The Northwest Film Forum’s third annual Children’s Film Festival is now underway (running through Feb. 3) and, as always, is chock full of great stuff from all over the world for everyone to enjoy, regardless of birth date. But I thought I should call a couple things in particular to your attention.
Note that you can buy advance tickets online for any screening at the Children’s Film Festival via the Brown Paper Tickets site.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
As I write this, you have only two more chances to catch this: Thursday, Jan. 31 at 8 PM and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 1 PM. And you absolutely must catch it for so many reasons. One, it’s an absolute masterpiece. Released in 1926, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is probably the first feature-length animated film ever made. But it’s very, very far from being mere film school castor oil — as you might can tell from the images above, it’s also easily among the most beautiful animated films ever made, especially in its original tinted presentation as is being shown at the festival. Working in stop-motion-animation, filmmaker Lotte Reiniger’s incredibly detailed, layered, cut-out silhouettes have to be seen to be believed. It is absolutely magical (as befitting its story source), evoking a parallel universe every bit as enveloping, sensuous and psychedelic as those crafted by Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet decades later.
Two, they’re showing a pristine 35mm tinted print! This is an incredibly rare opportunity to see this remarkable film in its fully-restored glory that no DVD or HD-TV will ever do justice to.
Third, it is being presented with a specially-commissioned score performed live by its composers, Miles and Karina. There is little better in this world than seeing a masterpiece of silent cinema shown with live accompaniment. Well okay, yeah, sex is (usually) better…but don’t tell the kids (yet).
Please, please, please do yourself a favor and make a point of seeing this film during this engagement.
Will Vinton on the History of Claymation and 3-D Animation
Once only: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 PM
Tickets at the door: $10 NWFF members / $12 General Public
These days Will Vinton is, alas, probably best known for commercials featuring singing raisins and talking candy. But when he’s not making rent (actually, even when he is), Will is one of the great animation talents of film history — and a program of his earlier work is mentioned below. But this event is a rare chance to hear the tale from the master’s own lips…and you’d be a fool to miss it.
With clips from different stages of development that led to the creation of Will Vinton Studios and to the popularity of computer animation, Will Vinton will share his personal odyssey of film projects as it relates to the growth of all forms of 3D animation. Key developments include: 1) experimentation and clay, 2) perfecting Claymation, 3) characterization and digital tools, 4) getting back to 3D animation’s roots.
Animated Genius: Films of Will Vinton
Only one chance left to see this, but Mr. Vinton will be in attendance: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 PM.
A program of Vinton’s earlier short Claymation films, many of them rarely screened:
Legacy (1979, 7 min)
The Creation (1981, 9 min)
Mountain Music (1976, 9 min)
A Christmas Gift (1980, 8 min)
Rip Van Winkle (1978, 27 min)
Not many filmmakers kick off their careers by winning an Academy Award (for Closed Mondays). Even fewer go on to breathe life into characters that become icons of animation. Fewer still achieve stunning commercial success with inventions like the California Raisins and M&M’s “Red & Yellow.” Will Vinton has done all that, in addition to founding and managing one of the most respected animation studios in history, Will Vinton Studios. Join us for this retrospective of early films by Will Vinton, and you’ll see why this boundlessly energetic and creative animator from Portland went on to win virtually every film and television award given to filmmakers. Northwest Film Forum is proud to salute Will Vinton — a world renowned Claymation pioneer who has created some of the most innovative animation in history, and who continues to break new ground under the banner of his new company, Freewill Entertainment.