David Lynch has finally uploaded FIRE (POZAR), the experimental animated short he did in 2015, to his new David Lynch Theater on YouTube.
To create it, Lynch shared the still drawings he'd done for the piece with composer Marek Zebrowski (who did the music for Lynch's Inland Empire) and didn't share any further details. After Zebrowski had composed the music, animator Noriko Miyakawa put together the final animated short.
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Yesterday saw the online premier of a mini-episode of a new animated comic series based on the classic Gilbert Shelton underground comic, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. As a hippie wannabe teen in the 70s, this (and Zap! Comics) was everything to me.
In 1969, life in San Francisco consists of free love, communal living, and political protest. Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek (Harrelson), Fat Freddy Freekowtski (Goodman), Phineas T. Phreakers (Davidson) and their mischievous, foul-mouthed cat, Kitty (Haddish) spend their days dodging many things —- the draft, the narcs, and steady employment -– all while searching for an altered state of bliss.
But after partaking of a genetically-mutated strain of marijuana, the Freaks wake up 50 years later to discover a much different society. Quickly feeling like fish out of water in a high-tech world of fourth-wave feminism, extreme gentrification and intense political correctness, the Freaks learn how to navigate life in 2020 -— where, surprisingly, their precious cannabis is now legal.
OK, sounds good. But is it? If the reaction to the first mini-episode is any indication, maybe the Freaks should have remained in their drug-induced coma. As one Facbooker commented: "Get yourself a collected set of the original comic and skip this drivel!" Read the rest
"because we come from nothing"
For all of us sheltering in place, the claustrophobic cluttered workshop that serves as the sole location in Budfoot -- a film where one eccentric man quickly loses his biscuits -- may feel all-too relatable. Meet Joe Carver, an indie toy designer whose penchant for manufacturing toys using sketchy chemicals unleashes the latest character in the killer doll genre of horror, Budfoot.
A spiritual heir to the cursed figure from Trilogy of Terror, watch as Budfoot transforms from mild-mannered cannabis mascot to Exacto knife-wielding menace who turns on his creator. The psychedelic stop motion is reminiscent of the late, great, Bruce Bickford if Bruce had ever had a budget, that is. The slick production value of the VFX are just as impressive as they are revolting.
Pair Budfoot with Cheech and Chong’s “Next Movie” for a midnight movie experience at home tonight.
Starring Skinner and Henry Zebrowski (Last Podcast on the Left). Directed by Tim Reis and James Sizemore. Special Effects by Shane Morton & VFX by Derek King. Read the rest
"The Name is Bootsy, Baby" is the fantastic 1996 pilot for a cartoon about the interplanetary adventures of Bootsy Collins, otherworldly bass player for Parliament-Funkadelic. Made for MTV but never aired on the channel, the cartoon was executive produced by Abby Terkuhle (Daria, Beavis and Butt-head) and also featured the voice of Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill)!
Bonus below, Bootsy's appearance on the animated documentary series "Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus":
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Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli has released stunning free backgrounds for videoconferencing software like Zoom. Change your set and setting to Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, and four other enchanting film scenes.
Download them here: "Studio Ghibli wallpaper that can be used for web conferences"
(via Open Culture)
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Second To None is a new short film by Irish writer/director Vincent Gallagher that I can best describe as "What if the first 20 minutes of UP was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino?" Here's the official synopsis:
Frederick Butterfield has always been runner up to his twin brother Herman. When Herman, the older by a mere minute, becomes the world’s oldest man, Frederick finally sees an opportunity to be first place.
Frederick will stop at nothing to claim the top spot in the most inventive way possible.
It's a delightfully bleak dark comedy. I found myself actually laughing out loud numerous times as the children's book-like characters moved silently from adorable ultraviolence to adorable ultraviolence, while still being delightfully crotchety old man. On a technical level, the intricate stop-motion work is truly impressive as well; it took them six months just to make a 7 minute short film.
If you're still not convinced to spare those seven minutes of your time, Second To None has already garnered a ton of awards, including "Best Animation" at the Irish Film and Television Awards, as well as recognition at the Austin Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, and even Whoopi Goldberg’s specially curated animated shorts program at Tribeca. It's currently a Staff Pick at Vimeo as well.
Second To None [Written and directed by Vincent Gallagher; animated by jason Watts; character design and fabrication by Pierre Butler; sets by Aoife Noonan of Bowsie Workshop]
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Ray Harryhausen was a pioneer of stop-motion animation who won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1949 for his work on Mighty Joe Young with Willis H. O'Brien. Read the rest
It's always great to see a master craftsperson at work. From Vanity Fair: "Watch as Tom Kenny seamlessly improvises the voices to 5 random cartoon characters that he has never seen before. Using his skills from decades as the voice of SpongeBob, The Ice King (Adventure Time), The Mayor (Powerpuff Girls), Heffer (Rocko's Modern Life) and many others, Tom is able to create amazing characters in the blink of an eye."
[via Dooby Brain] Read the rest
This is exactly how I've felt while cooped in my house these last few weeks and yes I mean "exactly."
The 2-minute film was created by AJ Jeffries, a 3D illustrator and animator based in Norwich in the UK. The only description or explanation given for it is this: "A horse struggles to exist." That feels like it's vague or underselling, after watching this mesmerizing cartoon several times over, I think it's actually perfect.
Horse [AJ Jeffries / Vimeo] Read the rest
Directed by Canadian-American filmmaker Ted Eshbaugh, this "Wizard of Oz" cartoon from 1933 predated the classic Hollywood movie by six years. From Wikipedia:
The story is credited to "Col. Frank Baum." Frank Joslyn Baum, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and eldest son of writer L. Frank Baum, was involved in the film's production, and may have had an involvement in the film's script, which is loosely inspired by the elder Baum's 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It runs approximately eight and a half minutes and is nearly wordless, working mainly with arrangements of classical music created by Carl W. Stalling.
The film was originally made in Technicolor, but because it was made without proper licensing from the Technicolor Corporation (which limited use of its 3-strip process to Disney), it never received a theatrical release.
(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest
Adult Swim has made all five seasons of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack available for free streaming on their site. You don't even need to register an account.
If you're not familiar with the series, this 'splainer video should help. You may recognize Genndy Tartakovsky distinctive art style from his other popular series, Dexter's Laboratory.
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The Flippist presents "Social Distancing... A Flipbook," inspired by Kirsten Lepore's wonderful "Hi Stranger" (2017) and Juan Delcan's "Safety Match" (2020).
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My only complaint about Pixar's new film Soul is that is doesn't come out until June 19. Here's the description:
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Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.
Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Daveed Diggs, “Soul” is directed by Academy Award winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray (Pixar short “Lou”). Globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds.
In 1979, Sesame Street animator Cathryn Aison created "Geometry of Circles," an abstract animation with original music by minimalist pioneer Philip Glass. It consists of four segments that were first aired as a complete piece. From the Muppet Wiki:
The shorts consist of the movement of six circles (each with a different color of the rainbow) that are formed by and split up into various geometric patterns. Glass's music underscores the animation in a style that closely resembles the "Dance" numbers and the North Star vignettes written during the same time period as his Einstein on the Beach opera.
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(In Firefox on Windows, you can see some artifacts that hint at how the characters are built from geometric shapes.) Read the rest