Sunday, 14 June 2020

Summer plans (in lieu of, y'know, actual summer plans)

In the latest episode of the third season of our podcast series Intimate Animation we meet Prague-based directorial duo Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf, whose recent short film SH_T HAPPENS has been screening to much enthusiasm and acclaim around the world at events including Sundance, Clermont Ferrand, LIAF and Anima Brussels. 
We also discuss Laura-Beth’s recent experience making The Gift for Calling The Shots, the unexpected revival of Tuca and Bertie, the recent YouTube virality of previous podcast guest Dario Van Vree’s Tabook, the long-overdue progressiveness of Pixar’s Out plus love’n’sex-themed short film highlights from the recent online edition of ITFS Stuttgart. Give 'er a stream or download forevs.
Some upcoming festival news (of the shackled, lockdown variety) is that Speed will return to Japan as part of the Official Selection of this year's edition of the Hiroshima International Animation Festival. I've had these folks on my radar since I first started making films so it's wonderful to be part of the line-up. Of course it won't be going ahead in the traditional sense but it's an honour all the same. You can swing by their website for an outline of the revised format and the deliberations will be taking place from August 20th-24th. 
In the more immediate future the film will also be part of FilmOneFest, an event focusing on micro-shorts that will be kicking off June 23rd with free screenings via Facebook live that will span the following month. Once things have returned to normalcy there is a public screening planned which I'll follow up on once I know the details.

Another event to make the switch to an online edition is Russia's Big Cartoon Festival, who will include my 2015 film Klementhro among its line-up for what I gather is something of a digital retrospective edition (the film participated in its 2017 edition and several associated events the following year). The event will run from July 3rd-12th with my film part of their What A Day! screening that plays on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th and 12th and you can swing by their website for more specifics in the lead-up. These screenings will also be free from what I can tell, so go ahead'n'treat yourselves.

Sunday, 7 June 2020


Guess who liked "Weird Al" album covers growing up...
It's been a minute or two since the last one but today sees the release of the second single from the upcoming sixth Struwwelpeter album My Head Is Too Small For My Body. The album's still a ways from being cooked but it's taking shape and unlike any records I've produced it's actually turning out to be quite thematically consistent. In the meantime this song is called Progressive and it draws on an affection for alternative synth-pop I developed during my time on Trampires. It also lyrically felt like a prescient choice given the recent convergence of cancel culture and societal uprising that kicked off a couple weeks back. To that end, if bought/streamed from Google Play, Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon then 100% of any sales revenue will be going directly to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Color of Change (so 50% each), two organisations doing particularly important work amidst all of this uproar. For those of you on Bandcamp they will similarly be donating revenue to NAACPLDF if you buy on the 19th of the month moving forward.
The EP also features an exclusive remix of the song as well as a re-recorded acoustic version of an old track Staying In, a song about...well, staying in. Although the original version was less about social responsibility and more about being anxious and lazy it felt like a fitting topic either way.
If you're after some more lockdown listenin' then there a bunch more episodes of our Skwigly Film Club series in which we watch and discuss animated features. We'll be resuming the podcast from next week for another batch if you want to get involved but in the meantime you can listen back to our watch-throughs of The Iron Giant (Brad Bird), Corpse Bride (Mike Johnson/Tim Burton), South Park (Trey Parker) and The BFG (Brian Cosgrove).