This abstract yet compelling philosophical tale uses the Alexeïeff-Parker pinscreen as a metaphor for the particles that make up the universe. Through 4 tableaux that explore her character’s thoughts, filmmaker Michèle Lemieux takes a look at the profound reflections of this everyman, whose questions are part of humanity’s eternal quest for meaning.
An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, this animated short is a tragic vision inspired by the 4th movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer’s brilliant ability to evoke work and labour in his music, animator Patrick Bouchard brings earth to life through animated clay sculptures, creating a tactile nightmare in which man is his own slave driver.
This animated short by Diane Obomsawin tells the story of Kaspar, a young man who discovers life - and light - after spending his entire life in a dark cave with a small wooden horse as only company. Based on the story of Kaspar Hauser, the famous 19th century orphan who has inspired countless artists.
The NFB’s 74th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film tells the story of Vaysha, a young girl born with one green eye and one brown eye. But colour isn’t the only thing that’s different about Vaysha’s gaze. While her left eye sees only the past; her right sees only the future. Like a terrible curse, Vaysha’s split vision prevents her from inhabiting the present. Blinded by what was and tormented by what will be, she remains trapped between two irreconcilable temporalities. “Blind Vaysha,” they called her.
In this metaphoric tale of timeless wisdom and beauty based on the eponymous short story by Georgi Gospodinov, filmmaker Theodore Ushev reminds us of the importance of keeping our sights on the present moment.
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This short film from Eoin Duffy introduces a mysterious traveler journeying across time and space in search of the origin of life, God, and the universe. Looking for answers, he arrives at a devastating realization, yet the earth continues to spin.Through sharp modernist shapes and a riveting score by Menalon, I Am Here takes a curious and contemplative approach to dark and complex themes. Featuring the voice of Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci's Inquest), the film is a thoughtful and open-ended exploration of existence itself.
This animated short evokes the tragic death of Dédé Fortin, frontman, and vocalist of the Québécois band Les Colocs. To the soundtrack of “Dehors novembre,” one of the band’s songs, animator Patrick Bouchard weaves of dark tale of death and ruin, as they unfold in the dark of night, in November, the Month of the Dead. Not for children.
In this short animated film, a Grade 7 boy’s mind starts to wander while dissecting a frog in Biology class. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself charged with God-like powers? Would you use them for good? For bad? Perhaps a little of both? The possibilities seem endless. Oh to have the power to toy with life and death, to create monsters who can punish those who torment him daily, or better yet, to create that one perfect day with Lily, the love of his 12-year-old life!
Drawing inspiration from the filmmaker’s own memories and using a variety of animation techniques, from traditional animation to stop-motion puppets and more, this darkly whimsical short explores the difficult gateway between childhood and adolescence, when the approaching power of adulthood is often mistaken for omnipotence.
If I Was God is the latest offering from two-time Oscar®-nominated animator (The Cat Came Back, Strange Invaders) and long-time NFB collaborator Cordell Barker.
In this short animation, a little girl wonders aloud about herself and the world while a storm rattles the night sky. The film, which explores thoughts of the universe without making concessions or providing answers, is based on Michèle Lemieux’s Gewitternacht, a children’s book first published in 1996 and translated into 13 languages.
An animator dissects his own body, extracting memories, emotions and fears that will nurture his work. As he cuts into his skin with a scalpel, various symbolic objects recalling his past emerge. Reaching the heart after cracking his ribs, he succeeds in identifying the burden he’s been dying to cast off.
The NFB’s 71st Oscar®-nominated film.
In keeping with their Sunday tradition, after mass a family flocks to grandma and grandpa’s house, where the chaotic discussion soon begins to resemble a raucous gathering of crows on power lines. The local factory has shut its doors and, naturally, the adults can’t stop fretting about their money woes. On this particular grey Sunday, a young boy drops a coin on some nearby train tracks out of sheer boredom. Picking the coin up after a train has run over it, he discovers to his astonishment that an amazing transformation has taken place... Sunday, Patrick Doyon’s first film, is a magical tale that imparts important lessons about life as seen through the eyes of a child.
Ages 13 to 17
Ethics and Religious Culture - Ethical Values
Health/Personal Development - Identity
Science - Biology
Science - Space
In keeping with the film’s four chapters, invite students to ponder the notion of the invisible through these questions: How can we describe mystery and wonder? How can we explore the great and the small in the universe from a scientific, empirical, artistic and philosophical point of view? Where do we situate the individual in the cosmos? Hubert Reeves’s writings, which inspired the director, would complement this activity nicely.