Monday, February 4, 2019

More (Probably) Untranslated Films of Interest

In the last post I covered several different untranslated films from around Europe which seemed interesting. In this post I'm going to show you all three animated films which seem interesting. Two of these films are a bit low budget and that is probably the reason for much of their limited frame rate.

First up. An animated film from Brazil called Boi Arua, Direct By Francisco Liberado and written by Alba Liberado and himself. This film is, if the google translated Portuguese language Wikipedia article is accurate, the story of a farmer who tries to kill a wild enchanted ox. The film's style is inspired by woodcuts in a tradition called Cordel Literature of a sort of leaflets hung by twine with poems and pictures printed on them. The film seems incredibly surreal. At the beginning there's characters introduced in superimposed areas of the work but interact with the rest of the screen. There's also people staring at the screen as they shove a hand in the viewer's face like you're really there. I haven't browsed through the whole film so I don't know how much dialogue there is but there's at least a couple paragraph's worth in the beginning.

Next is a film from Argentina called The Four Secrets. It was directed and written by Simรณn Feldman and  It uses a flat cutout style years before Grendel Grendel Grendel. I can only hope that the plot is as interesting as the visuals once the dialogue gets translated. All I can tell right now is that there's several siblings making up a fantasy that is illustrated by the visuals. I'm surprised to find such an interesting animated film come out of Argentina at such an early date.

Last we have a film from China which is the one I've wanted to see for the longest time. It's called Legend of Sealed Book, or Secrets of the Heavenly Book according to IMDb. It's directed by Shuchen Wang and Yunda Qian and written by Lei Bao and Schuchen Wang. It's very fluidly animated for the most part and considering the interest around Uproar in Heaven and Nezha Conquers the Dragon Kings it's a wonder that nobody I know of has tried to translate it into English.

I hope that you found a film of interest among these three. It seems that there's still some surprises in the world of obscure animated features even after many of the original great films have been discovered. I hope you all found something of interest in this post. I don't know what the next one will be about but it might be another post about animation aesthetics or it might be about storytelling in animation.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Most Interesting (Probably) Untranslated Films From Europe

First we have what appears to be a good hand drawn film I can find from Czechoslovakia which is more known for its puppet films.It is directed by Vaclav Bedrich from the year 1955. Here is a torrent site which has the film on it. Be warned that this site may not be completely safe.!aUfwZhDy/cert-a-kaca-55-animovany-dvbt-cz-romin-avi

Next we have from 1969, Ukraine's animated film Mystery Bouffe directed by David Cherkasskiy. This film has live action, cutouts, and hand drawn animation.

The next animated film that intrigues me is a film from Spain from the Basque directed by Juan Batista Berasategui. Its title is loosely translated as Pumpkin Tripod according to Google Translate. It seems like a very interesting surprise so far. It would have probably gone pretty far up on my Most Intriguingly Bizarre Animated Films list.

Then we move onto the more interesting of what seem to be Latvia's two animated features: The Cat's Windmill directed by Roze Stiebra in 1994.

These are the European animated films which are probably untranslated into English which I found the most interesting. There are some interesting films from other places that haven't gotten much attention so I may just do a post on some of those. If there is anybody out there who speaks one of these languages in addition to English, maybe you could translate one of these films and in so doing, bring them the attention of a larger audience.

Better Sites for Browsing Animated Films Than Wikipedia

As you've probably observed, Wikipedia has changed the list of animated films so that you can only look at a time period ranging from a year to a decade at a time. To make matters worse they even show the films with the highest grosses before you click on the individual year's pages. Fortunately there are a couple of alternatives. The first is a list on Letter Box D and the second is a list that hasn't been updated since 2009 but has one page per decade up until the 2000's. I've looked for similar lists before but its seems that I find what I'm looking for sometimes when I'm looking for something else.

I've browsed through the whole list and made many new discoveries. The great thing about this list is that there's no shortsighted Wikipedia authorities to get rid of all the pages to films that they deem unimportant. There's a lot of films that may or may not be good, especially from the 2000's onward. I will soon be posting some untranslated films from Europe that I found the most interesting. One of them I found on the Letter Box D list. If the links here don't work, that's OK because I recently added them to the Relevant Animation Links section.

Expect that next post soon. In the meantime, if you want to browse that Letter Box D list then go ahead. At some point soon I'll need to update the list of films for the new titles I've found and also the film availability list because of the dramatically changing web landscape. Keep enjoying animation!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How I Got Hooked on Animation

I've had this blog for over ten years now. I want to relay a bit more on how I got interested in animation.

When I was younger all the animation I watched was theatrically released and televised Western animation that was available through mainstream sources. The first animation I was seriously interested in was The Simpsons and Futurama. But back then, animation wasn't one of my biggest hobbies. My biggest hobby was playing the first two Roller Coaster Tycoon games, particularly the second. There is a web community where people make their own theme parks which was my main hobby from when I was 13 to 17. I wasn't very good at it myself, because I just didn't have the imagination to create all the interconnected aesthetic looking theme parks. At that web site I was reintroduced to Batman Beyond, a show that I'd heard of but had never seen more than a minute or two. At that point I was interested in movies in general, but had little interest in animation in particular.

One day, I was interested in Spirited Away, a film that I'd confused with Lost in Translation perhaps the year before. When I watched it for the first time, I was blown away. That got me interested in animation though I wasn't an animation fan yet. I found out, probably due to a review in the newspaper, I think my dad noticed. I watched it and I enjoyed it even more than Spirited Away. It's still my favorite animated film. That's what hooked me on animation. But that's only part of the story. Now I'll tell you the movie that got me interested in starting an obscure animation blog.

I looked up movies on Wikipedia's List of Animated Feature Films and I discovered The Adventures of Prince Achmed. I found it on DVD, I think through Netflix. It was the best non-Japanese animated movie that I've seen to this day. It made me realize that there's a lot of good animation out there that isn't being recognized so I started a blog to talk about it.

My current top five animated films are these:

1. Paprika
2. The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
3. Whisper of the Heart
4. Spirited Away
5. Drawn from Memory

Next time I may do a blog post about my favorite animated film from each country I've seen one from. If you're interested in that, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Company in Canada Developing Technology to Mimic Voices

This is an accompaniment to my post The Realism Dilemma. This technology scares me more in the short term because it's easier to perfect than photorealistic video of moving people. If you thought you couldn't trust what's said on radio and podcasts now, well just wait until this technology gets around.

This has other implications as well though. It could mean that voice actor's voices could be used long after they're dead. Also, it means that murderers could pretend that their victims are still alive. There are other possible negative uses but I don't want to distract you from the article. Read it and if you have anything to say then leave a comment.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ubu and the Grande Gidouille Is Now on YouTube

I'm surprised but the other film by Jan Lenica, Ubu and the Grande Gidouille, is no on YouTube with English subtitles. While his first film, Adam 2, was made in Germany and had German language intertitles, this film was made in France and has actual French Dialogue. It's based on the Alfred Jarry play Ubu Roi. The film is probably better seen than described, so here it is:

The embedded version seems to cut off at the bottom so you'll have to watch it in full screen. But you were probably planning to do that anyway. It's sure an exciting time to live in with all these rare animated films available to watch. Hopefully a DVD collection with all of Jan Lenica's work, long and short, will be made available. Enjoy the film and if you like, leave a comment letting me know what you thought.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jan Lenica's Adam 2 Is Now On Vimeo

Link Here:

I haven't had the chance to watch the full movie yet but am looking forward to it. I don't know if there's any character dialogue. I heard what was probably some moments of French with what little I've seen. For a long time I thought it might be lost because it was so hard to get any information on it. For those who are curious on where I found out about it, I found out about it HERE. Thanks, Schamoni Film for this upload. I've been wanting to see this film for years. If you've got an IMDb account, make sure to rate this film once you've seen it so it will get an official rating.

This is one of the most exciting developments since the founding of this blog and I hope you all enjoy it!