2-D Flatlife Tops 'Nine Nation Animation' Lineup
If nothing else, Nine Nation Animation proves that theres a lot more to the animators art than either the cutting-edge ultra-realism of Pixar or the flat functionality of sitcoms like The Simpsons. The nonet of brief films on display in the latest anthology from The World According to Shorts offers a virtual catalog of the tools available to the animatorstop-motion, CGI, rotoscopingwith the techniques often combined in a single imposing display. But while each film has something to recommend itthe mordant wit of Deconstruction Workers, the witty nostalgia of Home Road Moviesvirtuosity too often trumps communication, with the mind-bending visuals propping up unproductively abstract narratives. So for all the advanced technique on display, best-in-show goes to the most low-fi of the lot, Jonas Geirnaerts Flatlife. The title is a triple pun, referring simultaneously to the lives of the films apartment- (or flat-)dwellers, the banal nature of those lives, and the two-dimensional technique of the animation. Splitting his screen into four adjacent squares, Geirnaert cannily charts the inter-apartment annoyances that result from the supposedly private activities of people co-existing in too-close proximity to one another, a situation all too familiar to anyone whos ever lived in an apartment building.
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