Favorite films

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  • Tulip

    ★★★½

  • On Time

    ★★★½

  • My Friend Who Shines in the Night

    ★★★★

  • Dogs Smell Like the Sea

    ★★★½

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  • Tulip

    Tulip

    The story is Thumbelina, told fairly traditionally; the gorgeous felted landscapes and animations really bring it to life, though. The 3 year old I watched the young audiences shorts with loved this one!

  • On Time

    On Time

    I like the model of documentary-experimental-animation as an essay/mashup in which a few brief visual “topics” recur again and again, supported in different ways by the quotes that undergird them. This particular entry is too short to be much more than a proof-of-method; still, the train-rider animations are dynamic and the rest of the film’s explorations of frame rate and rhythmic juxtaposition help elevate them further.

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  • Eyimofe (This Is My Desire)

    Eyimofe (This Is My Desire)

    While most of the narrative features in this year’s ND/NF take primary inspiration from the French New Wave, here’s one that’s more embedded in the Italian Neorealist tradition of evenly-paced stories about regular people struggling to get by under difficult conditions. Rossellini, especially, must have been an influence. Here, the setting is Lagos and its outskirts, the urban culture of which we get a fairly acute picture of; call it “Nigeria Year Forty.” The film is shot on large-format film,…

  • Short Vacation

    Short Vacation

    ★★★★★

    An absolutely perfect tiny film. Closely observed to the point where I imagine it must involve some improvisation; regardless of what percent was on the page, each of the four actors' performances is so impeccably realistic and finely crafted as to be indistinguishable from reality. (Not sure which actress is which, unfortunately, but the one who spends the bulk of the film in a mint-green T-shirt delivers the strongest performance to my eyes.) How many depictions of middle-school-age life are…