Day three of the 30th World Festival of Animated Film at the SC Cinema opens, like the day before, with the World Panorama, this time including films from France, Belgium, USA, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Macau, Spain and Switzerland. The Zagreb audience will undoubtedly enjoy, for instance, Alice Saey’s new video Careful for Jo Goes Hunting, after thrilling with a Mark Lotterman video in 2018, as well as with Lursaguak. Scenes from Life by the acclaimed Izibene Oñederra. Flamingo by Kaw Khan, also known as Sushijojo, hails from the exotic meridians of Southeast Asia, and Jérémie Cousin, Nathania Rubin, Antoine Robert and others also present their new pieces. In terms of style and theme, interesting is the triptych PTSD by three La Cambre graduates, Claudia Cortés Espejo, Lora D'Addazio and Mathilde Remy.
At 1pm the rerun of the Focus on Hungary 1 is scheduled, with films by Hungarian younger generation female directors. After that, as 3.30pm, the fans of Zagreb School of Animation will have a chance to see a traditional selection of masterpieces free of charge, curated by Borivoj Dovniković, this time from 1972. At 5.30pm, in Student Competition 2, a title to pay special attention to is Barbara Rupik’s Little Soul, a technically stunning film combining eschatological poetics with cadaveric, rotten colours, materials and bodies. A combination of Claymation and oil on canvas, this repulsively attractive poetry of organic decomposition in motion is perhaps the most spiritual film of this year’s Animafest. A likeable antipode to the ambitious Polish piece is the funny, somewhat grotesque Belgian Dutchgaria by Capucine Muller about a girl ‘lost in translation’ somewhere in Ruritania.
In Grand Competition 3, in the 8pm prime time slot, we’ll see Arka by Natko Stipaničev, a weird contemporary version of the Biblical tale set on a transatlantic cruiser as a relevant dystopian allegory of the late capitalist society in which civilisation goes on its last trip into the night ‘while the band plays on’. A funny and almost surrealist motifs punctuate the exceptionally precise dramaturgy and skilful directing of this meditative film of absurdist atmosphere, original characters and subtle dark humour. From the point of view of technical prowess, the one to watch out is Genius Loci by Adrien Mérigeau – a bravado of modernist tendencies leaning on geometrics, graphics, sketchiness and hints of Kandinsky, as well as expressive colour and lighting in creating an associative film in a state significantly marked by heterotopic spatiality. A brilliant use of ink and watercolour and background inspiration by John Cage’s music accompany this must-see Animafest 2020 film. Grand Competition 3 present a new film by the film essayist Victor Orozco Ramirez Revolykus, and a more easy-going approach is brought by Streets of Fury, playing with conventions and the style of progressive beat’em up and side scrolling games from the arcades like Streets of Rage and Double Dragon.
The evening concludes with the pearls of French animation ’60 years in 70 minutes’ – a retrospective curated by Marcel Jean marking the 60th birthday of the largest global animation film in Annecy. Apart from being the meeting point of animation legends like Jean-François Laguionie, Michaël Dudok de Wita, Franck Dion and Bruno Collet, this programme focuses on the works that marked the long history of Annecy, representing its most important award-winners.
Animafest Scanner VII continues and concludes between 10am and 4pm at the &TD Theatre with panels on women in animation and the connection between animation and poetry, after which at 4.30pm the same venue hosts the Student Film Competition 4, which also includes interesting works, possibly some of the festival award winners. In addition to the operatic contemporary version of Aesop’s tale Cockpera by Kata Gugić, another must see film is Blieschow – a film of bright summer colours and fluid animation whose transformations, illogical combinations and proportions and associative lining of episodes from a boy’s holidays in the countryside at his grandfather’s imitates childhood memories and its specific fears, pleasures, small traumas and acceptance of different patterns of behaviour. Another summer film is One Slimy Story, a miniature about the pointless leisure time of the characters who, accompanied by equally pointless verses, melt in the sun. award-winning Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva is a brilliantly directed puppet film for the animated medium of innovative hand-held camera focusing on a father-daughter relationship.
At 6.30pm in Grand Competition 5 we will be watching the Annecy winner, The Physics of Sorrow by Theodore Ushev. Based on the prose of Georgi Gospodinov and autobiographical details, executed in the ancient encaustic technique, The Physics of Sorrow does not escape a broad scope, emotional directness and powerful metaphors. In this both epic and intimate film Ushev encompasses history and vastness in a polyphony of memories imbued with countless poetic motifs and focusing on the topic of memory. Equal in emotional force to Ushev, but technically leaning on grid graphics and loop is Betty by Will Anderson – a bittersweet meta-film about a breakup, unveiling the process and using the directorial comment as a means of style, without impairing its touching quality because the films by this author, halfway between humorous miniatures and the anxiety of alienation, always in tiny things successfully scratch the essence of human relationships. Finally, Grand Competition 5 features a Japanese horror film Mekakure, the fairy tale Tadpole, the funny Washing Machine and the experimental 4:3 and Freeze Frame.
At 8pm in the second part of the Focus on Hungary programme, the point of view is again female, but this time it is not about female authors but female characters. At 10pm World Panorama 3 offers another look at Purpleboy, screened also at Zagreb Pride, the Gobelins graduation film Sandwich Protocol, the latest film by the acclaimed experimenter Max Hattler, the migrant Iranian-Danish film Sparrow and the Ukrainian, dystopian film My Galactic Twin Galaction by Sasha Svirsky etc.
Opening of the exhibition Behind the Scenes 2 for guests of honour is scheduled for 1.30pm at the ULUPUH Gallery.