Dirt

Dirt (2024)

Among the many verbal riffs in David Finkelstein’s latest animated experiment Dirt is a disquisition on bats, and on their use of echolocation to map out spaces in the dark with their ‘sound pictures’ – and indeed a recurring visual motif in the film is a pair of batwings monstrously decorated with large ears. This,…

Belleville Rendez-vous

Belleville Rendez-vous (Les triplettes de Belleville) (2003)

Belleville Rendez-vous (Les triplettes de Belleville, The Triplets of Belleville) first published by Movie Gazette, 9 May 2003 A club-footed grandmother named Souza, a batty trio of vaudeville chanteuses known as ‘Les triplettes de Belleville’ (‘The Triplets of Belleville’), and a train-hating dog called Bruno are the unlikely heroes of Belleville Rendez-vous (aka Les triplettes…

Abruptio

Abruptio (2023)

Abruptio screens at Panic Fest 2023 “Everyone hears voices, right, in your head?” asks Lester Hackel (James Marsters) near the beginning of writer/director/editor/cinematographer Evan Marlowe’s animated film Abruptio. “When you fall down the voices laugh at you. When you succeed they tell you what a hero you are, or more likely that you just got…

Unicorn Wars

Unicorn Wars (2022)

One of the ways that cinema can portray the end of innocence is to take things that would normally appeal to children and to infuse them with fear, distress or disgust. David Hand’s animated Bambi (1942) for Disney might have been very much aimed at children, but also traumatised many of its young viewers with…

Silicon Docks

Silicon Docks (2022)

“A man walks into a bar…”, is the set-up for countless old jokes. Yet in writer/director Graham Jones’ Silicon Docks, set in Dublin, the city of bars (and jokes), the biggest joke is that all the pubs are shut, leaving a pub-crawling party out stranded in the cold and eventually the rain, their all-too-human vulnerability…

The Weird Kidz

The Weird Kidz (2022)

The Weird Kidz had its world première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival In the centre of Black Bird – established only a decade ago in 1975 and, according to its sign, “A real nice place to raise your kids up” – are three 12-year-old friends who embody the community’s first generation of children. They…

Wizards

Wizards (1977)

Wizards first published by EyeforFilm In 1977, Twentieth Century Fox puts out two fantasy epics that both begin with the destruction of a planet, focus on the eternal conflict between good and evil, and feature the then-unknown actor Mark Hamill. It was, however, George Lucas’ Star Wars that would capture the popular imagination and change the face…

Gandahar

Gandahar (aka Light Years) (1988)

Gandahar (aka Light Years) first published by Film4 Summary: René Laloux’s third and final feature is a time-travelling science fantasy with a lot of brain to match its bizarreness. Review: If René Laloux will always be best known for his feature debut Fantastic Planet (1973), his final feature Gandahar (1988) – also known as Light Years1Gandahar was…

Les Maîtres du Temps

Les Maîtres du Temps (Time Masters) (1982)

Les Maîtres du Temps (Time Masters) first published by Film4 Summary: René Laloux and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud animate this episodic SF rescue story for children.  Review: “To get to Perdide, we’ll have to land on Devil’s Ball, and then go to Gamma 10. We’ll have to wait for the passage of the Blue Comet. By keeping within…

Rango

Rango (2011)

Rango first published by Film4 Summary: Gore Verbinski’s first fully animated feature is a fish-out-of-water pastiche of the spaghetti western – and twenty-first century living.   Review: “Who am I?”, wonders a pet chameleon, surveying the world rushing past his glass case as he is transported along a Nevada freeway. “I could be anyone.”  This lizard with…