Fantasia 2017: Oscar (Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre, Canada)

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DARIA GAMLIEL for Cinetalk.net

The short animated film, Oscar by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre begins without beating around the bush. There is no flowery intro or slow lead-in. Oscar Peterson’s voice appears in the opening sequence with assurance and purpose, announcing, “I love what I do.”

There is nothing revolutionary here in terms of ‘plot’. Instead it feels more like a glimpse of the musician for audiences who may already know a bit about him. In just 12 minutes, however, we learn about loneliness on the road and the melancholy of having great news to share about last night’s performance, with family not physically present to hear about it. It is with regret that Peterson speaks Continue reading

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Fantasia 2017: Skin for Skin (Beecher, Kurytnik, Canada)

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DARIA GAMLIEL for Cinetalk.net

With neither narration nor dialogue, Skin for Skin tells the tale of the fur trading industry. Described as “a tale of profit and loss”, the events take place during a brutal animal harvest in 1823.

Warning: cute animals are suddenly gutted across the screen. Although stylistically so, this might frighten young children and sadden animal lovers. It may be gruesome, but it portrays the reality of the fur trade, and certainly sets up the plot finale, where good vanquishes evil.

Though Carol Beecher and Kevin D. A. Kurytnik have created a very violent short film, it is also teeming with visual excellence. The close attention to details in Continue reading