July 18, 2009
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to see Tokyo OnlyPic 2008 at the Fantasia Film festival.

Tokyo OnlyPic 2008 comprises a selection of the series of both live-action and animation segments of fictional sports events, and I'm using "sports" in the loosest sense of the word. This film is strange, at times awkward, and always funny. I highly recommend it.

Some of the animated events include the CG-animated Men's Independence, in which men hurl their mothers in a discus-like throw (trust me, it works, you'll be laughing as you think, "This is soooo wrong"), and Bill Plympton's Love Race, in which female celebrity of Paris Hilton proportions is chased around the stadium track by runners who happen to also be world-class at winning a material girl's heart.



That was a trailer for 1000-character SMS Texting, but here's one for the Home Athlon short, which doesn't appear in the selection shown at Fantasia, in case you don't want a spoiler.



Tokyo OnlyPic 2008 shows again on Sunday, July 19th at 2:15 p.m., right after Evangelion 1.0.

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October 16, 2008


Independent animator Bill Plympton's feature Idiots and Angels will be screened this Saturday at the 2008 Toronto After Dark genre film festival, running from October 17th to 24th.

Plympton's 2007 short, Shut-Eye Hotel, will also be shown on Sunday as a part of the Shorts After Dark program, which also features Michael Langan's Doxology, and includes an even split of live-action and animation shorts.

Previously on fps
Bill Plympton

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July 8, 2008


The audience of the Monday screening of Fear(s) of the Dark was treated to a bonus before things got rolling: Hot Dog, the third in a series of shorts by independent New York animator, Bill Plympton. Many know Bill Plympton's name, but those who don't will immediately recognize his trademark style in the clip shown here. Only a portion of the short is in the clip, and gets much funnier as it moves from one stage to the next.

His current feature, Idiots and Angels, seems distinctly different in tone. In Plympton's words:

The look of the film is very Eastern European - something like what Jan Svankmayer might make, or David Lynch if he made animation - very dark and surreal.

Fear(s) of the Dark will replay again tomorrow at the Fantasia festival, but without Hot Dog preceding it. Later in the day, Plympton will present the Canadian premiere of Idiots and Angels, and continuing the festival's spotlight on Animated Auteur Visions.

Previously on fps
2008 Fantasia Festival Animation
Review: Plymptoons: The Complete Early Works of Bill Plympton

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July 1, 2008


It's a week of firsts for this blogger - this is my first post on fps and my first experience with Montreal's famous genre spectacle, the Fantasia Film Festival. Illustrator and fellow fps blogger Matt Forsythe and I attended the press symposium and were treated to a preview of what we can expect from July 3rd-21st.

This year's animated offerings feature an unusual and unintentional focus on collaborative efforts and collections of short films, from DC Comics' Batman: Gotham Knight, Studio 4C's aptly named anime extravaganza, Genius Party, and the cutting-edge showcase, Best of Ottawa Animation Festival 2007. There are only two single-narrative feature-length animated presentations in the entire fest - Bill Plympton's poetic, pencil-scratch surrealist vision, Idiots and Angels and John Bergin's bleak, post-apocalyptic fable, From Inside. We'll cover each entry in more detail throughout the festival.

Continue past the jump for a full schedule of the animated films screening at Fantasia 2008:



July 4th - 7:30PM - Hall Theatre - Genius Party
July 5th - 12:00PM - Hall Theatre - Batman: Gotham Knight
July 5th - 1:00PM - J.A. De Seve - Best of Ottawa Animation Festival 2007
July 6th - 1:00PM - Hall Theatre - Genius Party
July 7th - 9:45PM - Hall Theatre - Peur (s) Du Noir
July 9th - 3:00PM - J.A. De Seve - Peur (s) Du Noir
July 9th - 7:30PM - Hall Theatre - Idiots and Angels (Hosted by creator, Bill Plympton)
July 12th - 2:40PM - J.A. De Seve - Outer Limits Of Animation 2008 (Shorts from around the globe)
July 13th - 9:40PM - J.A. De Seve - From Inside
July 14th - 3:00PM - J.A. De Seve - From Inside

(Okay, who's the putz that programmed Batman: Gotham Knight to screen at the same time as the Ottawa Festival shorts?! ...sigh... guess I'll have to watch you at home on Blu-ray, Batman...)

Tickets go on sale July 2nd at 2PM at the Concordia Hall Theatre (Guy-Concordia Metro) and throughout the Admission Network at $7.50 each.

Directions:Hall Theatre - 1455 Maisonneuve O. (Guy Metro) Map and Directions
DB Clarke Theatre - 1455 Maisonneuve O. (Guy Metro) Map and Directions
J.A. De Seve - 1400 Maisonneuve O. (Guy Metro) Map and Directions

Previously on fps:
2007 Fantasia Line-Up
Batman: Gotham Knight Online
Genius Party Trailers
Plymptoons: The Complete Early Works of Bill Plympton

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April 12, 2008


Signe Baumane dropped me a line to let me know that two of her fellow New York-based independent animators are screening the American premieres of their recent features at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival. Nina Paley's longtime endeavour Sita Sings the Blues—which we featured in our November 2005 issue—will be showing from April 25 to May 2, while Bill Plympton's Idiots and Angels runs from April 26 to May 3. Screening times and ticket info below.

Tickets: Visit the Tribeca Film Festival site, or call 646-502-5296.

Sita Sings the Blues

Friday, April 25, 8:15 pm
AMC Village VII (AV7)
66 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Sunday, April 27, 3:45 pm
AMC 19th Street East (A19)
890 Broadway (at 19th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Monday, April 28, 10:45 pm
AMC Village VII (AV7)
66 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Thursday, May 1, 1:45 pm
Village East Cinemas (VEC)
181 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Friday, May 2, 3:00 pm
AMC 19th Street East (A19)
890 Broadway (at 19th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Idiots and Angels

Saturday, April 26, 5:30 pm
AMC 19th Street East (A19)
890 Broadway (at 19th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Sunday, April 27, 9:30 pm
Village East Cinemas (VEC)
181 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Wednesday, April 30, 11:00 pm
AMC Village VII (AV7)
66 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)
New York, NY 10003

Saturday, May 3, 8:00 pm
Village East Cinemas (VEC)
181 Second Avenue (at 12th Street)
New York, NY 10003

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June 28, 2007
The first event of the Platform International Animation Festival took place on Monday night with Competition 1. Irene Kotlarz, Director of Programming (pictured) got things rolling and welcomed and eager crowd that had already been well-taken care of by registration and other volunteer staff. If there were any fires being put out in the background, attendees sure didn't know about it. The festival has been a well-oiled machine so far.

The first short to screen was Torill Kove's The Danish Poet, this year's Oscar winner. Luis Cook's The Pearce Sisters was a standout Aardman short and one of the newer shorts in the selection. Recently acclaimed shorts such as Run Wrake's Rabbit and Theodore Ushev's Tower Bawher were shown and I became newly acquainted with Herzog and the Monsters.

The opening night party offered a chance for people to reconnect and make some new contacts in a great setting and others snuck off later in the evening for Comedy vs. Art, featuring an animation face-off between Bill Plympton and Joanna Priestley.

Tuesday was the first full day of the festival and I started off the day at the Meet the Animators panel moderated by Ramin Zahed of Animation Magazine. The thread that ran through all of the discussions dealt with passion for animating. Marc Bertrand of the National Film Board said he would rather people make films for themselves with themes they care about rather than impressing a producer. Motomichi Nakamura suggested that animators put work in their portfolio that they really enjoyed and not put in the rest.

The highlight of the day was the feature Tekkon Kinkreet, with its lush visuals and bold style. Director Michael Arias (pictured) was in the house and answered an extended Q&A about the making of the film.

After Competition 3, I could barely survive Animation From Hell, which screened Shut Eye Hotel, Bill Plympton's new short. So many activities can get a bit taxing, and I had to get ready for another day replete with great activities.

(Photos by official festival photographer CJ Beaman.)

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May 2, 2007
Last week was only a warm-up: May is a busy animation month at the Cinematheque Quebecoise. Things get underway Thursday, May 3, with a selection of Animation Classics of the 1980s. Each of the six films would make it worth seeing an entire program of animation shorts.

Tale of Tales
, Yuri Norstein
Tyll the Giant, Rein Raamat
The Cat Came Back, Cordell Barker
Rectangles & Rectangles & Rectangle, René Jodoin
Do Pivnice (Down in the Cellar), Jan Svankmajer
Jumping, Osamu Tezuka

May 10

On the eve of her retirement, a secret program of 10 films has been prepared for Hélène Tanguay (Marketing Manager for the NFB's English Animation Studio) by a team of employees at the CQ and the National Film Board. Details to come.

May 17, May 18, May 20, May 24, May 25, May 31, June 1, June 7

New York independent animator Bill Plympton graces the city once again with his presence. Yes, his films will be showing right until June!

May 17 is a special workshop with Bill Plympton. He will discuss his career as an animator, do an drawing demonstration and explain how directors can make a living working on short films. On May 18, there will be a screening of his shorts from 1977-1994 (in the presence of the director), and May 19, watch the balance of shorts from 1994 to the present. The next four screenings will be devoted to his features, The Tune, I Married a Strange Person!, Mutant Aliens, and Hair High.

If I died from an overdose, this is the way I'd want to go out.

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