Head Over Heels: A Marriage Just Hanging in the Balance

Head Over Heels: A Marriage Just Hanging in the Balance

Head Over Heels is a poignant and heartfelt animated short directed by Timothy Reckart and produced by Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly at the National Film and Television School. The film is a 2013 Academy Award Nominated Animated Short Film, and won a 2013 Annie Award at the 40th Annual Annie Awards in Los Angeles.

The intricate and incredibly rich stop-motion animated short tells a simple and sweet story of an elderly husband and wife, who have grown apart over the years. He lives on the floor, she lives on the ceiling, and their marriage hangs in the balance. When the husband tries to reignite their old romance, it brings their equilibrium crashing down, and the couple that can’t agree which way is up must find a way to put their marriage back together.

Head Over Heels: A Marriage Just Hanging in the Balance

View Full Version of Heads Over Heels Also  Here.

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The Maker: The Beguiling Preciousness of Life and Love

The Maker: The Beguiling Preciousness of Life and Love

The Maker is an acclaimed stop-motion animated short film directed by Christopher Kezelos, which has screened and wan major film awards at a number of film festivals. The film has recently been nominated for Best Animated Short Film in the 2013 Short of the Week Awards, with winners to be announced beginning February11, 2013.

The Maker is set in a dimly-lit fantasy world, where a strange rabbit-like creature races against time, as he attempts to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life. Freud more than once implied that what is fundamental to our sense of happiness is the ability to love and work. Similarly, director Kezelos describes The Maker as an exploration of “the preciousness of our moments on earth, the short time we have with loved ones and the enjoyment of ones life’s work and purpose. In their fleeting existence our characters experience joy, love, hard work, purpose, loss and loneliness.”

The Maker: The Beguiling Preciousness of  Life and Love

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A Hyper-Gothic Badtime Halloween Horror Story: The Mascot

A Hyper-Gothic Badtime Halloween Horror Story: The Mascot

Since we’re just a week away from Halloween, let’s take a moment here, since watching movies is what many of us do on Halloween, to view this classic Middle-European badtime puppet-animated short film, complete with a fake forest awash in fake dry ice mist harboring fake subhuman atrociousness. Yes, this little film summons forth a frightening return to the dark corners of childhood, to a time of being that young kid shivering before, yet utterly fascinated by old-timey horror cobwebbiness.

The Mascot (Fetiche Mascotte) (1934) is a surreal old-school Goth-horror stop-motion puppet-animated short film created by Ladislaw Starewicz, a Lithuanian-born animator. Starewicz’ childhood passion for entomology led him to began producing short documentaries in Moscow around 1909-1910, beginning with a documentary about insects in Lithuania. In his spare time, he experimented with stop-action films using beetles, which led to his big breakthrough,The Battle of the Stag Beetles,said to be  the first puppet-animated film. The Russian Revolution caused Ladislaw to emigrate; he fled to France in 1920, where he spent the rest of his life producing surreal, lyrical animations.

The Mascot, also known as The Devil’s Ball or Puppy Love, was created using toys and demonic vegetables. The film tells a long and very strange story about a loving dog puppet, who practically goes through Hell trying to get an orange to a little girl who is dying of scurvy. The Mascot follows the adventures of errant toys lost in the frightening shadows of a dark city, climaxing with a windblown, Satan-haunted oratorio that is sure to get right under your skin.

A Hyper-Gothic Badtime Halloween Horror Story: The Mascot

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The Maker: The Preciousness of Life and Love

The Maker: The Preciousness of Life and Love

The Maker is an acclaimed stop-motion animated short film directed by Christopher Kezelos, which is a finalist in The Wrap’s 2012 Short Films Festival, a new festival presenting 12 award-winning short films selected from this year’s top international film festivals. The Maker has previously screened and wan major film awards at The 2011 Rhode Island International Film Festival, Grand Prize; The 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival, Best Animated Short; The 2012 Sydney Film Festival, Best Animated Short; The 2012 Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, Grand Prize; The 2012 Indianapolis Film Fest, Best Short Film; and The 2012 CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Best Animated Short.

The Maker is set in a dimly lit fantasy world where a strange rabbit-like creature races against time, as he attempts to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life. Director Kezelos describes the film as an exploration of “the preciousness of our moments on earth, the short time we have with loved ones and the enjoyment of ones life’s work and purpose. In their fleeting existence our characters experience joy, love, hard work, purpose, loss and loneliness.”

The Maker: The Preciousness of Life and Love

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A Krampus Carol: The Smouldering Dark Recesses of Yuletide Revelry

A Krampus Carol: The Smouldering Dark Recesses of Yuletide Revelry

A Krampus Carol is a wickedly humorous three-minute stop-motion animated short film by Anthony Bourdain, a film that smoulders in the dark recesses of holiday revelry. You know all about Santa: the traditional winter gift-bringer with cheeks like a rose and a nose like a cherry. Now meet the Krampus, an evil, boozy goat-horned menace with a monstrous tongue, who whips children into shape all around Europe. Krampus is Santa Claus’ whip-toting Christmas sidekick. According to Austrian legend, Krampus joins Santa, tending to the children on Santa’s naughty list. No lumps of coal here, though. Instead, Krampus licks and whips children into shape with switches and rusty chains, before dragging them in baskets to a fiery place below.

A Krampus Carol: The Smouldering Dark Recesses of Yuletide Revelry

(Best Watched in HD Full-Screen Mode)

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Spike Jonze: To Die By Your Side

Spike Jonze: To Die By Your Side

To Die By Your Side (Mourir Auprès de Toi) is a tragicomic stop-motion animated short film co-created by the celebrated filmmaker Spike Jonze and designer Olympia Le-Tan. After spending five years adapting Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, Jonze’s more recent short films include last year’s robot love story, I’m Here, and this year’s Arcade Fire collaboration, Scenes From the Suburbs. To Die By Your Side is his latest short film, which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week and was first presented online yesterday at NOWNESS.com.

A tale to pierce the heart, the star-crossed love story is set on the shelves of Paris’s storied Shakespeare and Co. bookstore. When night falls, an old Parisian bookseller closes the small shop, and a klutzy skeleton springs off the cover of Macbeth and falls for Mina, the flame-haired damsel from Dracula. Enlisting French filmmaker Simon Cahn to co-direct, the team wrote the script between Los Angeles and Paris over a six-month period of time, before working night and day animating the 3,000 pieces of felt that Le-Tan had cut by hand.

To Die By Your Side is a delightfully whimsical, humorous and poignant animated felt short film: be sure to watch it to the end!

Spike Jonze: To Die By Your Side

(Best Watched in Full-Screen Mode)

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Flawed: That’s What Makes Life Interesting!

Flawed: That’s What Makes Life Interesting!

Flawed is an impressive personal 12-min. stop-motion animated story told in gorgeous drawings done in black ink and watercolor by Canadian filmmaker Andrea Dorfman. The film has been acclaimed on the festival circuit for a couple of years, winning at the Palm Springs Film Festival, and playing at HotDocs and SilverDocs. It has been one of the jewels of the National Film Board‘s impressive animation catalog, but only now has become available on the web.

Flawed tells a story that is serious, heart-warming yet also heart-breaking, in which Dorfman examines the conflicted feelings that arise when she strikes up a romance with a plastic surgeon. Through an intensely confessional narrative, she discovers that the secret to getting the man to accept her is to learn how to accept herself. The drawings help to keep the story light and visually compelling, while presenting Dorfman’s philosophical take on self-esteem, growing-up, relationships, personal identity and even cosmetic surgery.

Flawed: That’s What Makes Life Interesting!

(Best Viewed in Full-Screen Mode)

(Unfortunately, film rights are for the USA only and thus presently geo-blocked for International audiences)

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