In a frenzied attempt to break the isolation, a man drums his head against the wall, unleashing a battery of brightly hued hallucinations.
Produced as part of the 13th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship.
Strength. Challenges. Courage. Modern Alchemy depicts a quest for self-knowledge that revolves around resilience, reconstruction and rebirth. A succession of colours, each more vibrant than the last, in which one stops breathing for a moment to find a path toward inner peace. A film from the Alambic collection, a creative lab by the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio that’s designed for emerging filmmakers.
Two sisters grow up in Vietnam and are separated by the war between North and South. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Thao, in her teens, must leave the country with her uncle. Her sister Sao Maï, only a little older, remains with their parents, hoping they will soon be reunited. But their separation will last nearly 20 years, and the letters they exchange are their only way to connect and relieve their loneliness. Thao and Sao Maï write about their everyday lives, their memories, the war, and its ghosts.
In the voiceover for this animated short, a young woman attempts to describe herself, casting her life in the ideal light that society expects. The film’s imagery, however, tells a different story, poignantly illustrating the intense anxiety that comes with the quest for perfection and the pursuit of happiness. A film that’s both funny and moving, and above all, profoundly human.
A woman sits in a hospital room, alone with her dying father. As the din of hospital noises pushes her to confront her inevitable loss, she escapes into a series of lush childhood memories. 4 North A is a celebration of the fleeting joys of life and a bittersweet reminder that we don’t always get the closure we seek.
What could the illness afflicting Henri Castagnette be? Filled with anxiety, the young man puts his fate in the hands of the off-puttingly exuberant Dr. Von Strudel. In The Turtle Syndrome, Samuel Cantin, author of the popular “motormouth” graphic novels Phobie des moments seuls and Whitehorse, recounts the story of an endearing anti-hero’s frenzied and hilarious medical appointment. Produced by the NFB, The Turtle Syndrome is part of the Comic Strip Chronicles collection.
An ominous ticking sound triggers a massive explosion. A swarm of objects and figures scatters unforgivably. In the aftermath, only a few souls remain, including an elegant elderly woman. Wandering deserted city streets, the tired, stoic woman painfully recalls what was and what could have been. As a flood slowly swallows the city, she shares a final moment of grieving beauty. The final film (and first part) of Marta Pajek’s award-winning trilogy, Impossible Figures and other stories I is a mysterious and haunting portrait of personal and societal self-destruction. Using striking black-and-white imagery and occasional brushes of colour, the acclaimed filmmaker directs this post-apocalyptic animated short with gentleness, compassion and a dash of hope. Impossible Figures and other stories I is a co-production between Animoon and the National Film Board of Canada.