May 21, 2007
I've been remiss, because I haven't yet mentioned that Bitter Films Volume One: 1995-2005, the collected films of Don Hertzfeldt, is one of the funniest and most enjoyable DVDs I've watched in a while. You could make a convincing argument that shorts like Billy's Balloon (in which a rogue balloon beats the tar out of its toddler owner) and catchphrase-inspiring lines like "My anus is bleeding!" place Hertzfeldt's work squarely in the frat-boy demographic, and I'd have a hard time disagreeing with you. The thing is, Hertzfeldt combines delightfully deadpan dialogue with a minimalist (read: stick-figure) yet expressive drawing style and a real talent for planning technically elaborate sequences that fit the story without screaming "Aren't I awesome?" Dive in to the copious extras and you'll probably come away more impressed than when you went in.

Speaking of DVD compilations and independent animators, you don't want to miss Liquid Tales, the collection of Patrick Smith's work. In some ways Smith's work is the opposite of Hertzfeldt's—it's colourful and scratchy and distinctively rendered—but it's no less enjoyable or personal. But hey, what say I show rather than tell: check out Puppet, his latest film, on Yahoo.

I've always said that a key difference between live-action filmmaking and animation filmmaking is that it's possible, though unlikely, that a live-action director can shoot a ten-minute film in ten minutes, while it's utterly impossible for an animation director to do so. J.Walt Adamczyk, who contributed to our January 2006 issue, insists on proving me wrong. His Spontaneous Fantasia, a one-hour animated program that he creates live, will be showing in a 180° full-dome theatre at the Glendale Community College Planetarium for four days in June, for a mere ten bucks ($6 for the under-twelves).

Don't know how this book slipped under my radar, but it looks fascinating. Orwell Subverted: The CIA and the Filming of Animal Farm digs into the CIA's hand in the creation of Halas and Batchelor's 1954 feature adaptation of George Orwell's novel. Author Daniel Leab not only dug through production archives and interviews, but CIA papers uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act. By the way, you can get 20% off the rather hefty $55 list price if you call 1-800-326-9180 (it's toll free) and mention the code OSRC.

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LA SHORTS FEST


CALL FOR ENTRIES
DEADLINE MAY 26, 2007
Submit Online: www.lashortsfest.com
323-461-4400

11th Annual LA Shorts Fest is the largest short film festival in the world, screening 700 films of every category. We are accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. In past years, 25 participants have earned Academy Award nominations, this years Oscar winner for best animated short film “The Danish Poet” made it’s Los Angeles premiere at LA Shorts Fest in 2006 continuing our streak of the last 8 Oscar winning short films having screened at LA Shorts Fest the previous year. Last year’s award winners received prizes totaling over $100,000. The festival annually attracts more than 10,000 moviegoers, filmmakers and entertainment executives looking for the hottest new talent We have honored some of Hollywood’s legends of the past: Charles Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Robert Wise; along with actors Martin Landau, James Woods, Gary Oldman and directors Tim Burton, Bryan Singer, Jan de Bont and Paul Haggis. www.lashortsfest.com 323.461.4400
LA SHORTS FEST

CALL FOR ENTRIES

Accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences
8 Consecutive Oscar Winners in the Shorts Category
Winners Receive Prizes Valued at $100,000

EXTENDED DEADLINE JUNE 18, 2007

LA Shorts Fest is the largest short film festival in the world. In past years, 25 participants have earned Academy Award nominations. The festival annually attracts more than 10,000 moviegoers, filmmakers and entertainment executives looking for the hottest new talent. We have honored Tim Burton, Bryan Singer, Jan de Bont and Paul Haggis with our annual Maverick Film Achievement Award. Submit Online: www.lashortsfest.com


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