One of the things that festivals have to do to shake things up is to show visual mediums outside of feature films. This year’s BITS Festival had a whole program of web series and music videos to do just that. I felt a certain reluctance about writing about such formats just because of how difficult it is, but I’ll try.
There’s not much in Eric Falardeau’s The Forest, a music video he animated for the band SerVant. SerVant plays a garage rock song about a guy running through, well, a forest, a place where anyone’s chances of survival are slim. I like most old school animation styles especially ones dealing with water, but better examples can express shadow AND detail.
Chelsea Jade McEvoy’s Palludis is much better. The production value here is cheap but it’s enough to give a sense of disbelief. There’s even something inviting about the neon colors McEvoy uses to fill the sets. What helps that disbelief is the banter between Myfanwy (Sydney Powers) and Taryn (Zoe Fraser). They’re romantic partners who are running a doomed spaceship. I know if they survive or not, but y’all should find out if they do too.
Denver Jackson’s Esluna: The First Monolith is one of the exceptions to the rule. I have no idea what’s going on here but that confusion seems irrelevant to my enjoyment. Maeve (Grace Chan) is an animation character looking for monoliths? Anyway, as you can see from earlier, old animation can go 50/50, and Jackson effectively uses his style to evoke a sense of wonder.
Lastly, Paul Tanter’s Age of the Living Dead is an 18 part series juggling three post-Americas. But the central portion of the former Union is a No Man’s Land. There, a human (Everett Moss) rescues a woman who turns out to be a vampire’s daughter (Nicola Posener). I get it, all monsters are allegories, but this feels too close to home for anyone to enjoy it.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Horror, Sci-Fi
- Release Date: 11/1/2020
- Directed by: Chelsea Jade McEvoy, Denver Jackson, Eric Falardeau, Paul Tanter
- Starring: Everett Moss, Grace Chan, Nicola Posener, Sydney Powers, Zoe Fraser
- Produced by: Daniel Hogg, Mem Ferda, Michael Ryan Leinweber, Simon Philips
- Written by: C.S. John, Denver Jackson, Erica Meaney, Paul Tanter, Simon Phillips
- Studio: Alpha Hollywood Studios, Artistar, Runaway Features