Umbilical World (2018)

Umbilical World (2018) British animator David Firth compiled 13 years of macabre humor into this crazy quilt of paranoid nightmares. Internet surfers will recognize favorites from YouTube past and marvel at the stylistic unity that emerges from this retrospective of experimental, underground art. Independent in every sense of the word, David Firth joins the company … More Umbilical World (2018)

La Planète sauvage /Fantastic Planet (1973)

La Planète sauvage /Fantastic Planet (1973). Awarded the Grand Prix special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, this innovative feature-length animation was directed by René Laloux and written by Laloux and Roland Topor, based on the 1957 novel Oms en série by French writer Stefan Wul. Its allegorical structure concerning the conflict between … More La Planète sauvage /Fantastic Planet (1973)

“The Masque of the Red Death” from Extraordinary Tales (2015)

“The Masque of the Red Death” from Extraordinary Tales (2015) This concluding sequence, from Spanish director and animator Raul Garcia ’s collection of five tales from Edgar Allen Poe, remains my favorite cinematic version. As Jeannette Catsoiulis wrote in her New York Times review, “…the rosy wash of oily color that flows over the story’s … More “The Masque of the Red Death” from Extraordinary Tales (2015)

Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001)

Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001) Based on Tezuka’s manga, directed by Rintaro, written by Katsuhiro Otomo, this feature-length anime dramatizes the upcoming conflict between AI and humans, to warn against the rise of ultranationalism. SPOILER ALERT: At the climax of this movie, Tima, created by Dr. Laughton for the oligarch Duke Red who mourns the loss … More Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001)

Asparagus (1979) and Pinball (2013)

Asparagus (1979), Suzan Pitt’s first breakthrough animation, and Pinball (2013), her last animation, showcase amazing accomplishments celebrating independent filmmaking. On the CalArts Web site, Maureen Seawood wrote, “She [Suzan] believed that within us, we had the ability to unfold the way we dream. That each image leads us to the next image, giving birth to … More Asparagus (1979) and Pinball (2013)

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [aka Baron Prášil ] (1961)

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [aka Baron Prášil ] (1961) Czechoslovakian animator Karel Zeman combines live action with puppets and animation to create a highly stylized picture about the outrageous lies of Baron Munchausen. Influenced by the engravings of Gustave Doré, in the tradition of Ray Harryhausen, Zeman’s fantasy world revels in a childlike delight and … More The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [aka Baron Prášil ] (1961)

Porco Rosso (1992)

  Porco Rosso (1992) 94 Min. Based on the manga “Hikoutei Jidai,” Hayao Miyazaki’s anime concerns a WWI fighter pilot who has become a bounty hunter after the disillusionment of the Great War turned him into a pig. Defiantly opposed to fascism, conflicted over his love for Gina, an Austrian whose husband was shot down … More Porco Rosso (1992)