The Eagleman Stag: 2013 SOTW Best Short Animation Award

The Eagleman Stag: 2013 SOTW Best Short Animation Award

The larger our past gets, the smaller our present feels.”

The Eagleman Stag is an award-winning, stunning monochrome stop-motion animated short film by Michael Please, which was awarded Best Short Animation at the 2011 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA). The film has received universal acclaim playing at high-profile film festivals including Sundance and SXSW, winning awards at Annecy and Clermont-Ferrand, in addition to BAFTA. The film was named one of 10 finalists competing for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The Eagleman Stag has just been honored as winner of the 2013 SOTW Best Short Animation Award.

Told in a distinctive, contemporary film-noir style, The Eagleman Stag is a story of life and fear, a darkly comic take on one man’s obsession with the quickening perception of time that faces all of us as we age, and his attempts to counter this effect. As Peter Eagleman nears the end of his days, his obsessive attempts to define the world, and his haunting perception of time within it, leads to progressively extreme measures to control and counter time’s increasing pace.

The Eagleman Stag: 2013 SOTW Best Short Animation Award

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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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Benigni: A Tale of Solitary Loneliness and Affliction

Benigni: A Tale of Solitary Loneliness and Affliction

Benigni is a dramatic and beautifully conceived animated short film created by Elli Vuorinen, Jasmiini Ottelin and Pinja Partanen, students at Sweden’s Turku Arts Academy. A combination of puppetry, stop-motion and computer-aided 2D animation, the film tells the story of Benigni who is a rather seedy, chain-smoking xylophone player living a solitary existence until he discovers a nasty growth sprouting out of his side. This calls for some drastic pruning, but the tumor is not what it appears to be, which takes the story in a totally unexpected direction, and the resolving twist is even more shocking. Moving, funny, sad and surprising all at once, Benigni is well on its way to becoming an internet classic.

Benigni: A Tale of Solitary Loneliness and Affliction

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The Eagleman Stag: A Breathlessly Dark Story of Life and Fear

The Eagleman Stag: A Breathlessly Dark Story of Life and Fear

The larger our past gets, the smaller our present feels.”

The Eagleman Stag is an award-winning, stunning monochrome stop-motion animated short film by Michael Please, which was awarded Best Short Animation at the 2011 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA). The film has received universal acclaim playing at high-profile film festivals including Sundance and SXSW, winning awards at Annecy and Clermont-Ferrand, in addition to BAFTA. The film has just been announced as one of 10 finalists competing for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Told in a distinctive, contemporary film-noir style, The Eagleman Stag is a story of life and fear, a darkly comic take on one man’s obsession with the quickening perception of time that faces all of us as we age, and his attempts to counter this effect. As Peter Eagleman nears the end of his days, his obsessive attempts to define the world, and his haunting perception of time within it, leads to progressively extreme measures to control and counter time’s increasing pace.

The Eagleman Stag: A Breathlessly Dark Story of Life and Fear

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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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Look Homeward, Angel: Park Pretty

Look Homeward, Angel: Park Pretty

Many years ago, during my time as a child and through young adulthood, I was immersed in the (sometimes solitary) lavish joys of nature in rural South Carolina. The memories of the steaming, dusty red clay roads and the smells of downstate piney-woods are now fading away, replaced by years of gritty urban life in Chicago’s inner-city. However, that doesn’t mean that now I’ve become completely blind to the beauty of rural landscapes. I just have to enjoy it from the comfort of a chair, in more climate-controlled conditions. So this video is pretty perfect for me.

Yosemite HD is an amazing four-minute time-lapse short art film, a collaboration between Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty. They made numerous trips to Yosemite National Park, where they captured the beautiful landscape it offers for visitors every year. Set to Outro, from M83′s lovely and stratospheric Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, this might be the best music video you could ask for. So stop whatever you’re doing right now, put this video in full-screen mode and breath very deeply during the film’s duration!

Look Homeward, Angel: Park Pretty (Yosemite HD)

(Best Watched in Full-Screen HD-Mode)

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