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  #21  
Old 09-26-2016, 07:33 AM
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The will to live is often all it would take to exist. The probability of the average birth is roughly one in four hundred trillion, if one calculated the odds during the dawn of human existence. We are the product of a will to live on behalf of a common ancestor who endured catastrophic extinction events through history, that will to live is the subject of my next submission.

Koji Morimoto is a Japanese animation director with credits including Akira and The Animatrix. He and seven other animators were commissioned by the A.P.P.P. production company to create animated works based only on the word "robots". The result was an anthology of some of the most amazing animated films I've ever seen, released in the US as Robot Carnival. Koji's contribution was a retelling of the story of Dr. Frankenstein called Franken's Gears.

Koji Morimoto - Franken's Gears

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  #22  
Old 10-03-2016, 10:31 AM
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My submissions are often heavy with symbolism, and this next one probably contains more symbolic references than any other that I've shared. Fair warning; it's twenty nine minutes long, so grab some pop-corn. There are subtitles by the way.

Russia was coping with a great deal in 1979. While they had their heritage and traditions to reaffirm their grandeur on the world stage, the Cold War was Hell on their economy and they were still reeling from losing approximately eleven million young men to World War 2 as well as at least seven million civilians. One thing, among many, that they had to pick up their spirits was their love of traditional poetry and children's lullabies.

A Tale of Tales is a movie that is a collage of various symbolic references to Russian folklore and is a visual interpretation of poetry from around the world. Yuriy Norshteyn -- who is regarded as the most famous Russian Animator of all time -- wrote Tale of Tales as a compilation of his visual interpretations of Russian culture told through poetry and lullabies, where throughout is featured the little gray wolf. The gray wolf, based on a Russian folk tale, seems to represent curiosity and wonder. In the folk tale "The Little Gray Wolf", it's the wolf who's mistakenly taken from his mother though manages to return to her. The wolf in this animated feature seems to be past the point of having a parental figure, perhaps never managing to reunite with his mother. It fascinates me because it's the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of a creature, who -- for their own individual disposition -- is nothing like the common interpretation of a wolf. He's a little careless, yes, but he represents the star-eyed wonder of someone who's discovering the beauty of the alien world around them.

Yuriy Norshteyn - A Tale of Tales

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  #23  
Old 10-11-2016, 07:03 AM
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There's a movie coming out soon that I'm sure some of you are well aware of, though I'm sharing its trailer mainly because it would be a tragedy if anyone with interest in the arts wasn't aware of it but also because it's absolutely stunning to behold.

Vincent Van Gogh was a struggling Dutch artist during the late 1800s who had a profound talent for capturing emotion in his work. His style was unique and was truly indicative of his passion for those close to him and for the locations he adored. What's striking to me is that while he was committed to an insane asylum, his work really seemed to blossom as he had no direct visual representation for his art. His imagination could thrive under any environment, and seemed to truly blossom during times of great stress and sorrow.

Vincent Van Gogh is considered to be the most influential artist who ever lived, and I hope this film will help endear him to future generations.

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  #24  
Old 10-18-2016, 07:45 AM
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The following submission -- Culhwch ac Olwen -- is very dear to me, it's based on a story from the 12th century British collection called The Mabinogion. It's the story of Culhwch (Cool-a-Wik) and his quest to marry his beloved Olwen. Olwen is the daughter of a giant Ysbaddaden, and her father won't allow his daughter to be married unless he can be groomed for the wedding (though he knows that if he sees himself groomed, he will die). Watching this film as a young child, it was very eye opening to see that an antagonist's requests can be based on a noble cause.

Unfortunately, this film is in Welsh. Fortunately, I have a copy of the English transcript. I'm uploading the film now so I don't get distracted later and forget, and I will try to find the time to type up the transcript in a subsequent post. For now, this film is breathtaking even if one can't exactly follow what's being said.

Valeri Ugarov - Culhwch ac Olwen

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  #25  
Old 10-18-2016, 06:59 PM
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Culhwch ac Olwen Transcript.

Intro:
Click for Spoiler:
This is the misty mythical land of Wales, in the Isle of Britain. A land of Kings and Heroes with magical powers. A land whose ancient language has carried many tales of daring deeds. This is but one from a collection known as "The Mabinogion". It is The Tale of the Quest for Olwen.


00:33, scene of warthogs in the woods:
Click for Spoiler:
Culhwch's beginnings were strange and mysterious. When his Mother Goleuddydd, wife of King Cilydd, was with child, she was overcome with a strange madness. While strolling through the woods, she was surrounded by a herd of wild swine. In terror, Goleuddydd gave birth to a boy. His name was Culhwch.


01:12, scene of Culhwch riding his horse:
Click for Spoiler:
Years later Goleuddydd died, and Culhwch's father King Cilydd remarried. When Culhwch was a young man, his step-mother placed a curse of love on him. Culhwch was cursed to a life in search of Olwen, the beautiful daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden, who killed all those who tried to marry her since he was doomed to die on the day of her wedding. Culhwch decided to seek the help of his cousin, King Arthur, the mightiest and most magical king in the world.


02:00, King Arthur's round table
Click for Spoiler:


Culhwch: Hail Arthur, oh great king. I am Culhwch, son of Cilydd. As your cousin, I ask for your help in seeking the hand of Olwen.

King Arthur: You are welcome cousin Culhwch. But Olwen, who is this Olwen?

Culhwch: I know only that she is the daughter of the king of the giants, Ysbaddaden.

King Arthur: Ysbaddaden? I've never heard of such a king, or his daughter. What of my knights? It seems that no one here knows of Olwen, or Ysbaddaden. Well then, we are on about to help our cousin Culhwch. Kay, Bedivere.


02:50, Culhwch rides with Kay and Bedivere
Click for Spoiler:
And so Culhwch and the knights set off on their quest to find Olwen. Day and night, night and day. They traveled through many lands, faced many dangers. Through summers and winters, year after year, they traveled on. Until they reached a valley shrouded in a timeless age. There they came across an ancient herdsman.

Culhwch: Do you know of Olwen, daughter of Ysbaddaden?

Herdsman: Each day Olwen comes to that brook there, near my house to gather flowers and to wash her hair in the water.


04:28, Culhwch meets Olwen
Click for Spoiler:


Culhwch: Olwen? Olwen. Since the first I heard your name, I knew I could love only you.

Olwen: It's not wise to fall in love with me good knight.

Culhwch: But I am Culhwch, son of a king.

Olwen: My father kills all those who want to marry me.

Culhwch: I love you, and I would ask your father for your hand even though he may try to kill me.

Olwen: My father will set you many impossible tasks to win my hand in marriage. Promise to do everything, or you will die a terrible death.

Culhwch: I'd do anything for you.


05:26, Culhwch confronts Ysbaddaden
Click for Spoiler:
Culhwch: Ysbaddaden, I am Culhwch and I want to marry Olwen.

Ysbaddaden: Let me see. So, you're the little one who wants to marry my daughter.

Culhwch: I am a prince!

Ysbaddaden: A Prince? You know you will have to do as I say?

Culhwch: Yes, I am prepared.

Ysbaddaden: *laughs* Well then I'll begin to set your tasks. When I first met Olwen's mother, nine vessels full of flax seed were sown, in that earth. But none of it grew. What you must do, is gather up that flax seed and put it in these vessels and sow it once again in the new gown. *laughs*

Culhwch: Easy!

Ysbaddaden: After it has grown, I want the flax to be gathered, to make a white veil for Olwen to wear at her wedding. *laughs*

Culhwch: Easy!

Ysbaddaden: Your Your next task will be to fetch a comb and scissors that will do the job. *laughs* Unfortunately, they will probably cost you your life, as my comb scissors and razor were taken by Wild Boar, the most ferocious best in the land. And you won't catch Wild Boar without Mabon, the finest hunter in the land. Mabon, sadly for you, disappeared without trace many years ago. Oh, and before I can shave, my beard will have to be softened with the blood of the black witch who lives in the valley of death. *laughs* Do these things and you gain Olwen's hand, fail and you die. *laughs*


07:19, The Knights of the Round Table agree to aid Culhwch
Click for Spoiler:


King Arthur: And we shall go forth, and help Culhwch perform the tasks the giant Ysbaddaden has set for him.

One day, Gwythyr, one of King Arthur's knights, was riding when he heard strange sounds. The noises were coming from a giant anthill which was on fire.

Ant: We thank you for saving our lives, kind knight. We are small, but we would like to repay you in any way we can.

Gwythyr: That is kind of you, but there's nothing. If there is, could you collect from the earth seeds that have not grown?

Ant: Yes, of course.


(I'll have to pause here, this is way more difficult than I thought it would be.)
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  #26  
Old 10-19-2016, 07:19 PM
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09:04, Olwen admires her new veil:

Click for Spoiler:


All the flax was replanted, and the flax made into a beautiful headdress for Olwen.

Ysbaddaden: *groans* A curse on this Culhwch, and on King Arthur who's helping him! But they will never find Mabon!



09:40, King Arthur plans to search for Mabon:

Click for Spoiler:


King Arthur: And now the search for Mabon begins. Mabon disappeared so long ago that only the most ancient of the animals would know where he is.

Gwrhyr: I speak the language of the animals. I shall talk to them, they may know something of Mabon.

King Arthur: Kay, Bedivere, go with Culhwch and Gwrhyr to seek these ancient animals.



10:50, Culhwch, Gwrhyr, Kay and Bedivere seek the ancient animals:

Click for Spoiler:


Gwrhyr: EAGLE OF GWENABWY! EAGLE OF GWENABWY! Ancient Eagle of Gwenabwy!

Eagle: Who calls for me?

Gwrhyr: I am Gwrhyr, a knight of King Arthur's court!

Eagle: What? What brings you here?

Gwrhyr: We are searching for Mabon! Do you know where he is!?

Eagle: Though I'm of a great age, I know not of Mabon. However, the great salmon of Llyn Llyw is even older than I. He may know of whom you seek.



12:00, Culhwch's party searches for the ancient Salmon:

Click for Spoiler:
Gwrhyr: Salmon! Salmon of Llyn Llyw!

Salmon: Who is it who calls me?

Gwrhyr: We are King Arthur's knights! And we are searching for Mabon!

Salmon: Each tide I swim up along the river, until I come to the castle of Caerloyw. And each time there I hear the wails and lamentations of a prisoner. He could be the Mabon you seek. Climb on my back, and I shall take you there.

Culhwch: The castle! There is the castle of Caerloyw!

Mabon: HELP ME! HELP ME!

Culhwch: Who's that!?

Mabon: I AM MABON!

Culhwch: We are knights of King Arthur! Will you help us capture Wile Boar!?

Mabon: IF YOU CAN FREE ME FROM THIS PRISON I'LL HELP YOU!

Culhwch: Fear not! We will free you!



13:15, Ysbaddaden laments Mabon's return

Click for Spoiler:


Ysbaddaden: *groans* Mabon! Mabon, They have found Mabon!



13:30, King Arthur's knights hunt Wild Boar

Click for Spoiler:


Mabon: Wild Boar!

Mabon: There he is!



15:50, Culhwch presents the comb and razors to Ysbaddaden:

Click for Spoiler:


Culhwch: Here! Here are the instruments to dress your hair and shave your beard, for my wedding.

Ysbaddaden: *groans* You think you've got the better of me. But you will never have the blood of the black witch.



16:15, King Arthur hunts the black witch:

Click for Spoiler:


Black Witch: Why am I honored by such a visit, gentlemen?

King Arthur: We have come for your blood.

Black Witch: HA! It is I who will have your blood gentlemen. But you're welcome to try. *laughs*

King Arthur: I think this foul brew will shave even Ysbaddaden.



17:40, Ysbaddaden prepares for Olwen's wedding:

Click for Spoiler:


Ysbaddaden: Mirror. Show me myself.



20:00, Culhwch and Olwen are married:

Click for Spoiler:


King Arthur: All our exploits now are ended, love has triumphed over evil, and Culhwch has proved himself a brave defender of good. I wish you my cousin Prince Culhwch, and the beautiful Olwen, great joy and long life. And may you rule wisely over your kingdom.

And that is how Culhwch sought and won the love of Olwen.

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  #27  
Old 10-24-2016, 09:04 AM
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We're getting close to Halloween, so this week and next I'll be sharing animated films that reference short stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

This week's film is a take on The Fall of the House of Usher, which for my imagination is one of the most terrifying stories ever written. Adding to the horrific content, this version of the story is animated by the very eccentric animation director known as John Schnall. The imagery is amazingly well detailed, and yet the animation style of this film presents a haunting presence as the details of the scenery seem to flutter maniacally.

What I love most about this story is that I had always felt like the unnamed main character was supposed to be experienced as though he was the reader. The idea being that he's surrounded by all the makings of a classic gothic horror, and yet he makes every effort to discount the strange occurrences as the careless wandering of his overactive imagination. Basically; he's a very sane person made to endure insane circumstances. My own take is that the house itself is indicative of the potential for the Usher line, and that it represents the internal horror one faces when confronted with an end to a powerful legacy.

John Schnall - The Fall of the House of Usher

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  #28  
Old 10-31-2016, 09:56 AM
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This next submission isn't very obscure, it's an oscar nominated short film based on one of the most popular short stories of all time. Many adaptations exist, but this one is far and away the greatest.

In 1845 Edgar Allan Poe wrote a story that -- to me -- was meant to put the reader into the mind of someone who is insane, thus the reader becomes the ego of the main character. While the reader may see through the main character's rationalization as the ravings of an insane man, such a mind has lost all connection with the ego which must silently wait for the inevitable.

In 1953, UPA Producer Steve Bosustow wanted to capture the power of Poe's imagination by producing a short based on The Raven. Animator Paul Julian recommended that the film be based on The Tell-Tale Heart instead, in that the main character is confused more by desperation than by sorrow. When this film premiered in 3D in 1953, children were terrified to tears and an adult fainted upon witnessing the main character commit murder. James Mason's spot on narration likely played a huge role in the suspense.

Ted Parmelee - The Tell-Tale Heart

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  #29  
Old 11-07-2016, 12:21 PM
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Something a little more recent this week, but still more obscure than it should be. This film was produced all the way back in 2012, and it's apparently based on the struggle of a perfectionist to capture beauty through art. In a failed attempt to capture his vision, the protagonist finds himself trapped within the Salvador Dali-esque limbo of his own mind.

It's appropriately titled "The Unfinished Painting", and it was designed by a budding Bulgarian animation director named Rositsa Vangelova. For more of her art, one can reference her Deviant Art page here.

Rositsa Vangelova - The Unfinished Painting

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Old 11-14-2016, 04:14 PM
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Osamu Tezuka was an animation director whom any respectable fan of anime is aware of. He's considered to have been the Godfather of anime for good reason, distinctive traits of anime -- large eyes for good characters, small eyes for sinister characters for example -- were invented by Osamu Tezuka. He had a love of animation that showcased his unique perspective of the world around him, this week's offering is what I believe to be his most prominent example of his imagination run wild.

This film is called "jumping" and it's an amazing example of imagination come to life, long before the use of computer generated animation enhancements. It depicts a young child jumping, trying with each jump to witness more of his world. If you have a keen eye, you'll notice brief moments where characters from various western films make cameo appearances. While some animated films are difficult to relate to, this one captures your perspective and makes your nerves react as though you are the protagonist.

Osamu Tezuka - Jumping

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