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AnimaFICX discovers the new paths of masters and new talents of animation


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(Rating average 3,01)

Gijón has the latest Works of Bill Plympton, Sébastian Laudenbach and of Dudok de Wit-Ghibli tandem.
AnimaFICX continues to take the pulse of this art with a meticulous selection that summarizes the different paths explored by both masters of animation and new talents. In the 54th FICX, this competitive section retains original hybrid spirit, but resulting in new techniques and narrative possibilities of a format that knows no boundaries and which each edition attracts more audience to Gijon. This year seven titles compete in AnimaFICX: from the most recent Ghibli Studio production to the latest of the indie guru Bill Plympton.
In the 5th edition of AnimaFICX all kind of movies compete: avant-garde line, raw or delicate lined graphic universes, unequivocal aesthetic tributes, 2D, rotoscoping ... Stories coming out of the imagination of writers of the XVIII or the blackest chronicles of the XX century, stories that explore vital concerns such as death or the struggle for cultural identity. So this section is a great opportunity to discover the latest paths directors and artists are opening in the world of animation. This style will also be present in the rest of the programme of the 54 FICX edition, in sections like Enfants Terribles ( Savva, Blinky Bill, The Movie and Molly Monster), Genres Mutantes (Seoul Station) and Wide Angle (Ma vie de Courgette).

The competition

Revengeance, by Bill Plympton and Jim Lujan. The king of indie animation returns to the contest (Cheatin' triumphed in AnimaFICX in 2013), a director who Gijon dedicated a retrospective in its 52 edition. This time, his followers will have the chance to see his first film co-directed with animator Jim Lujan. This creative duo presents a story of a bounty hunter based on the classic black Chandler code and on titles like The Big Lebowski or Pulp Fiction, and with plenty of biker gangs, corrupt cops and bloodthirstiness. And all through raw drawings full of symbolism. Plympton - who has seen his talent recognized with a Golden Palm at Cannes and at festivals such as Annecy, Fantasporto or Sitges - and Lujan directed this film with the help of increasingly necessary crowdfunding (achieved more than 90,000 $). As a curiosity: Jim Lujan gave voice to most of the characters in this animated revenge.

La Tortue Rouge, by Michaël Dudok de Wit. The Ghibli studio, which triumphs worldwide, returns to the Festival with its latest production. Special Jury Prize at the last Un Certain Regard of Cannes, this beautiful film drags us to a desert island and to his main character, a castaway whose story was created the Oscar-winning Dudok and screenwriter Pascale Ferran. Silent, poetic and with magnificent colors, La Tortue Rouge is the first film of a non-Japanese director co-produced by Ghibli. Hayao Miyazaki payed attention to this Dutch director because of the award-winning Father and daughter (for which he won an Oscar, a Bafta ...) . Reaching this joint work was a matter of (little) time. Together they have made a delicious tape full of sublime shots, the style of the Japanese study, and delicate, lyrical, unforgettable moments. One critic has in fact said that La Tortue Rouge is already a classic animation.

The Girl Without Hands, Sébastian Laudenbach. One critic wrote after seeing this minimalist film that is one of the most beautiful discoveries of the year. Based on one of the lesser-known tales of the Brothers Grimm, The girl without hands is a work of animation between pictures and the shadow theater, tinting poetry, a Fauvist use of color, delicate spots and expressive stripes that recall the Japanese calligraphy. In his first animated feature, Laudenbach does not sweeten the cruelty of the brothers Wilhelm and Jacob, letting us observe a world that allows parents to be executioners of their children. But it does so with great sensitivity, to which also contributes the exquisite original soundtrack composed by Olivier Mellano.

Tower, by Keith Maitland. This animated documentary arrives to Gijon with several international awards (Dallas, SXSW). The director reconstructs the massacre at the University of Texas in 1966, but it does so from the testimonies of seven witnesses. The memories of the survivors make the film, leaving aside the reasons that the engineering student Charles Whitman had to kill 14 people and injure other 32. The result is a thoughtful and tense documentary in which the director melts thriller and investigative journalism.

Window Horses, by Ann Marie Fleming. This Canadian director found in the actress Sandra Oh (Golden Globe for Grey's Anatomy) the perfect collaborator in the production of the history of a Canadian poet, whose father was Iranian and her mother, Chinese. She travels to Iran to participate in a poetry festival . The crowdfunding made possible this animated adventure that defends the importance of being curious, family and own culture love and artistic passion. Twelve animators participated in this film awarded in Toronto and Montreal to keep emphasized these differences between cultures, philosophies, times and poems which look to this window.

In This Corner of The World, by Sunao Katabuchi. A week after its release in Japanese cinemas, this film based on the homonym manga Fumiyo Kono which tells the story of a young woman who begins her married life in a village in the prefecture of Hiroshima in the early forty will compete in the FICX. It is not the first title of anime approaching the nuclear devastation suffered by the city on August 6, 1945, but it is the first one which has a positive and uplifting message because, in words of the own Katabuchi, everyday life continues even in time of war. With his two previous films, this director won awards at festivals such as Tokyo Anime and fans know him well for his role as scriptwriter in series as Black Lagoon.

Manang Biring, by Carl Joseph Papa. This film is the first one made with rotoscope animation in the Philippines. Papa focuses on a terminally ill who has already accepted his impending death, but breathes a little more life, enough to spend with his daughter and grandson one last Christmas. This director continues to explore his fascination with the world of the elderly (made in his first short with clay animation) and recognizes influences such as Michael Haneke and Woody Allen.