By Carolyne WeldonWatch the playlist
We put together a collection of NFB films to spook you out for Halloween. Break out the candy and enjoy... though you may want to keep the lights on.
This animation short is an adaptation of Michel Tremblay's short story "The Devil and the Mushroom." A tale of supernatural power, greed and violence, it involves a sinister stranger who single-handedly transforms a quiet village into the scene of a phantasmagoric nightmare.
In this animated short from Richard Condie (The Big Snit), an old fool meets a young fool at a crossroads in the 14th century. The old fool stays behind while the young fool skips blindly down the wrong road. The old fool must then teach his young apprentice about the consequences of taking the wrong road. A quirky tale told without words.
This stop-motion animated film takes viewers on an exhilarating existential journey into the fully imagined, tactile world of Madame Tutli-Putli. As she travels alone on the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past, she faces both the kindness and menace of strangers. Finding herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure, adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons.
This animated short is a visual representation of Goethe's poem, The ErlKing that uses sand-on-glass animation set to the music of Franz Schubert. The moving images, resembling woodcuts, capture the haunting, nightmarish quality of the tale of the ErlKing who steals and kills a little boy.
In this animated short, the selfishness of the bourgeoisie and the oppression and exploitation of its servants take centre stage as a puppet show presents the tragicomedy of a society in its death throes.
In this animated short, two chimney sweepers clear all the memories from their victim's brain in a quest to determine what goes on in a man's head. A chilling film filled with fearsome puppets inhabiting a world of strange objects.
Part figurative, part abstract, Drux Flux is an animated short comprised of fast-flowing images showing modern people crushed by industry. Inspired by One-Dimensional Man, by philosopher Herbert Marcuse, the filmmaker deconstructs industrial scenes and their terrifying geometry to show the inhumanity of progress.
In this animated short, an oafish ghoul and his soft exposed brain are met with ruin when the brain is unexpectedly killed. Though paralyzed, the ghoul attains a fresh brain and is fed with new life. This film was made as part of the 5th edition of the NFB's Hothouse apprenticeship.
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.
This animated short film attempts to answer the eternal questions, What is dying? and How does it feel? Based on recent studies, case histories and some of the ancient myths, the afterlife state is portrayed as an awesome but methodical working-out of all the individual's past experiences. Film without words.
This animated short tells the tale of a vampire forced go out every night to separate children from their heads. The reason? His vain wife wants to replace her wrinkled head with one that is young and pretty. What a horror! Especially since the lady of the house is never satisfied and the heads keep piling up on the floor. How will our reluctant vampire ever get out of this vicious cycle?
This short animation tells the story of Saoussan, a young girl struggling to adjust to life in Canada after being uprooted from her wartorn homeland. She has come to seek a quieter and safer life, although memories of war and death linger, memories that are awakened when the children at her new school prepare for a scary Halloween. From Far Away speaks to the power within us all to adapt like Saoussan and to welcome a newcomer. Part of the Talespinners collection, which uses vibrant animation to bring popular children’s stories from a wide range of cultural communities to the screen.
This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times. Part two of a series of three films on women and spirituality, which includes Goddess Remembered and Full Circle.
Blending fantasy and reality, this animated short is a bold inquiry into an as yet unresolved problem - the nature of human identity. When a scientist creates a machine that can make copies of physical objects, including humans, a number of ethical questions arise. Is the technique moral? What of its safety? A film by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Weldon (who also wrote the catchy banjo tune that punctuates the story's changing moods).