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Heart Breaking and Beautiful: Anita Killi's Angry Man

Showing at San Francisco animation Film Festival 2010

What is it about animation that can capture emotion and feeling so well? I suppose it's just the theme I have been talking about: subjectivity. Because so much attention to detail is paid by the creator to every single frame in animation, there's a lot of room for her/him to display the kind of feeling she/he means to and the world we see on screen ends up being the animator's brain poured out into an animation.

Whatever the case, Angry Man created by Anita Killi of Norway, shown at the San Francisco International Animation festival last night as part of the Best of Annecy program rendered me the most heartbroken I have ever been by a work of art, maybe ever. I kept thinking while watching it this had to be because so much thought was put into the the look (seems to be mostly hand-drawn and cut-outs) and the sound of it... the scene was created so well. Turns out Angry Man has won awards across the world, including Short Film Special Jury Award at Annecy 2010, Best animated short film at the Chicago International Film Festival, and was nominated for an Amanda Award: an award given annually at the Norwegian International Film Festival to promote and improve Norwegian film.

This film is about domestic abuse, but shouldn't be misrepresented as only that. This is an incredible moving work of art. "It is of comfort to be able to combine artistic film with important issues. The issues shouldn't just be sad or heavy. But if the audience are moved it can open up for a good conversations or the feeling of having learned or experienced something important," says Killi on her website on the subject.

Angry Man starts with a little bird who says, "To everyone who has a secret..." What follows is a portrayal of an "Angry Man" inside the father of a young boy who thinks it's his fault that his father is so angry. Eventually we hear the birds whisper, "Pass it on." Thus the tagline of the film: Some secrets shouldn't be kept secret. Killi says on her website: "Through the years I've been more and more aware that my projects should have a proper message so it would feel right to spend years to create some tiny minutes of film." Makes sense right? Animation takes FOREVER, why not make that time count? She is also particularly interested in children's entertainment. "I primarily want to work with film for children that also should inspire the adults. Children are vulnerable and ear easily affected and that's why filmmakers should have a great responsibility as conveyors, messengers and educators. Quality film for children are sadly often of lesser priority than artistic films for adults which is of abundance."

Thanks Anita. Can't wait to see what's next.


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