ANNECY FESTIVAL - (International Animation Film Festival - 2024)

 

Festival Presentation 

From 9th to 15th June 2024, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the global event dedicated to animation opens! For an entire week, the event gathers together the biggest names in the sector and celebrates the creative and diverse animation styles and techniques.

 

Annecy is a quaint and beautiful garden, alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River.  It is known for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel-coloured houses and of course, the Annoy Film Festival.

One can access the Official Selection that groups together the Competition (Feature Films, Short Films, TV & Commissioned Films and VR Works), as well as the Screening Events, Annecy Classics, Midnight Specials and Open-air Screenings. 

 

Capsule Reviews of selected films:

 

DIPLODOCUS (Poland /Czech/Slovakia 2023) ***
Directed by

 

Diplodocus is the title of the new animated feature from Poland and the title derives from the name of a dinosaur species.  The Diplodocus is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs, with its typical sauropod shape, long neck and tail, and four sturdy legs. For many years, it was the longest dinosaur known.  The story follows a little dinosaur Diplodocus who dreams of leaving his pond and having a great adventure.  Unfortunately, his overprotective parents won't let him explore the beautiful but dangerous world beyond the wall they have built to protect their home in the jungle. Be careful what you wish for!  Diplo doesn’t yet know that his world is actually part of a comic book created by Ted, an artist dreaming of success.  The animated feature is inventive, fresh and colourful though it could be much funnier.  Occasionally a bit messy with too many characters and everything, everywhere occurring all the time, the cutesy Diplo and friends looks as if the feature is made for smaller children but turns out a bit too confusing for them.  Still, marvellous animation all around.

Trailer: 

THE GLASSWORKER (Pakistan 2023) ***1/2

Directed by Osman Riaz

 

From Pakistan and set in a fictitious country resembling Pakistan, THE GLASSWORKER is the first Pakistan and an original hand-drawn animated feature film. 

A young Vincent and his father Tomas run the finest glass workshop in the country and find their lives upended by an impending war in which they want no part.  The arrival in their town of an army colonel and his young, talented, violinist daughter, Alliz, shakes their reality and tests the relationship between father and son.  Tomas is a pacifist who angers the town and is proud of the visiting army.  Tomas falls in love with Allie, to the consternation of his father.  The relationship is a troubled and challenging one.  Director Riaz sets a very pleasant and charming tone throughout his film, though there are one or two violent scenes like the one in which Tomas closes his arm in an accident.  The romance between Vincent and Alliz is extremely well created with a few thrilling moments (Vincent losing his concert invite) that add to their love story,  A fresh look at war and romance without any cop-out happy ending.

Trailer: 

LIVING LARGE (Czech/Slovakia.France 2024) ***** Top 10

Directed by Kristina Dufkova 

 

A coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Papethca, as he juggles what paths are considered the most pressing at the time.  On the first day of school, he is bullied for his weight, and falls in love with a fellow classmate, while venturing into his career as a chef or as a rap band member with his buddy.  At the same time, he has to deal with his divorced parents - he living and cooking for his mother and coping with his father and his new girlfriend.  All this is a lot to take in for a 12-year-old but director Kristina Dufkova blends all the issues effortlessly in an entertaining film that is both hilarious and emotional. You have to love a movie that has on its soundtrack classic opera, rap, ac/dc and piano.  The film shifts into full gear when Papethca decides to go on a diet.  The film is based on the novel ‘Ma Vie, En Gros’ and has the look of the Academy Award-nominated MA VIE EN COURGETTE, the recent animated claymation feature also on the topic of adolescence.  One of the strongest points of this best-animated feature is the positive and feel-good message it has for people living large.

https://mubi.com/en/films/living-large/trailer

SPERMAGEDDON (Norway 2024) ***
Directed by Tommy Wirkola and Rasmus A. Sivertsen

 

Playing somewhat like the sperm/ejaculation segment in Woody Allen’s classic sex comedy EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX AND… Spermageddon is a 2024 Norwegian adult computer-animated musical comedy film about sperm trying to fertilize an egg.  The film consists of two plot lines, one focusing on a teenage couple having sex for the first time, and the other on Simon the Semen and his friends in quest for the Egg.  The animation of Simon and friends is geared more of the cutesy type though the film is definitely not recommended for young ones who have not yet learned about the birds and the bees.  Older children and younger adults would be the target audience as the film contains a whole lot of rude and vulgar jokes, a majority of them on the play or words like Lord of the Rimms and baking a Bukake Cake.  The humour could have been funnier though the goofy ones are the ones that elicit the most laughs.  The film is slotted for the Midnight Section of the festival.

 

 

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