Friday, October 31, 2008

[Animation Nation] Berni's Doll / Fear(s) of the Dark

Who's Afraid?

Berni's Doll just cracked me up with its black humour, and for those who had watched Lars and the Real Girl, well this takes it a notch hire where the protagonist has to DIY (the doll that is) from parts ordered through the mail. I guess one can get through dead end routines should there be something to look forward to at the end of a dreadful work day. For all its 12 minutes, this black and white French animation is full of wit and I enjoyed every second of it.

Fear(s) of the Dark however was quite a mixed bag, which of course is natural considering it consists of a series of black and white shorts which were worked on by different animators. The stories are quite diverse, though never far from its intended doom and gloom, and the macabre of course, with a story of an old man walking 4 hounds connecting all the shorts together.

Easily adaptable as mini horror stories in the veins of Tales from the Crypt style, the stories range from a romance between a boy and a girl involving some stunning transformation, to even being set in a different land and era altogether. With black and white, there was great use of lighting and even basic geometric shapes were effectively used, as demonstrated in the last short. With different segments come different direction and styles adopted, this film serves as a quick introduction to a group of talented animation filmmakers that one hopes to see more of their works in future.

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