MIAF 2014 DAY 7: International Program #7 – Abstract Showcase

27 Jun

snail trail

This is animation in its rawest form that doesn’t rely on characters or story to be engaging. A huge pat on the back to MIAF for being one of the few animation festivals in the world with a dedicated screening for abstract animation. Festivals may show some abstract films, but to have a whole program dedicated to them is something that makes MIAF quite unique. This session is always a must for me, and these films are examples of why:

Snail Trail – Philipp Artus. We follow a vector-filled snail-like shape on a journey around a large rounded minimalist landscape. The film has an evolutionary feel to it as the future path of the snail is mapped out while the path it has already taken still remains after it has moved on.

Koukou – Takashi Ohashi. I first saw this film last year at Estonia’s Animated Dreams festival which it received an honourable mention as a standout abstract film. I loved it then and I still love it now. In simple terms it is strange animation accompanying even stranger music; though there is nothing simple about this film. The synchronicity of everything going on here is well deserving of an honourable mention.

Barcode III – Adriaan Lokman. Picture a sizeable black & white digital landscape made entirely of poles and light either illuminating the poles or being bent by the poles and you will have an idea what this film looks like. It has a ‘journey to the centre of the modem’ feel to it where the flashes of light is all the information being carried. The entire 8½ minutes of this film (which is quite long for an abstract film) had me totally immersed. I was hypnotised by the landscape accompanied by ambient or upbeat techno music that always synchronised with the speed of the camera. The experience is made perfect by getting to watch it on the big screen.


Virtuos Virtuell – Thomas Stellmach, Maja Oschmann. What initially looks like a simple work of black ink splotches expanding to the music “Ouverture: The Alchemist” by Louis Spohr becomes quite a complex work of art. As the film progresses it becomes obvious that it has been animated over several layers; and then the layers cross over creating a three-dimensional space in what began as two-dimensional.

1000 Plateaus – Steven Woloshen. Woloshen is a Canadian experimental animator who is known for his cameraless films. He puts his artwork directly onto film stock and plays them like that. His films are energetic colour explosions that always have the perfect soundtrack to them. This particular film took 10 years to make. Woloshen started in 2004 and made this film entirely in his car waiting for actors or film crew members.


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