Those who want everything from a night at the movies—humor, car chases, social commentary, zombies, Ed Asner—will get it at Animation Block Party. Brooklyn’s annual festival celebrating the best of the year’s independent animation is making a local stop to screen this year’s cream of the crop at two showings.
ABP has been running strong since its inception in 2004. It originated as a single-day, single-venue showcase and over the years has evolved into its current form—a weekend-long event spanning multiple venues, enticing Thomas Bayne (of Adult Swim’s The Venture Bros.) and Amy Steinberg, co-creator of Nickolodeon’s Chickie Poo, to sit on last year’s jury. Some entries have gained notoriety from national exposure. Perfectland is an "environmentally charged" series shown on two of MTV’s websites and Breakfast, a "cereal" (sorry, couldn’t resist) about two film students who hang out in a diner, aired on the Sundance Channel. The festival showcases some local talent, with Alex Cormack’s Burnout, probably the most intense paper cutout death-race to date.
The lion’s share of the content, like Roommates, Puke Bug and Kid Show is good for big laughs, while A Letter to Colleen, a powerful account of a boy’s 18th birthday in a room full of strung-out teens, is sure to leave viewers feeling uncomfortable. Other entries just need to be seen, like I Live in the Woods, described as "a woodsman’s manic journey and confrontation with America’s God."
Both animation fanatics and casual moviegoers craving something different could drop into this wildly creative array of shorts. Some are funny, some embody deep personal expression, but they all contribute to an insane smorgasbord of eye candy.
[Animation Block Party. Fri & Sat 3.27.09-3.28.09. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 617.734.2500. midnight/18+/$7.75. coolidge.org]