《第39届法国凯撒奖》及《第86届奥斯卡金像奖》先后宣布了竞逐最佳动画短片的半决赛名单，随博集结预赏这20部优选作品的海报、预告片段，以及数部完整结晶。综观榜单，大概只有 “皮克斯小蓝伞” 的落选乃唯一争议，不过被看好镀金的，却也是自家人（迪士尼）的 “热马”，所以惊与喜至终很可能扯平。事实上，若纯论质感，部部貌似黑马，而二地入围作品的风格亦明显回异，我个人则较偏好重口味的凯撒选片。
2份片单中，有4部短片乃出自亚裔精英之手，包括了多伦多籍动画师【吴家昕】艺武情深的浪漫挽歌《Requiem for Romance》，融合古早水墨与现今对谈，妙喻划时代的鸿沟；旅法中国动画新秀【魏荷芳】以法式情色包装东方古典的《Le Banquet De La Concubine》（贵妃醉酒），我也一并转贴其直绘性欲意象的海报系列；日本新生代动画导演【和田淳】的手绘哲学佳作《The Great Rabbit》，早于年初已获柏林影展的肯定，而其同乡【森田修平】绮丽妖异的《Possessions》（九十九），则源属勾勒大日本文化历史与未来的四合一主题短片集《SHORT PEACE》。
“FERAL,” Daniel Sousa, director, and Dan Golden, music and sound design (Daniel Sousa)
FERAL is a 13-minute fictional animated film that draws on historical accounts of abandoned children, how they might have survived in the wild and how they were re-assimilated into society when they were found.
The film tells the story of a wild boy found in the woods by a solitary hunter and brought back to civilization. Alienated by a strange new environment, the boy tries to adapt by using the same strategies that kept him safe in the forest.
“GET A HORSE!” Lauren MacMullan, director,
and Dorothy McKim, producer (Walt Disney Feature Animation)
GET A HORSE! is a black-and-white/color 3D hand-drawn and computer animated musical short film, produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The short features archival voice recordings of Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse. It is the first original Mickey Mouse theatrical animated short since 1995’s Runaway Brain.
The story follows Mickey, his favorite gal pal Minnie Mouse and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they delight in a musical wagon ride – until Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.
“GLORIA VICTORIA,” Theodore Ushev, director (National Film Board of Canada)
GLORIA VICTORIA is the final film in Ushev’s NFB trilogy on the relationship between art and power which unfolds on the still-smouldering rubble of a furious 20th century. From the Russian front to the Chinese Revolution, from Dresden to Guernica, the film combines elements of surrealism and cubism to orchestrate an explosive nightmare in the name of peace.
Through a dynamic montage, the animator deconstructs good and evil to condemn wars against humanity, excessive competition and the metamorphosis of man into beast.
“HOLLOW LAND,” Uri Kranot and Michelle Kranot, directors
(Dansk Tegnefilm, Les Films de l’Arlequin and the National Film Board of Canada)
A story about the eternal human search for home, HOLLOW LAND begins, as all such searches must, with the dream of utopia. Solomon and Berta are two seekers who arrive—their treasured bathtub improbably in tow—in a land that promises respite from their many journeys.
From the first optimistic moments after their arrival, to the final haunting scene at sea, the film captures the state of being displaced—whether by circumstance or by choice.
“THE MISSING SCARF,” Eoin Duffy, director, and Jamie Hogan, producer (Belly Creative Inc.)
Albert the squirrel is in search of his missing scarf. But there are troubles more worrisome than lost neckwear for Albert and his fellow forest denizens.
Narrated by Star Trek alum George Takei, THE MISSING SCARF is a black comedy that explores some of life’s common fears: fear of the unknown, of failure, rejection and finally the fear of death.
“MR. HUBLOT,” Laurent Witz, director, and Alexandre Espigares, co-director (Zeilt Productions)
MR. HUBLOT is a withdrawn, idiosyncratic character with OCD, scared of change and the outside world. Robot Pet’s arrival turns his life upside down: he has to share his home with this very invasive companion…
The film combines CGI with stop motion techniques based on puppets and props made by sculptor Stéphane Halleux.
“POSSESSIONS,” Shuhei Morita (森田修平), director (Sunrise Inc.)
POSSESSIONS is part of Katsuhiro Otomo’s anime omnibus SHORT PEACE (ショート・ピース) that assembles top creators at the leading edge of Japanese animation, exploring possible future avenues of expression.
In the story, a man sheltering from a storm is trapped in a house where the objects have developed souls. In order to leave, he must first fix the objects.
“REQUIEM FOR ROMANCE,” Jonathan Ng, director (Kungfu Romance Productions Inc.)
A modern-day couple’s secret love affair comes to a bittersweet end during an evening phone call. Cell phone static creates distance between them as they anguish over details of their relationship. REQUIEM FOR ROMANCE is a short martial arts love story animated in water ink technique with a hint of “Crouching Breakup Hidden Romance”.
“ROOM ON THE BROOM,” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)
From the creators of the hugely successful >The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child comes ROOM ON THE BROOM, a beautifully animated film based on the best-selling children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler and featuring the voices of Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Simon Pegg, Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall, and David Williams.
The story follows a kind witch who welcomes a surprising series of solitary and unfortunate little animals onto her broom, despite the jealousy of her cat. But only all of them, together, are able to save the witch from the terrible dragon. What magic will she work to pay them back?
“SUBCONSCIOUS PASSWORD,” Chris Landreth, director (National Film Board of Canada
with the participation of Seneca College Animation Arts Centre and Copperheart Entertainment)
SUBCONSCIOUS PASSWORD is a 3-D animated film offering an imaginary, comedic look at the inner workings of Landreth’s mind, as he tries to remember someone’s name at a party.
The plot presents the mental process of remembering a friend’s name as it were an episode of the old Password game show, with various celebrities attempting to assist Landreth.
“LE BANQUET DE LA CONCUBINE” (The Banquet of the Concubine / 贵妃醉酒),
Hefang Wei (魏荷芳), director (Folimage Studio)
In the Imperial City in the year 746, Emperor Li gives a banquet in honour of his favourite concubine, Yang. The guests pay their respects to the great beauty. A magnificent feast is served. The incense burns down, but the celebration is still missing two essential elements: the lychees that the concubine craves and the Emperor himself.
LE BANQUET DE LA CONCUBINE gives us an intriguing look at sex, violence and drunken parties in ancient China.
“BETTY’S BLUES,” Rémi Vandenitte, director (Les Films du Nord)
The Belgian/French animated short BETTY’S BLUES uses puppets and hand-drown animation to take us back to 1920s New Orleans.
The story begins in the basement of a worn-out blues bar in Louisiana in the 1980s. A few regular customers are having a drink. A guitarist gets on stage and everybody comments on the newcomer. The guitarist draws the attention of the audience by tapping the microphone. He introduces himself. He will tell them the true story of Blind Boogie Jones.
“BRAISE,” Hugo Frassetto, director (Les Films du Nord)
BRAISE is an unique animation made out of sand.
During a drunken night out, a young man cheats on his girlfriend with a beautiful and exuberant English woman. Three of their friends watch and comment on this event. A parallel is created between that conversation and the embrace of the two lovers.
“LA GROSSE BÊTE” (The Big Beast), Pierre Luc Granjon, director (Les Décadrés Production)
Grey cut out characters talk of a beast that only eats people when people do not think of said monster challenging the residents of a small town to always think of the creature. As the film progresses the message becomes clearer as the townsfolk create their own monster.
“LETTRES DE FEMMES” (Women’s Letters), Augusto Zanovello, director (Pictor Media Animation)
On the battle fields of the First World War, the nurse Simon patches up the shattered faces of the infantrymen with love letters. These words from beloved women have the power to heal the wounds of these paper soldiers. Simon himself seems immune to injury. Untouched by the attacks and unblemished in his white uniform. So what’s his secret?
His wartime pen friend who occupies his thoughts every spare moment he has. Knowing that she is out of harm’s way but standing behind him gives him the necessary strength to confront the daily horrors and death that war throws at him. But when death happens where it is least expected it, can these words on paper still ease the pain?
“MADEMOISELLE KIKI ET LES MONTPARNOS,” Amélie Harrault, director (Les 3 Ours)
Kiki de Montparnasse was a model for major avant-garde painters of the early 20th century who went on to become a painter, a press cartoonist, a writer and a cabaret singer.
“PALMIPEDARIUM,” Jérémy Clapin, director (Papy3D Productions)
PALMIPEDARIUM centers on a little boy Simon who knows ducks quite well. But after a hunting trip with his father, he meets an unusual new friend that doesn’t quite fit the bill.
Created entirely in open source software Blender, Clapin once again develops his distinct, desaturated style as seen in 2008’s acclaimed dark short Skhizein.
“PEAU DE CHIEN” (Dog’s Skin), Nicolas Jacquet, director (Joseph Productions)
To leave or not to leave a dead man’s coat? PEAU DE CHIEN is a story about an ogre.
In a world where every purchase of food is validated with an ID, a dog finds a dead man’s coat in an alleyway and slowly and steadily becomes more human.
“THE GREAT RABBIT,” Atsushi Wada (和田淳), director (Sacrebleu Productions, Carte Blanche)
Once we called the noble, profound and mysterious existence The Great. We have moved with the time, our thought and consciousness has changed. And yet what makes us still keep calling it The Great?
THE GREAT RABBIT marks a new development in the career of animator Atsushi Wada, for it is the first time that he has made an international co-production. As a result, the 7-minute animation won the Silver Bear award in the short film category at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.
“TRAM,” Michaela Pavlátová, director (Sacrebleu Productions)
The humdrum daily routine of a tram conductress is jolted when the vibrations and rhythm of the road turn her on and take her on an erotic and surrealistic fantasy journey.
TRAM is part of the project SEXPERIENCIES, a collection of animated shorts about female sexual fantasies.