ANIMATION MONTH - An Invitation
Looking around the film blogs that I have come to frequent to quench my thirst for films I haven't heard of or points of view I haven't considered, I have noticed how little discussion there is of animated films. The usual suspects are there, for sure - the new generation of computer animation in America, the continued flourishing of anime in Japan - and a sprinkling of headline acts from beyond like Persepolis or Belleville Rendezvous. I wanted to dig a little deeper.
There is a wide variety of media that fall under the umbrella of animation and many ways life or the illusion of life is given to paint, puppets, paper and so on. Over the last couple of months I have used various lists compiled by experts as a jumping off point and then let my curiosity get the better of me, pulling my strings, making my eyes flash this way and that. I will not attempt a final definition of animation. This is something that animators themselves cannot agree on. I went with the general subconscious consensus and my gut feeling.
By no means do I think I have seen enough to know all there is out there worth knowing (for me) but that goes for any film and for any list. Nevertheless, I do not feel comfortable compiling a straightforward countdown when I am still in the early stages of exploration - on the first 30 pages of a Jules Verne novel. If there are no numbers I won't feel bad if I discover I've left something out. The films that will make up this month's reviews and essays - from shorts to feature length - are the ones that made the biggest impact on me and I hope I can communicate those feelings to the people who have steered me towards so many wonderful films through their lucid and entertaining writing.