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I Met the Walrus

A six-minute animated film in which John Lennon talks about global conflict and the need for peace.

Directed by Josh Raskin. Nominated for 2007 Oscar, but wasn’t available online at the time of our showcase.

Watch it. (Flash Video, poor quality)

Official website.

via Motiongraphics.it

Betty Marisol Garcia – Firecracker

Betty Marisol Garcia - Firecracker

An elegant and tender film about an American female soldier who has the difficult task of leaving her 7 year old daughter in the responsibility of her mother as she heads off to war. Too much responsibility can also tear families apart.

Watch it.

Maps

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The 20th century from an absurd point of view, a lesson of our shameful history. A perfect 3D animation. From the beginning of the second World War this film leads you trough the history of power, money and wars related to them.

Directors: Andreas Thaulow, Thomas Øhlenshlæger.

Watch it. (Flash Video)

Bush’s War

A PBS two part special series that tells the epic story of how the Iraq war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government.

Watch it.

New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War

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New York Divided is an exhibit which draws from the New-York Historical Society rich collection to explore the turbulent half century of the city’s history with southern slavery.

The exhibit spans thru several medias, including a website and obviously video installations and short movies, like this one directed by Benjamin Goldman.

Watch it. (MPEG-4)

Bearing Witness: 5 Years of the Iraq War

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From Reuters, an insider’s view at 5 years of a war that might seem distant to many of us but is quite real, crude and brutal. History in the making.

Watch it.

via ComputerLove

A History of Evil

Seems good in provoking reactions.

Animated Documentary-Mockumentary about Evil in western civilization from Ancient Greece to present day.

Watch it – via Kottke.

Across the Universe: Let It Be

Gloomy like this day that just started.

Watch it. (Flash Video)

Previously: Ajit’s review.

Food Fight

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Watch as traditional comestibles slug it out for world domination in this chronologically re-enacted smörgåsbord of aggression.

Short movie by Stefan Nadelman.

Watch it in: hi-res (MPEG-4) or low-res (Flash Video)

Watch the Oscar nominated Animated shorts online

Just like last year, I have been able to find most of the Oscar nominated Animated shorts online. I have been generally happy with the Oscar nominations this year. However, I think Atonement deserved a best picture nomination (update: it did get nominated, what was I smoking?) and I think Kate Blanchett did NOT deserve a nomination for Elizabeth. The animated Oscar shorts nominees are quite strong. Certainly, a lot stronger than last year.

Moya lyubov (My Love)Moya lyubov (My Love) Part one, two & three – A moving painting that captures love in all of its longing. And like some of the other nominees, the style of animation is so bloody unique. This short would be tremendous on the big screen with all of those moving pixels/ paint strokes. No English translation available but the visual imagery tells the story for the most part.



Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven) - oscar nominated short
Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven) – The only 3D animation in the bunch which comes as a surprise as it has become the dominant form. I think the slapstick story fits that style perfectly.



Peter & the WolfPeter & the Wolf (Part one, two & three) (divx version) – A cute story about a little boy with no fear. Again, the technique is tremendous. I am not sure it is all claymation. Some of the background and even some of the objects look 3D. It is especially hard to see the difference when watching it online.



Madame Tutli-Putli - oscar nominated shortMadame Tutli-Putli – The plot and scenes move along slowly, giving us enough time to invest attention on every detail of the frame. In my opinion, in terms of style, this short is heads above the rest. And that may well be the case with any animated film you compare it to. It is simply that good.



i met the walrusTrailer for I met the Walrus & Official site – Couldn’t find the film online. It looks like an elongated motion graphics experiment coupled with some choice quotes about war and peace.




Great selections, one from every animation sub-genre. I am having a harder time finding the live action shorts, any tips would be appreciated.

Daily Show: Bush Visits Troops

When history was written, the final page will say…

Watch it. (Flash Video)

Review of Atonement

The book by Ian McEwan is one of my favorite books of all time. Surprisingly, the movie lives up to the book. I expected the film to be decent, not great, as I haven’t heard much of a buzz for this film. However, after seeing it, I’d be shocked if this film doesn’t get a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

One of the fears I had about the movie was it would abandon the beautiful structure that McEwan devised to tell the story. Thankfully Christopher Hampton, who wrote the script, not only keeps the structure but also manages to keep some of McEwan’s poetics. The scene where Briony sees her sister and Robbie near the water fountain is exactly how I had pictured it from all of the various perspectives.

A lot of credit should also go to Director Joe Wright. This easily could have been a film that we as an audience could watch from a distance. Instead, almost everything is seen through the eyes of a character. Everything is laced with a character’s subjectivity. To switch perspectives, there is no fade to black or any other visual device. It is a stream of consciousness that switches back and forth. So well done!

The biggest difference, in terms of emotions, is the beginning of the second half of the book/movie. The book’s second half numbs you to the pain from the 1st half. One of the greatest scenes in any book I’ve ever read. The movie sadly disappoints here, why wasn’t there more walking? more brown? more carnage?

The acting ensemble is solid. I am not entirely convinced of Keira Knightley as Cecilia, however, James McAvoy as Robbie is picture perfect. To many, this might seem like another stuffy costume drama. This is as modern as any film you will find. From the story to its character to the film’s style, there is a lot of risk taking. Go see it, this is one of the great tragedies of our time.

Ted Talks: Deborah Scranton on “The War Tapes”

Powerful emotional speech by documentary filmmaker Deborah Scranton on how important it is to be engaged in talking about politics.

Watch it – via Andy Coon

The Story – Listening to Nazis

I am a big fan of Dick Gordon. I am always amazed how one program can find that many great stories. Anyways, in a recent episode, Gordon interviews Henry Kolm, a Austrian Jew who witnessed the Nazi invasion and had to flee to America as young kid. Incredibly, as a adult, he was recruited by the American armed forces to interrogate captured German officers.

Currently, it is impossible to get through any respectable news program and not hear how America should interrogate (torture) its captured militants . Kolm has plenty of insight into of all of this. His experiences on his life and also torture are priceless. Kolm is against torture, besides it being the wrong thing to do, he believes you can never trust information that comes from such methods. But another point, a more subtle one, is that war has changed drastically from less than a century ago. Kolm doesn’t think the Al Qaeda’s of the world should be treated as soldiers because they are fundamentally different from Nazi’s. War and how it is conducted is on the slide, after a brief show of civility, we have regressed into being…idiots.

Listening to Nazis pageDownload the show (download will start automatically) – Subscribe to the podcast

Revolt of the Mouses

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“It’s war as the Digital Age clashes with the traditional artist tools from Paperland in this animated short. Clever, lighthearted and fun.”

A short movie (maybe it could have been a tad shorter…) by David Alejandro Gen.

Watch it. (Flash Video)

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