Bigger than blockbusters

This year’s Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) is the most visually arresting to date. From humble hand-drawn gems to elaborate computer-animated epics, MIAF is out to prove that there is more to animation than blockbusters.

In this blog post, MIAF’s Director, Malcolm Turner, shares stills from some of his favourite films from this year’s festival, and offers us an insight into what he loves most about these films.

Little Quentin

‘Little Quentin’, Albert 't Hooft and Paco Vink, Holland, 2010.

MT: One of the things I absolutely love about this film is that it’s pretty much impossible to say anything meaningful about it without completely blowing the ending – which is a cracker!

Little Quentin shows on Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June as part of International Program 2.

Gerald McBoing Boing

‘Gerald McBoing Boing’, Robert Cannon, USA, 1951.

MT: Gerald McBoing Boing is a turbo-charged classic. It epitomises the astonishing heights that the UPA ‘minimalist’ style was capable of. It has a brilliant script which works on a number of levels; it’s funny, engaging, fanciful and visually imaginative. It’s all there.

Gerald McBoing Boing shows on Saturday 25 June as part of UPA 2: The Classics.

Clockwork Gentleman

‘Clockwork Gentleman’, Marco Ryan, Australia, 2010.

MT: I really liked the way this film captured the tone and style of the period it’s set in and how this is off-set by its high-tech aesthetic. Pretty nifty. Unlike so many CG films, Marco Ryan’s characters look like they have real weight, and they interact realistically with their environment.

Clockwork Gentleman shows on Saturday 25 June as part of the Australian Showcase.

The Chick

‘The Chick’, Michal Socha, Poland, 2008.

MT: This film’s strength is its gorgeous, elegant design. It’s infused with wave after wave of lovely Art Deco visuals and it moves with the grace of a swan on pep pills. Underneath all this beauty is a kind of edge; a hidden message that is hinted at but never quite comes out.

The Chick shows on Saturday 23 June as part of Focus on Poland 3.

Sky Song

‘Sky Song’, Mati Kutt, Estonia, 2011.

MT: MIAF would not be MIAF without an utterly surrealist, highly interpretive Estonian film. The pure craft that is evident in this film is stunning – the puppets are beautiful artworks all by themselves; the sets are among the best I’ve seen; the depth of field in the photography is superb. This is Kutt’s modus operandi and he’s got his mojo turned up to 11.

Sky Song screens on Saturday 25 June.

Melbourne International Film Festival runs at ACMI from Sunday 19 June – Sunday 26 June. See the ACMI website for tickets or visit the official MIAF site for full program details.

For your chance to win a double pass to your MIAF program of choice (excludes Closing Night – Best of the Fest), tell us which MIAF program you most want to see and why. Winners will be contacted on Friday 24 June.

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3 Responses to “Bigger than blockbusters”

  1. James 23. Jun, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    I like the look of the polish program, the wild hair and title combined sounds intriguing!

  2. Bridget 23. Jun, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    I would love to see any of the International Programs because I really enjoy watching and experiencing the animation works of others; it would be invaluable as student wanting to pursue a career in animation and visual FX. Furthermore, the opportunity to hear stories from other individuals around the world, no matter the medium, is always exciting and valuable!

  3. ACMI 24. Jun, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Hello there. Thanks for sharing your interest in the Melbourne International Animation Festival. Today’s winner of the double-pass to a MIAF program is Bridget. Congratulations!

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