22nd International Tournee Of Animation

Like the earlier versions of this annual animation anthology, this is a worldwide selection, including shorts from Canada, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the USSR, Yugoslavia, and the U.S. (especially prominent this time). Once again, the work is lively and varied, although if you’ve seen any of the previous collections, you may find yourself a little worn out by the requisite cuteness and/or nastiness that seem standard by now in most animated shorts, as well as by having to see so many works in a row. I was especially taken by Karen Aqua’s jazzy and angular Kakania, featuring a dance of hieroglyphiclike figures, and Nedjeljko Dragic’s extremely varied and imaginative Pictures From Memory (the longest short included), which follows a life in eastern Europe between 1940 and 1960; among the ones that irritated me the most were the slew of grotesque (but by now familiar) Bill Plympton blackout gags and Jan Kounen’s abrasively pixilated Gisele Kerozene. (JR)

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