The Renter

20 September 2012

Quite a winner that has just been uploaded for everyone to watch. Jason Carpenter’s The Renter, which already accumulates around a dozen awards and many more nominations is finally amongst us. That awkwardly familiar and somehow atypical short happens to be (surprisingly enough) Jason’s first film…


The story of a young boy spending the day at an elder woman’s house… his own story and his own experiences when visiting “Mrs. Eldridge” being 8 y.o.(besides the soup sequence of course).

the renter still
the renter still

The Renter took him several years to come into its own… Jason started working on it while still @ Calarts  and by the time he graduated, despite having a finished storyline there was still too much left to consider it a finished film, but a couple of years ago his international festival tour begun… and we now finally get to enjoy it.

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4 June 2012

Today opens this year’s edition of one of the most renown international animation festivals: Annecy with a special guest for 2012: Irish animation. But we’ve covered the animated wonders of the little green island many times, so let’s go with one of this year’s special programmes dedicated to CalArts films and filmmakers.

For the American school this is their biggest presence at the festival with a double program that cover the 40+ years of crazy nonesense in 2 programs featuring 16 student works, eight from Character Animation and eight from Experimental Animation programs, as well as four faculty works…

Amongst those pieces the gorgeus Drifters by the just graduated Ethan Clarke but also a good list of must-watch classics that go from Eric Darnell to the Powerpuff Girls creator Craig McCracken…

But if Calarts isn’t your thing… then you do have the animated adaptation and festival opener: Le magasin de suicides by Patrice Leconte as an alternative. More info for the Calarts (and other) programmes, this way.

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TRI▲NGLE (Trailer)

5 May 2012

We were going to talk about this early 2012 Calarts student films…. we’ve done our own selection in previous years but we weren’t very inspired by this year’s works. Maybe we should however dedicate a few words to Hannah Ayoubi’s Story time confessions or Amanda Winterstein’s Wife of a farmer, but that’s about it.

Also this week we got to know this year’s US Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Student Finalists… and the 9 animated selected films. But again, no big inspirations here. But digging & digging we found the experimental film list that BFQ BFA and MFA Calarts animators presented as part of Showcase 2012—the year-end screenings from the School of Film/Video.

From all that nonesense, one (film) to take & sleep with… Grace Nayoon’s TRI▲NGLE which had its international Premiere at the Czech AniFilm Festival (which funnily enough also takes place this week). Our new favorite South Korean uses the always effective & very basic paper drawing technique to get those fuzzy and very disturbing characters.

Hopefully her disruptive stranger characters (whether they’re friends or outsiders) will fully make it to the free web and out of the festival circuit to join her one another short (and just as amazurbing) “View” and her long list of experimental beauties.

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Music, Meaning and Metaphysics

2 April 2012

Los Angeles is a very weird place. If artist and musician Lionel Williams (aka Vinyl Williams) is anything to go by, the people that live there are even weirder. He boasts a visual aesthetic that is a fantasy of pre-Egyptian imagery immersed in a hazy vision of personalised, two-dimensional Utopias and music that is equally as dreamy and amorphous. Now, following his 2011 album release, Leminscate, there’ll be a new EP, Ultimate World, out on London-based label Warmest Chord, April 9.

Still studying and only 22-years-old, Williams has already exhibited in Berlin, jammed with the likes of Electrelane’s Verity Susman and Einstürzende Neubauten’s Jochen Arbeit and toured South East Asia with US chillwaver Toro Y Moi. And that’s not even the half of it. He has a grandfather in cinema score giant John Williams, responsible for the soundtracks to Star Wars, E.T. and Indiana Jones, and a father in Air Supply and Live touring drummer Mark Williams. There’s also his home in California, the upbringing in Utah and a severe aversion to the Mormon faith as a result. Being Jewish on his mother’s side didn’t help.

Plus, you have a traumatic first gig in front of thousands of people at age nine, a serious fondness for metaphysics and an irrepressible urge to expound on it. Needless to say, Williams, his work and most importantly his conversation are equal parts interesting, outrageous and at times downright exhausting. 


aqnb: Can you put yourself into context? Why are you the way you are? You said you’ve had some really weird experiences. Continue reading Music, Meaning and Metaphysics

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5 April 2011

And because slowly but steadily we keep discovering new animators & creatives each week, let’s have a look today at the latest work by Fran Krause who keeps combining his own productions with his work @ Calarts.

This New Yorker who used to love drawing naked ladies and hanging out with his college kids while studying @ the Munson Willians-Proctor Institute (and their night classes) uses a rather unconventional method to produce his latest film… sketchbook filming!

Fran made himself a tiny field guide, so he could trace a series of very small 16:9 fields into his sketchbook – “I could fit about fifteen on each page”. Then he animated with a nib pen and ink. People asked, “How do you test it, keep it registered, that sort of thing?” and the truth is I tried not to worry about it. At first, I shot quick tests with my cel phone camera, but after a couple pages I just tried to wing it.

His sketchbook (not a moleskine! surprise!) is another goldmine you can visit on his flickr page.

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