Day three at Animafest 2019 again opens with young early birds at Kinoteka – two Children’s Film Competition slots (age 7-10 at 9:30 and 10-14 at 11:30), followed by Q&As with authors and film analyses moderated by film critic Višnja Vukašinović. The titles include must-see films like Small Spark, Matilda, Muri the Cat – Lunchtime, Vitello Gets a Yucky Girlfriend, A Tiger with No Stripes, The Witch, The Kite, The Diary of a Chiva Bus and the Croatian film The Ballad of Pipe and Necklace. At 15:30 the Family Programme follows with the section That’s Me! (age 5-8). At 17:30 check out the feature-length hit Ruben Brandt, the Collector – the crime art film by Milorad Krstić, based on a quirky assumption about psychotherapy by stealing art from world famous museums. This animated contribution to the genre of heist film, with aptly elaborate chase scenes, is often funny in its many and sparkling psychoanalytical hooks and mockery to art criticism, without causing any damage to its unusually dynamic rhythm. All things considered, if it were by any chance a live action film, this cheerful action rollercoaster melange of genres and styles would make even the big Hollywood studios proud.
At 20 h Kinoteka screens the GC – Short Film 3 with a host of magnificent titles: Animafest’s veteran Roberto Catani confirms his inclination to the rich heritage of Italian, mainly avant-garde art in the intimate-circus film about childhood Per tutta la vita, Akihito Yamashita for the lovers of anime and sci-fi, for many years Miyazaki’s in-house animator at Ghibli, a variation of the classical trope of the invisible man (Invisible), Sophie Koko Gate affirms the aesthetic of the ugly and the driving force of lust in the grotesque-erotic Slug Life, revolving around the genetic modification of the slug for the purpose of coitus, and the aesthetic of the ugly is also the focus of Malte Stein’s Flood, a film about the oppressive relationship between a mother and a son, during the surge of dirty brown water, a symbol of psychosocial processes leading to monstrosity and death. Windshriek by Frédéric Doazan is a fascinating typographic explosion of exceptional visual quality, a film depicting the beauty of numbers, symbols, paragraphs and designs, but the film is not an abstract play but another engaged film in which letters and signs of many languages wage a relentless war against the digital tower of zeros and ones. The likeable Spanish stop-motion Muedra portrays a cute play dough animal interacting with the coastal rocky and sandy environment and the Hungarian-Croatian co-production The Fall of Rome is a post-apocalyptic, psychedelic neon (purple and blue) dark humour sci-fi about the life of a family below the dome protecting them from mutant frogs. The programme at Kinoteka wraps up at 22 h with the feature animated psychological horror Aragne: Sign of Vermillion, Saku Sakamoto’s impressive independent piece.
Kaptol Boutique Cinema opens at 17:30 with another feature, this time the stop-motion horror Wolf House, the Chilean film by Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León, a piece that drags horror, fairy tale and folklore from well-known interpretative frames of ‘the return of the repressed as a monster’ to the domain of engaged film. Initially an exhibition work in progress, the project in its cinematic form refers not only the opulent and disturbing unconscious, but also dictatorship, propaganda, religion, cultism and racism. Disturbing metamorphoses, achieved by modelling paper of which the characters are made, weird ‘human’ relationships and bloody psychotic visions serve to ominously comment on the suffering that lurks in the familiar, close spaces – the film is inspired by the German cult Colonia Dignidad, led in Chile by the maniac abuser Paul Schäfer. In terms of design, the film leans on the shoulders of the giants like Jan Švankmajer, the Quay Brothers, David Lynch and Francis Bacon. Up next is the section under the title ‘Inspired by 1’ (20:00) from the theme programme Animation and Fine Arts with some truly must-see gems – the iconic Satiemania by Zdenko Gašparović, inspired by Dix and Grosz, Ruth Lingford’s Pleasures of War, Norman McLaren’s film based on the painting of the Swiss symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin Die Toteninsel, the sensational collaboration between Salvador Dali and Walt Disney re-enacted in Dominique Monféry’s Destino, embodied constructivism in Tower Bawher by Zagreb’s favourite Theodore Ushev, Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase by Joan C. Gratz and the Russian classic Alexander Petrov, recreating the style of romantic realism in the adaptation of the novel The Old Man and the Sea in pastel oil on glass technique. Kaptol Boutique Cinema closes at 22 h with the World Panorama 2 and a Q&A with the authors.
Tuškanac cinema opens its door at 10 with a screening of the Student Competition 4, following the GC – Short Film 5 at noon with My Generation, a post-modern chase (with a fiery cathartic ending) across the motorway of iconography of popular and highbrow culture, politics, economy, totalitarianism and media trash of the 20th and 21st century; Egg, a film about eating disorders (the topic of the panel Film and Psychiatry on Thursday at KIC at 18:30 with the director); the video game inspired cyber punk fantasy Alexis Inside and three films by John Morena, marking his sensational triple appearance in Animafest’s competition. At 14 we are looking forward to part two of the retrospective of the Master of Animation Suzan Pitt, followed by theme programme Moving Images at 15:30, a rare chance to see German avant-garde masters, the pioneers of experimental and animated film Hans Richter, Walter Ruttmann, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger, as well as their somewhat later Anglo-American disciples Len Lye, Mary Ellen Bute and Norman McLaren, as well as contemporary authors like Mirai Mizue, Thomas Renoldner or Steven Woloshen. Afternoon and evening slots are as always booked for the even more attractive programmes – Student Competition 2 (17:30), including Anna Šagadin’s Saturn in Leo, as well as the spectacular Iam Twisq, the funny and originally designed Grand Bassin, another humorous teenage love drama combining different animation styles Love at the Crossroads and the visually fascinating Tranquillity and An Eye for an Eye.
The GC – Short Film 3 at 20 h screens the already mentioned films but accompanied by a Q&A with the authors and film programmes on Wednesday end at 22 h with a screening of the feature film Ville Neuve, with the director’s attendance. This poetic Canadian film by Félix Dufour-Laperrière is a black and white family-psychological etude set against the backdrop of social and political trends and connecting collective and intimate levels in a characteristic Québécois context. A story about an attempt of reconnecting with the ex-wife and son, inspired by Raymond Carver’s short story, is entirely made by hand out of over 80 thousand drawings, with a particular disposition for dreary weather and psychologically nuanced characterisation.
Earlier this evening at KUC Travno another Zagreb’s neighbourhoods will be able to see Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (19:00) and the visitors of Gradec Open Air Cinema at 21 h can enjoy a selection of music videos Cinema for the Ear, selected by Animafest’s artistic director.
The International Symposium Animafest Scanner VI continues at the Balassi Institute at 10 and ends at 17, with panels about animation and (virtual) reality and animation and education, with moderators and speakers Franziska Bruckner, Holger Langa, Chunning Guo, Hannes Rall, Eva Wijers, Bernhard Schmitt, Jürgen Hagler, Remo Rauscher, Debjani Mukherjee, Olivier Cotte i Hrvoje Turković.
Our lavish exhibition events continue on Wednesday – with those already opened, KIC at 15 h hosts the panel Animation in Galleries (in association with AM Centre) and announced the opening of Behind the Scenes (16 h) – Animafest’s new gallery concept aiming to unveil the creative process of making an animated film with the GC – Short Film authors whose works have been selected. The French Institute’s Mediatheque at 13:30 opens the exhibition of the Parisian Miyu Gallery, the first specialised gallery dedicated exclusively to the art and promotion of animation, and Pogon Jedinstvo at 23 h is presenting Seasons of the Heart: (Re)animation of Poetry, initiated by Božidar Trkulja in association with 50 contemporary Croatian artists and animators. The merry animation party will continue hanging out at Jedinstvo at the traditional jam session.
At 18h the French Institute’s Mediatheque presents four new books on animation, including the collection of papers from the past five editions of Animafest Scanner, published by the world-famous Bloomsbury, as well as new books by Midhat Ajanović, Stefan Stratil and Hannes Rall.