The Annecy Animation Festival 1983

A Walt Disney character made an appearance in ONLY A KISS which satirises film makers who allow their fantasies to enter their work. An animator draws Snow White and then enters her universe with the idea of stealing a kiss but is forcibly restrained by the Seven Dwarfs and by an unwilling Snow White.

Amongst the student films Mark Baker’s THE THREE KNIGHTS stood out. French critics expressed disbelief that it had been made by a student. It tells of a motley crew who attempt to perform all the deeds of fairy tale chivalry only to be frustrated by characters that do not seem to have read the same stories. Beautiful damsels turn out to be wicked witches and mountains turn out to be giants.

One of the more unusual films to use object animation was Jiri Barta’s THE EXTINCT WORLD OF GLOVES. This told of the discovery by a human being of an old film and a cache of gloves in a rubbish dump. The recovered film shows that there was once a universe peopled by gloves which lived a very human-like existence. Actual gloves were used containing an armature so that they could be animated as 3D puppets.

Most of the films at Annecy were well received by both audience and critics. Although the festival audience is mostly composed of animators and film makers, there is always a vocal minority willing forcibly to express its likes and dislikes. This can lead to a lively reception for makers of unpopular films. One film in particular was the object of dislike. Drew Klausner’s JUDE was 14 minutes 30 seconds of slowly metamorphosing images of the Jewish holocaust. Photographs were slowly degraded into hand drawn images of the same picture but because of the length of the film and its repetitive use of the same image and sound track, the audience soon lost interest and thus the whole point of the message about how time alters perception, was lost.

The vocal expression of opinion is something which is alien to British audiences and an animator may leave a British cinema in some doubt as to what the audience felt about the film something which is not true of a French audience. Having now attended three Annecy festivals, my own feelings are that the mixture is better each time and I look forward to the next festival in 1985.

THE THREE KNIGHTS by Mark Baker of Britain.

page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

Originally printed in Animator’s newsletter Issue 7 (Winter 1983)