Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Shortlist Pick: Requiem for Romance
happen in wildly different eras, but both hurt like a roundhouse kick to the
side of the head. Frankly, most guys would
rather take the beatdown than get the “it’s not you, it’s me” call. Animator Jonathan Ng juxtaposes the
soundtrack of an awkward end of a relationship with a scene of traditional
wuxia action in Requiem for Romance (trailer here), which is part of
the Academy’s shortlist of ten animated shorts still in Oscar contention.
Tsai finally answers Yun’s calls, she has some bad news for her fellow
artist. Their relationship had been on
the d.l., but now it is over-and-out. He
feels a lot like the warrior ambushed by his former lover on the rooftops of a
feudal Chinese village. At least, the
swordsman can fight back.
watercolor painting and hand-drawn animation, Requiem’s animation is unusually stylish, evoking all sorts of films,
paintings, and graphic design that came before it. Connoisseurs of Asian cinema will especially appreciate
some of its references. Yet, despite the
lovingly rendered fight sequences, Requiem
will appeal to both hardcore cineastes and fanboys, in equal measure.
The voice-over cast of Shannon Kook-chun and
Meilie Ng (as Yun and Tsai, respectively) play their parts with warmth and
sensitivity. Somehow, their words are
not completely overwhelmed by Jonathan Ng’s striking visuals (and that is
saying something). Original both in conception
and execution, Ng’s Requiem for Romance is
the class of the Academy’s animated short film shortlist, which includes some
very nice films, like Room on the Broom, the
latest from the team that produced The
Gruffalo. Highly recommended for
animation and martial arts fans, look for Requiem
in upcoming showcases of Oscar shortlisted (and hopefully nominated) shorts.
Labels: Animated films, Short Films