×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Annecy: 10 Shorts Not to Miss at the Festival

10 Shorts Not to Miss at 2018’s Annecy

ANNECY, France — We’re not saying these are the best shorts at Annecy this year. Nor the forerunners for prizes. Chosen principally from the shorts in the short film competition, and buzzed up titles hitting Annecy, they are, however, undeniable proof of the huge creativity of contemporary Annecy. If Annecy is about discovery, much is to be found in these sections.

‘BLOEISTRAAT 11’

2D, from Belgium Lumière’s Lunanime, co-producers of “Phantom Boy” and 2018 competition contender “Funan.” But this is 2D with an edge, and psychological observance as two BBF’s girls sorority is prized apart by the onset of puberty, with one taking up with the other’s brother. Could a man have directed this? Probably yes, but almost certainly not so knowingly.

‘THE CAT’S REGRET’

Hitchcock in exquisite 2D, from the directors and animation studio behind 2012 Oscar-nominated feature “A Cat in Paris,” Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol and France’s Folimage, “The Cat’s Regret,” typically for its creators, sports some of the most exquisitely toned, composed 2D animation you’ll see at Annecy. But as ever with these directors, it also has an edge. A young kid who hates his little brother is taken to the house of an old codger, who wears one back glove. In a building psychological thriller, the gruff old man explains he killed his own younger brother and offers to help the kid out. Belgium’s Lunanime,  co-produces; part of free-to-air network Arte France VOD offer; backed by French film board CNC.

‘EDGE OF ALCHEMY’

Silent cinema stars Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor reappear as Frankenstein like scientists in Stacey Steers’ “Edge of Alchemy.” But the subject of the experiments is the inner world of women. Built by hand from fragments of 19th century engravings and illustrations and the third film in a trilogy, which took five years to complete, according to notes on Steers’ website. Surreal and hypnotic, a crafted, intuitive mind trip.

‘EGG’

Related with an Edgar Allen Poe-ish sense of building febrile obsession, Martina Scarpelli’s “Egg,” recounts, a woman’s battle with anorexia, encapsulated in her fantasy horror at eating and digesting the egg. Black and white hand-drawn animation, the imagery is simple but grotesque, and all the more effective for that. Part of a new female frankness at Annecy.

’EMBRACED’

Another portrait of female feeling. Canada’s Justine Vuylsteker uses the last pinscreen made in 1977 by the legendary Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker in order to create a vignette of a woman at a window lost in reverie of past embraces, knit through with an extraordinary tonal range of grays from the impressionistic to near photo naturalist.

’RAYMONDE, OR THE VERTICAL ESCAPE’

Sarah Van Dem Boom’s follow up to “In Deep Waters,” a touching portrait of a 60-year-old owlish spinster who dreams of “sex, love, and the vastness of the sky.” Her advances towards the young postman make her the laughing-stock of the local village. She “realizes very late that she has sacrificed her life to conform to a model that does not fit her. She has an owl face and an owl soul,” Van Den Boom comments.  She can only find satisfaction completely changing her mindset.

‘THE SUBJECT’

The latest from Canada’s Patrick Bouchard, chosen by Edouard Weintrop for his final Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, and another memorable exercise in grimy stop-motion. A man dissects a cadaver on a mortuary slab using macabre ancient machinery, finally tearing opens the corpse’s chest and rips out its heart, a stone anvil. The first installment the National Film Board’s NFB Pause series where creators explain their creative process, here, grim literal and metaphorical introspection.

‘TEARS OF CHIWEN’

Chinese artist and director Sun Xun –previously competing at the Annecy, Rotterdam, Berlin and Rome festivals–  unleashes a veritable tour-de-force of heritage Chinese mythology, culture and iconography with an enormous diversity of techniques, styles. Short is an spinoff of a solo art show seen in galleries outside China. Produced by Pi Animation Studio.

’VIBRATO’

Produced by Les Films Pelleas, backer of movies by Mia Hansen Love, Serge Bozon, Pierre Salvadori, another one-man tour de force, though in short format, of the 2D hand-drawn broad-brushstroke craft of Sebastien Laudenbach whose Annecy winner “The Girl Without Hands” was a Pyramide-sold Gkids U.S. pick-up. Here, set in 1899, a widow remembers what her dead husband made her feel, depicted via metaphoric vignettes, an image of sexuality contrasting with Victorian propriety. Laudenbach handles artistic direction, script, graphics, sets, animation, compositing and editing.

’WEEKENDS’

Pixar story artist Trevor Jiménez’s take on life as a young kid shuttling between recently divorced parents, mixing surreal dream-like moments with the domestic realities of a broken-up family, produced through the Pixar Co-op Program, capturing the cherished moments alone with mom and dad before or after both move on to new partners. Observant and pointedly styled.

More Film

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content