Although it’s a touch more interesting than most awards shows, we tend to treat the Oscars as little more than a gossip source, fashion show, or fun subject for betting pools.
With that said, there are gratifying aspects about the awards themselves, including the fact that French filmmaker Bastien Dubois‘s gorgeous and surreal Madagascar - Carnet de Voyage was nominated for Best Animated Short Film.
It lost, but that takes nothing away from this meditation on mortality on the intriguing African island nation. It’s a dizzying yet coherent display of what seems like a dozen different animation and mixed-media styles. Check it out.
Jiz and The Mammograms is a re-dubbed parody of the classic 80s cartoon Jem and The Holograms. It’s performed by the drag artist Sienna D’Enema, who wishes to remain anonymous so that s/he doesn’t have to tell hir parents about it - which is completely understandable. If it was me I wouldn’t want to tell them either. The subject matter of Jiz! covers teen pregnancy, prostitution, people trafficking, crack addiction, abortion and oriental skat fetishes. Jem is no longer a world-famous rock star doing her best to help the local youth, she’s now a drug pushing pimp who gleefully encourages her teen fans to get pregnant so they can have abortions. Her mansion is now a giant brothel full of underage hookers (and a few kidnap victims), and Synergy, the super-computer that communicates to Jem, and styles her through her special earrings, has been rechristened “Electronic Drug Dealer”. Yes, it’s tasteless (REALLY tasteless), but it’s also very, very funny.
The latest episode of Jiz! has been released onto Youtube, and could possibly be the most controversial yet. It concerns a young girl (Laura, aka Shitty Panties) who is sent by an extremist Christian group to convert Jiz to the word of the Lord, but who has her own struggles to face along the way. Not least of which is her excessive flatulence. I never saw much Jem and the Holograms the first time round, but this has made me REALLY curious about the original episode.
If you have never seen Jiz! before, I recommend you start with the episodes after the jump, as “Laura” contains a few in-jokes (including The Golden Shower Girls). If you have seen Jiz! then you know what to expect. Brace yourselves:
Laura - Taking It Up The Chocolate Yahweh (obviously this is NSFW)
Japanese film and stage actor Taichi Saotome battles some fierce shadows in this incredible live performance of “Dragon and Peony.” Gee, I wish the audience was a little more excited about seeing this. What a “meh” hand clap at the end.
This is a clip from The Venture Bros’ Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part II) which aired in 2006.
I never thought back in the late ‘70s when I knew Klaus Nomi that one day he’d be a cartoon action hero. But upon reflection nothing about Klaus should surprise me. Here he is teaming up with Iggy Pop to defeat David Bowie. Tons of subtext for a cartoon.
Innovative L.A.-based electronic music label Plug Research scored big-time when they signed Philly-raised soul singer Bilal Sayeed Oliver in the middle of 2009 to release his revelatory sophomore album Airtight’s Revenge. Bilal left his former label Interscope soon after they shelved his proposed second album, Love For Sale, based on their skepticism of its commercial potential and the fact that it was leaked before official release. Seems like an aphorism for the steady decline of the music industry to me.
Directed by stoned prodigal son Flying Lotus (damn, does that mean he did all that animation?), the recently released video for Bilal’s track “Levels” seems to evince how eagerly the singer has swallowed the red pill. This is some high high Afromythofuturistic material right here.
John Butler’s superb latest animation T.R.I.A.G.E. is a speculative tale showing how:
A sick and failing area is swiftly restored to sound financial health
T.R.A.G.E. is an acronym for
Of course, triage is “the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition.” With this in mind, any similarities between actual events is purely intentional.
Bonus animations by John Butler ‘Unmanned’ and ‘Sub Optimal’ after the jump…
The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics is the name of a book by Norton Juster (who also wrote The Phantom Tollbooth) which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated short in 1965 by the great Chuck Jones. Jones was the creator of the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, Pepé Le Pew as well as as the director of several Bugs Bunny shorts considered to be masterpieces of the art of animation.
Frequently seen in 70s and 80s classrooms, The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, is the engaging tale of an uptight line who is aced out at every turn by an unkempt squiggle for the affections of a female dot. Math teachers used to show this to geometry students in an effort to get them excited by the subject. In many cases, I’ll bet it worked. Not for me, though, I sucked in math, but I do recall seeing this cartoon in the eighth or ninth grade.
This is truly an incredible piece of work. It’s as minimalist as you can get in animation, but at times it evokes MC Escher, Blue Note album covers, even the work of artist John Baldessari. The story is read by British actor Robert Morley. It’s pretty amazing. If the snow’s got you home today (it’s in the 70s here in Los Angeles, not to rub it in) you couldn’t find a better way to waste some time than with this delightful film. If you’re of a certain age, then chances are you’ll probably remember seeing it. Jones would work with Norton Juster’s material once again with The Phantom Tollbooth in 1970, a film Juster was not supposed to be very fond of.