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Nine Nation Animation (2010)

Various , Kajsa Naess , Veljko Popovic  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Kajsa Naess, Veljko Popovic, Burkay Dogan, M. Sakir Arslan, David O'Reilly
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Animated, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: The World According to Shorts
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005J9ZDZO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,753 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nine Nation Animation" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

A whiz-bang rush of visual delight, Nine Nation Animation... is one of the best compendia of contemporary animation I have seen in too long. ----Ray Pride, NEWCITY FILM A balm for the brain and eyes. Its nine short films embrace enough visual ideas, graphic media, and emotional tones to populate an aesthetic ecosystemeverything an animation package should be. ----Eric Scigliano, CULTURE FIEND First-rate a filling multicourse meal for the discerning grownup toon fan. -- --Dennis Harvey, VARIETY Shorts compilations are a grab bag, and compilations of animated shorts even more so. They do allow audiences to tour the latest strategies in animated techniques and design, but at their worst you get a face full of creative attitude and not enough oomph to make it stick. Nine Nation Animation, opening at the Coolidge Corner Theatre today, is the exception that proves the rule: a traveling road-show of (duh) nine shorts from nine countries that gets points for both style and content. Curated and distributed by the World According to Shorts, an initiative of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the program concentrates primarily on Europe with one side trip to South Africa. If nothing else, the sheer variety of visual approaches here is dazzling. The opening short, Norways Deconstruction Workers consists of two pixelated hardhats (Anders Mordal and Jan Gunnar Roise) having a cheerful existential chat against a backdrop of Terry Gilliam-esque social unrest that turns increasingly apocalyptic. Bamiyan, from France's Patrick Pleutin, marshals myriad materials--fingerpaints, sand, grass, photography--for a gorgeously rendered fable about the giant Buddhist statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. And The Tale of How, by South Africa's Blackheart Gang, is an audiovisual knockout that seems spun off from an acid-trip fusion of Japanese woodblock prints and opera. Not that the program is above the inspired doodle. Flatlife, an unabashed cartoon by Belgium's Jonas Geirnaert, turns the interrelationship of four adjoining apartment dwellers into classic farce with a touch of Gary Larson. Average 40 Matches is a three-minute tour de force of stop-motion animation in which kitchen matches act out a primal drama of addiction and mob mentality. Turkish animators Burkay Dogan and M. Sakir Arslan get disturbing depth out of their simple materials, although it has to be said that the performances are wooden. The three strongest entries seem to take us places we've never been, only to reaffirm our commonality. The real-life tales of virginity loss in Sweden's Never Like the First Time! run the gamut from funny to terrifying to touching, with a different visual tactic for each chapter. She Who Measures, by Croatian animator Veljko Popovic, uses only one technique but it's a lulu--a brilliantly uneasy CGI surrealism--for a futuristic parable that suggests the shipboard scenes in WALL-E crossed with a Salvador Dali nightmare. Then there's Please Say Something, which I could watch all day for a week. An Irish-German coproduction and the product of artist David O'Reilly's fevered brain, it re-imagines the eternal cartoon struggle of Cat and Mouse as an epic, all-too-human relationship involving guilt, infidelity, power trips, fights over the car radio, hospital stays, and grudgingly hard-won affection. --Ray Pride, NEWCITY FILM

The universal power of imagery is on full display in Nine Nation Animation, the series of animated shorts playing the Detroit Film Theatre this weekend. As is always expected, much of the imagery follows a humorous trail, but there are also moments of sheer terror offset by gusts of florid imagination and sweet nostalgia. These films gathered from around the world are both entertaining and breathtaking. They also show the breadth of animation these days. From the line-driven future-world angular tale of a cat and mouse in a dysfunctional romantic relationship Please Say Something, from Ireland and Germany) to the painterly fable of a holy man on a journey Bamiyan, from France and Belgium), the range of styles is astounding. Some of it's just plain fun, especially Flatlife, an 11-minute film from Belgium that offers an outsider's perspective on four apartments, simultaneously following the action and inter-action going on as laundry is done, pictures are hung and televisions are watched (and destroyed). The laughs are gentle and consistent. Far more harrowing is the surreal or too real She Who Measures, a Croatian film that has creatures pushing shopping carts through the desert, wearing happy face masks that feed them video images, picking up and discarding commercial junk along the way. A floating, evil-looking clown presides over it all; the one creature who manages to lose his mask commits suicide. This is hardly the stuff of cartoons. You watch this thing and worry for Croatian psyches everywhere. Luckily, the heaviness comes in doses. Balancing things out is the British Home Road Movies, in which a grown man looks back on the way his father played by a live actor super-imposed on the animation took his family on outings across Europe when he was a child. It's nostalgic, sweet and a bit sad. Nostalgia, or something like it, also figures into the Swedish Never like the First Time! which consists of a series of (apparent) real-life stories about how people lost their virginity. Each segment has its own style, with the drawings matching the tone of the narrative. Leave it to the Swedes. The entire program starts off with Norway's Deconstruction Workers, in which two construction workers again real people inserted into the animation discuss the meaning of life while weathering both doldrums and calamities. It's the perfect setup for a program that's dazzling, challenging and heartening all at once. --Tom Long, THE DETROIT NEWS

Shorts compilations are a grab bag, and compilations of animated shorts even more so. They do allow audiences to tour the latest strategies in animated techniques and design, but at their worst you get a face full of creative attitude and not enough oomph to make it stick. Nine Nation Animation, opening at the Coolidge Corner Theatre today, is the exception that proves the rule: a traveling road-show of (duh) nine shorts from nine countries that gets points for both style and content. Curated and distributed by the World According to Shorts, an initiative of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the program concentrates primarily on Europe with one side trip to South Africa. If nothing else, the sheer variety of visual approaches here is dazzling. The opening short, Norway s Deconstruction Workers consists of two pixelated hardhats (Anders Mordal and Jan Gunnar Roise) having a cheerful existential chat against a backdrop of Terry Gilliam-esque social unrest that turns increasingly apocalyptic. Bâmiyân, from France s Patrick Pleutin, marshals myriad materials fingerpaints, sand, grass, photography for a gorgeously rendered fable about the giant Buddhist statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. And The Tale of How, by South Africa s Blackheart Gang, is an audiovisual knockout that seems spun off from an acid-trip fusion of Japanese woodblock prints and opera. Not that the program is above the inspired doodle. Flatlife, an unabashed cartoon by Belgium s Jonas Geirnaert, turns the interrelationship of four adjoining apartment dwellers into classic farce with a touch of Gary Larson. Average 40 Matches is a three-minute tour de force of stop-motion animation in which kitchen matches act out a primal drama of addiction and mob mentality. Turkish animators Burkay Dogan and M. Sakir Arslan get disturbing depth out of their simple materials, although it has to be said that the performances are wooden. The three strongest entries seem to take us places we ve never been, only to reaffirm our commonality. The real-life tales of virginity loss in Sweden s Never Like the First Time! run the gamut from funny to terrifying to touching, with a different visual tactic for each chapter. She Who Measures, by Croatian animator Veljko Popoviç, uses only one technique but it s a lulu a brilliantly uneasy CGI surrealism for a futuristic parable that suggests the shipboard scenes in WALL-E crossed with a Salvador Dali nightmare. Then there s Please Say Something, which I could watch all day for a week. An Irish-German coproduction and the product of artist David O Reilly s fevered brain, it re-imagines the eternal cartoon struggle of Cat and Mouse as an epic, all-too-human relationship involving guilt, infidelity, power trips, fights over the car radio, hospital stays, and grudgingly hard-won affection. The animation style is a sort of post-Atari, pre-Sims Tokyo windstorm that seems both familiar and stunningly new, and the dialogue rendered in squeaks, meows, and potty-mouthed subtitles is just funny enough to break your heart. I suspect that by December it may look like the best romantic drama of the year. --Ty Burr, THE BOSTON GLOBE

Product Description

A cat and a mouse carry on a dysfunctional relationship in a futuristic landscape. A Chinese monk sets out on foot with a tiger during the Tang dynasty and happens upon the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan. Two bluecollar workers dissect the meaning of normal life, as the world crumbles around them. A box of matches succumb, to their detriment, to the appeal of a cigarette. Four people recount their various encounters triumphant or terrifying, euphoric or down-to-earth--with an unforgettable rite of passage. The World According to Shorts presents a selection of recent award-winning animated short films from the world s most renowned festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand and others.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sample of intriguing animation from nine nations October 30, 2011
Format:DVD
James A. Stewart, DVD Verdict --Actually, there are ten shorts in Nine Nation Animation; this is one of the few times when a DVD cover blurb offers less than you get. Part of "The World According to Shorts," Nine Nation Animation offers a sample of intriguing animation from nine nations:

* Deconstruction Workers (Bygningsarbeidere)--Real actors are surrounded by animated chaos as their construction site turns to rubble while they deal with personal doubts and problems. It has teeny, tiny English subtitles, which could prove annoying. Kajsa Naess, Norway.

* Average 40 Matches (Ortalama 40 «öp)--The matches aren't just thinking outside the box; they're heading outside for a smoke, and not waiting for a smoker. Burkay Dogan and M. Sakir Arslan, Turkey.

* B‚miy‚n--A child narrates the story of a Chinese monk's journey. Patrick Pleurin, France.

* Please Say Something--In a story of a cat-and-mouse couple, the cat finally gets up and leaves the mouse, until the rewind. Their do-over can't last, though. David O'Reilly, Ireland/Germany.

* Flatlife--In these four flats, all's well until someone decides to hang up a painting. The banging starts off a chain reaction of noises, bumps, and grumps. There's some tiny type here as well. Jonas Geirnaert, Belgium.

* She Who Measures--Smiley faced people with shopping carts go through a desolate landscape. Veljko PopoviÁ, Croatia.

* Home Road Movies--Dad loves buses, but buys a car because his family is large. The mix of live action and animation is more about growing up and growing old than about the road trips the family takes. Robert Bradbrook, United Kingdom.

* The Tale of How--Pythonesque animation illustrates an operatic song. The Blackheart Gang, South Africa.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half worth seeing, half not January 1, 2012
Format:DVD
About fifty-fifty composed of shorts worth seeing and shorts not worth seeing. The ones worth seeing aren't so good as to justify sitting through the ones that aren't, though.
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