising the shitty dialogue, which is rarely fitting for cinema. The general creative colourfulness saved this from being complete rubbish, such that — contrary to ‘Tout en haut de monde’ or ‘Ethel & Ernest’ — the animation doesn’t just boringly serve the dull plot, but instead surpasses it and plays on the screen pleasantly enough on its own (well, maybe at x4 speed).
Last edited by Carmel1379 on December 2nd, 2018, 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#25

Post by Carmel1379 » November 29th, 2018, 10:11 am

Image


Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (2015, Alberto Vázquez & Pedro Rivero) 8/10
The film I was most excited of seeing. My expectations-intuitions were definitely met. Dark fairytale post-meltdown ‘weird scrambling’ and gruelling survival is my thing. Without a doubt the most riveting, open-ended, enigmatic, and visually stimulating film among the selection for me. The way it sets the varied characters against the eerie unknown environment, unleashes the “demons which know how to swim”, exudes loneliness, relates addiction, impossible relationships, and plagued minds, mixes desolation with eccentric-cartoonish-cuteness, ... it’s very special. Oh, and if I ever have kids I would definitely show it to them.


Image
Image
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#26

Post by Carmel1379 » November 29th, 2018, 10:29 am

Recap


#1 Birdboy: The Forgotten Children - 8/10
#2 The Night is Short, Walk on Girl - 7/10
#3 Ma vie de Courgette - 6+/10

#4 My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea - 4/10
#5 Tout en haut de monde - 3/10
#6 Ethel & Ernest - 3/10


Each film in the animation selection seems to interestingly deal with empowerment / life-stimulation, and the sort of relationships people have to achieve or intensify those processes. 'Ma vie de Courgette' and "Birdboy" have a group of orphans / kids disconnected from parents, where the loneliness of everyone is emphasises as well as the potential of a collectivity in overcoming some of the problems everyone must struggle through; both also feature a new blooming relationship, a lot of childishness, and despair. Likewise 'The Night is Short, Walk on Girl' is coming-of-age movie about love and fleeting connections (& lots of alcohol); 'Tout en haut de monde' about an aristocrat-rebelling-against-family to work-for-lower-classes & find grandparent, where the help of the ship's crew is invaluable and they all must face the Arctic's dangers. "My Entire High School" also has a survival set-up with adolescents. 'Ethel & Ernest' depicts a couple from meeting to death, and as mentioned above by Gloede & flaiky portrays the household ordinary, family, and related existential choices. So there are definitely worthwhile connections to be made between the films, I think, and it's obviously a nice varied selection of animated films.

As a juror - with my own preferences gnawing me like Birdboy's demons, I really must veto #4-#6 in my ranking and suggest any of the 3 I actually liked as a the winner of this category.
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
t o B e c o n t i n u e d

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#27

Post by Lonewolf2003 » November 29th, 2018, 12:22 pm

My pick would be Ma vie de Courgette. I would veto The Night is Short. Could live with Birdboy, Ethel & Ernest or Long Way North winning.

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#28

Post by St. Gloede » November 30th, 2018, 8:28 pm

The only one I would passionately support is Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, though I don't mind going by average rating.

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#29

Post by sacmersault » November 30th, 2018, 8:58 pm

My first choice is Birdboy, though I wouldn't mind Night is Short, although there are more positive ratings for Birdboy it seems

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#30

Post by flaiky » November 30th, 2018, 9:09 pm

Ratings (only one)

Ethel & Ernest - 8
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#31

Post by outdoorcats » December 1st, 2018, 12:01 am

Are we OK picking Birdboy for the winner?

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#32

Post by sacmersault » December 1st, 2018, 12:06 am

I support that

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#33

Post by St. Gloede » December 1st, 2018, 12:11 am

I can accept that.

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#34

Post by Lonewolf2003 » December 1st, 2018, 12:54 am

I can live with Birdboy winning.

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