Dinnerware, Eggs, and Wine Shatter and Seamlessly Repair in Dramatic Digital Animation by Optical Arts
July 1, 2020


A new CGI animation by Optical Arts depicts what would be a dinner-party nightmare: ceramic plates and bowls shatter, red wine cascades from long-stemmed glasses, and sharp knives dive to the floor. Despite its explosive scenes, “Tocatta” subsequently shows the same dinnerware, drinks, and plates of boiled eggs seamlessly repair and float upward as whole objects.
A multivalent consideration of physical contact, the word “tocatta” both originates from an Italian form of “to touch” and refers to a musical composition designed to showcase the performer’s refined techniques. More Continue reading

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Autumn Leaves Crackle and Writhe Like a Flame in Short Film by Animator William Crook
June 8, 2020


In “Stickmatch,” a new short film, a matchstick-like twig lands onto the screen, and with one long strike, it spontaneously ignites flames. These sparks don’t manifest in their usual form, though. The flames are replaced with leaves from various trees that are colored all the hues of autumn, from bright green to amber yellow. 
Created by William Crook, a London-born animator who now lives in Zürich, “Stickmatch” was an undertaking at a residency at Sasso in Italy. More Continue reading

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2,863 Prescription Pills and Candy Cycle Through a Satirical Animated Short
May 30, 2020

Animation director Patrick Smith ingeniously interchanges a variety of pills, capsules, and syringes with similarly shaped candy in a vertiginous new short film. Parodying the ubiquity of modern pharmaceutical use, “Candy Shop” opens by noting that there are a staggering 11,926 prescription drugs available to consumers. Smith shows only 2,863 as he juxtaposes them with individually wrapped sweets, boxes of Gobstoppers, and rolls of Hubba Bubba Tape, which are eerily comparable in size, shape, and color. More Continue reading

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A Chef Demonstrates the Emotional Steps of How To Make Sushi
May 8, 2020

How to Make Sushi outlines all the necessary tasks to assemble maki: slice your fish, spread the rice, bleed from avocado hand, sweat all over your workspace, spend years agonizing over perfection, and finally, slice your roll into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy?
Made by London-based director and 3D designer Jonathan Lindgren, the humorous animation provides a quirky look at mastering a craft. It’s complete with the basic kitchen skills like cleaning a knife and gathering ingredients, in addition to more emotional labor like ending a romantic relationship and rising early each day. More Continue reading

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An Unnerving New Film by Paul Trillo Imagines Earth Moments Before It’s Sucked into a Black Hole
May 1, 2020

A new film by New York-based director Paul Trillo lingers for just a moment on a serene body of water before plunging into a dizzying series of landscape transformations. “Until There Was Nothing” considers how Earth’s natural landscapes and city life would look just moments before being consumed by a black hole. The surreal work shows massive waves suddenly crawling up the left side of the frame, the tops of taxi cabs shooting into the air, and an entire forest of trees ascending in an amorphous mass. More Continue reading

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In a New Stop-Motion Film, Swoon Explores Trauma, Memory, and the Body
March 25, 2020

Caledonia Curry, aka Swoon, is known for her street art utilizing paper that’s pasted onto building walls, but the Brooklyn-based artist has made a recent pivot that transfers her mythical style to stop-motion animations. Part of her solo exhibition Cicada, Curry’s short film “Sofia and Storm” is centered on a human-arachnid hybrid. After emerging from a dense mass, the gold-faced feminine figure opens up her chest cavity to reveal dark, hanging matter that eventually is absorbed. More Continue reading

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Six-Year-Old Tulip Navigates a Wooly Garden in a New Animation by Andrea Love
February 14, 2020

Andrea Love (previously) is back with a new heart-felt animation detailing the journey of a six-year-old girl named Tulip. An adaptation of Hans Christen Anderson’s Thumbelina, the 8-minute short film will chronicle Tulip’s adventures navigating a dense garden after being born from a flower. “We wanted to create a contemporary adaptation of Thumbelina that allows Tulip to be a child, free from a love-story ending and able to find home in more places than one, while maintaining the original story’s themes of risk, adventure and magic,” a statement about the project says. More Continue reading

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A New Short Film Demonstrates the Difficulty of Escaping City Life
January 23, 2020

Breaking free from urban life is no easy feat for the main figure in “Le Silence de la rue,” or “The Silence of the street.” The monochromatic film produced by Miyu Productions, which is led by Emmanuel-Alain Raynal and Pierre Baussaron, details the stark dichotomy of spending time in unaltered natural spaces and in a dirty, bustling neighborhood. Opening with a blooming flower, the gloomy film turns to a black being who struggles to stay afoot in the dense streets as a horde of anonymous figures push by. More Continue reading

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Snails Paint the Town in Miniature Scenes Crafted by Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland
January 17, 2020

Illinois-based Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland have a knack for creating miniature—and slimy—worlds just big enough for their tiny acquaintances to glide through. The creative duo is known for constructing realistic domestic settings featuring plastic covered furniture and a messy painting studio occupied by snails for its stills and short films. Now, though, the artists are pushing the critters beyond their comfortable homes for a fun night out. The snails are shot sliding up to a limo, basking under the glimmer of a disco ball, and gobbling up a cheeseburger in a quaint diner. More Continue reading

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