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Put one imaginative French director--Michel Gondry--and an esoteric MIT philosopher and linguist--Noam Chomsky--together for a casual, wide-ranging conversation. The result is Gondry's clever "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" It includes only scattered inserts of Professor Chomsky, shot on a 16-mm Bolex camera, since Gondry favors presenting the topics discussed in vividly colorful, rapid-fire animation.

Published in Film Reviews

John Hubley distinguished himself as a Disney animator contributing to Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Fantasia. He created Mr. Magoo in 1949 and founded Storyboard Studios in 1953 after being blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities. After moving his studio to New York in 1955, he created animated films with his wife Faith Elliott.

Published in Film Reviews

For Washington University's 9th African Film Festival the theme "coming of age" defines the fest itself and its superb selections. In four programs, shorts and feature length, animated and live action films showcase the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, South Africa and the Sudan, and more. Technical quality and subject diversity distinguish the films available for preview.

Published in Film Reviews

What's the first piece of "classical" music you ever heard? In my case it was Franz von Suppé’s "Poet and Peasant" overture. I heard it, not in concert or over the radio or on an LP (a primitive sound reproduction device invented by the ancient Mayans), but as the soundtrack for a cartoon. I have long forgotten the actual content of the cartoon (I think it might have involved elves), but the music is there to stay.

Published in Reviews

The first thing you need to know about the symphony's "Fantasia" program is that it's not a showing of the original 1940 film, but rather a mix of sequences from the original and the sequel, "Fantasia 2000."

Published in Reviews

It's toon time this weekend (November 1-3) at the St. Louis Symphony with music and animation from a pair of remarkable Disney films: "Fantasia" and its sequel from 60 years later "Fantasia 2000." The orchestra's new Resident Conductor Steven Jarvi is on the podium while Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and a host of other cartoon critters cavort on the screen.

That is 2 as in the number, the second in a series, not "t-o-o," as in "also." This film gives sequels a good name although it's hardly "Godfather II." It picks up where "Despicable Me" left off, that is, with the main character, named Gru, becoming a family man.

Published in Film Reviews

Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates short films in animation, live action and documentary categories. Fortunately for those of us eager to know Oscar contenders, Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures assemble the animated and live-action hopefuls into two programs for theatrical release. Of course, any compilation offers diversity, but all these selections merit their recognition.

Published in Film Reviews

The 21st annual Whitaker Saint Louis International Film Festival continues through Sunday, November 18th‘s closing night awards party begins at 8 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum. Between now and then, there are dozens of short and feature, fiction and nonfiction, animated and live action films from which to choose.

Published in Film Reviews

The 21st annual Whitaker Saint Louis International Film Festival kicks off Thursday, November 8th followed by a ten-day feast of cinematic offerings and events. Film lovers get to choose from over 400 feature and short films, most of them St. Louis premieres. In addition, dozens of filmmakers will accompany their films, introducing them and leading discussions after screenings.

Published in Film Reviews
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