SF International Animation Film Festival 2010: The Best Of Annecy – Review & Showtimes

Once a year the city of Annecy, France hosts their International Animated Film Festival, and likewise, once a year San Francisco, California has theirs.  Though the one in France is currently celebrating its 50 year anniversary and is considered by many to be the creme de la creme of all animated film festivals, the one in San Francisco (now in its 5th year) is nothing to scoff at.  That is because nestled within the city by the bay’s animated line-up are seven top choice short films from France’s Annecy Festival, rightfully called The Best of Annecy.

Full review and showtimes after the jump

Of the seven shorts, the ones that stood out were Norwegian director Anita Killi‘s Angry Man, where a boy must come to terms with his abusive father.  This harrowing fable told through the abused’s point of view is a fine example of a film evoking strong emotions from its viewer in under 20 minutes.

Belgium’s Pierre Mousquet and Cauwe Jerome‘s comical tale I Forgive You takes the phrase, “wrestling your problems out” quite literraly, as two musclebound wrestlers take to the streets in an all-out rumble to resolvement.

From Australia, Andrew Ruhermann and Shaun Tan‘s narrated story of one hoarder’s promised land, The Lost Thing, is as close to an animated version of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil – as far as futuristic set design and humor is concerned – as you can get.  Just like the previous short, Angry Man, it serves as yet another shining example of the power to make one feel such strong emotions in such short a time.

The other stand-outs were both by Germans.  Angela Steffen‘s psychedelic montage into a leaf in Lebensader takes us on a grandiose journey into the meaning of this world as we know it, while Andreas Hykade‘s Love & Theft is a circus of black & white line drawings of icons transitioning into color and set to music in a way that would make even the most promising computer generated visualizer application seem like your watching a heart rate monitor.

Not that often am I able to sit through a collection of shorts without being subjected to a handful of selections that really test my patience.  At best, the amount of good shorts I see will usually equal the amount of bad ones.  Not so was the case with The Best of Annecy, where the only bad short was around the 4 minute mark, and by ‘bad’ I just mean it wasn’t as good as the others.

Showtimes for The Best of Annecy:

Friday, November 12, 2010 7:00pm @ One Embarcadero Center

Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:45pm @ One Embarcadero Center

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