In this animated film without words, filmmaker Pierre Hébert and musicians Robert Lepage and René Lussier worked together, and separately, in their respective media. This cinema/music performance recreates, impressionistically, the dehumanizing environment of the urban subway. Drawings etch the outlines of people hurtling through space in underground tunnels. The soundtrack, elemental and atonal, gives compelling expression to their alienation.
Watch an early experiment using computers to animate film. The result is a dazzling vibration of geometric forms in vivid colour, an effect achieved by varying the speed at which alternate colours change, so producing optical illusions. In between these screen pyrotechnics there appears a simple line form gyrating in smooth rhythm. Sound effects are created by registering sound shapes directly on the soundtrack of the film.
In this short animation based on Marie-Francine Hébert's 2003 book of the same name, a friendship unites two little girls from opposing clans in a village where tensions are mounting. The citizens with the red shoes clearly despise those without, and one fateful morning, one of the girls and her family are accosted at gunpoint by their oppressors. The little girl barely has time to grab her beloved pet fish before the men are herded to one side and the women and children to the other. So begins our protagonist's long and painful journey as she seeks shelter for herself, her mother, and her fish. This modern tale compassionately and poetically addresses intolerance and the consequences of war.
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Bretislav Pojar's animated short explores the human phenomenon of resorting to violence over reason. The cubes live happily amongst themselves until one of them encounters a ball. War erupts and they fight until they all become the same again – this time in the form of hexagons. All is right in the world until one of them stumbles upon a triangle… Winner of the 1973 Grand Prix du Festival for Short Film at the International Film Festival in Cannes.
Animator Ryan Larkin does a visual improvisation to music performed by a popular group presented as sidewalk entertainers. His take-off point is the music, but his own beat is more boisterous than that of the musicians. The illustrations range from convoluted abstractions to caricatures of familiar rituals. Without words.
This animated short poses some interesting questions: what if buildings pulsed, trees tapped out beats, or shadows could whistle a tune? Through the creative interpretation and animation of the city's natural rhythms, Orange orchestrates a contagious urban dance.
Produced as part of the 5th edition of the NFB’s Hothouse apprenticeship.
The NFB's 16th Oscar®-nominated film.
Arthur Lipsett's first film is an avant-garde blend of photography and sound. It looks behind the business-as-usual face we put on life and shows anxieties we want to forget. It is made of dozens of pictures that seem familiar, with fragments of speech heard in passing and, between times, a voice saying, "Very nice, very nice." It was critically acclaimed and plays frequently in festivals and film schools around the world.
They raised children, baked cakes... and built world-class fighter planes. Sixty years ago, thousands of women from Thunder Bay and the Prairies donned trousers, packed lunch pails and took up rivet guns to participate in the greatest industrial war effort in Canadian history. Like many other factories across the country from 1939 to 1945, the shop floor at Fort William's Canadian Car and Foundry was transformed from an all-male workforce to one with forty percent female workers.
A film in which both sound and image were created with a minimum of photographic or electronic equipment. The images are a few simple geometric forms--squares, circles, lines, ellipses--arranged and counter-arranged to generate an increasing number of perceived images. Their appearance on the screen is as percussive as the sound that accompanies them.
The NFB's 29th Oscar®-nominated film.
In this animated short, director Peter Foldès depicts one man’s descent into greed and gluttony. Rapidly dissolving and ever-evolving images create a contrast between abundance and want. One of the first films to use computer animation, this satire serves as a cautionary tale against self-indulgence in a world still plagued by hunger and poverty.
The NFB’s 11th Academy-Award winning film. This short animation follows Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet the famous writer Sigrid Undset. Kasper attempts to answer some pretty big questions: can we trace the chain of events that leads to our own birth? Is our existence just coincidence? Do little things matter? As Kasper's quest for inspiration unfolds, it appears that a spell of bad weather, an angry dog, slippery barn planks, a careless postman, hungry goats and other seemingly unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all.
This wartime publicity trailer by Norman McLaren focuses on wartime inflation and the role of price control. Single-frame animation is used with pen drawings made directly on 35mm film stock. Music is by Louis Applebaum, a leading composer and advocate for the arts in Canada.
Ages 12 to 17
Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities
Media Education - Film Animation
Social Studies - Communities in Canada/World