Cordoba Animation Festival

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Cordoba Animation Festival

Postby Barry » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:23 am

Well that was a strange and arduous 30 odd hours, but I'm in Cordoba now, a little wary from the flight. Too many hours sat in Heathrow did it for me, though an encoutner with a lady of very uncertain years left me smiling. She was sat next to me in an italian coffee shop, dressed in a vibrant and reckless green, otherwise tumbling hair caught in a huge flower, reading Dickens I think. As she got up to left I told her that she looked splendid and that was a beautiful green. Without a pause she came back with 'but not as beautiful as your eyes'. Well .....
Long flights and seemingly bumpy all the way. Travelling may be a wonder and a miracle but it is certainly not a pleasure these days. The long flight to Santiago was well long but I was entertained royally by the in flight movies....hundreds of them when you want them. How does that work. But watching Breakfast at Tiffany's whilst flying over the Andes was a good experience. But oh the flight dragged on for 14 hours.
Finally I was met in Cordoba by Paola and Sebastian with beaming smiles.
A quick snooze before I'm on.......

THE NEXT THIRTY HOURS
Probably even stranger and already blurring into a mass of colour and chat and strange sights and even stranger films.
So various snippets – a good afternoon tea with Sebastian and Alej – apple jam and Argentian tea. Then I met all the helpers of the festival and a gorgeous friendly bunch they are too. We watched some winning films from last year and my eyes started to cover up and I retired to the huge bed. Today though it’s been doing a lot of press, and a lot really. TV,newspapers, and the difficult question of what do I think of Cordoba and the animation. Well I’ve not seen enough yet. After the press conference where I prattled on saying nothing really I had lunch with Maureen – a delicious lunch in the sun; chicken with apple slices baked in juice in the oven. So good. And what a treat this afternoon. Sebastian had organised a trip round the Opera House for me, and that really was a treat. Not perhaps the most beautiful auditorium but hugely impressive in its size and layout – intimate yet grand. Two staff took us round and enjoyed me being giddy. We went on stage and oh I want to work on that scale. A quick shower then some latin American films that all had some really great ideas and visuals, but suffered from being too long and drawn out, and with music too often being an afterthought. But interesting all the same. I was fading and didn’t quite manage the whole programme but a cool drink with Sebastian and Alej helped me unwind. We sat under trees late at night, listening to tango in the street, and watching a gorgeous dog in a t-shirt, talking about everything – us, not the dog. As I walked home all the ladies from the festival ran up to me and hugged me and kissed me. How do you do that, two American students asked. I’m not sure. Maybe an English accent helps, but I don’t actually know what I have done to deserve all this. Not everyone seems to have seen the films, but they are all mighty thrilled I’m here. A case of mistaken identity perhaps. But hey, what a day.
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Re: Cordoba Animation Festival

Postby Barry » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:36 pm

http://www.cordoba.net/nota.asp?nota_id=557645

yours truly sweating away in argentina
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Re: Cordoba Animation Festival

Postby Barry » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:58 pm

October 12th 2009
I'm now back home and it is hard to make sense of these last few days really, especially the great warmth and respect and joy I’ve encountered. What is it about animation that generates this. I’m sure plumbing or medical conferences don’t engender such passion. I was told that the festival had not been financially supported as it might have been as it was not relevant. Seeing the excitement of the audience watching these films, and chatting to me, and other film makers and such, it’s hard not to see the relevance. Animation and all good art that works communicates without the necessity of particular languages or social structures. Animation can cut through all that and get straight to the human stories, bonding people with a shared passion. I couldn’t speak Spanish, nor could some of the guests speak English but we had the films and the love of animation. At my meet the jury, and during my workshop I showed several clips of great works of art, notably David Bintley’s Still Life at the Penguin Café – music, design, movement, ideas and emotions all coming together in something unique and utterly moving. The audiences clearly understood what I was talking about. As I got rather emotional talking about how watching and creating these things make it a joy to be alive, I had reduced the gorgeous Carmen, the director of the festival to tears. Yep, art does something nothing else can. And it is relevant.
I can't say that I saw much of Cordoba other than a lot of rooms. I was kept busy and I couldn't manage to go out to a restaurant after midnight. My body clock definitely fought that. ButI had the screenings to watch. I'd recommend that next festival they don't have them in three and a half hour chunks as that was draining, but we certainly saw some great films, and ones that provoked lively debate. A common thread was that they were all generally too long and would all benefit form some judicious cutting. But some great techniques and ideas. Someone should write a thesis about Cats in animation. Actually I don't remember seeing a single cat in Cordoba - maybe just as well as if they had been like the packs of thin dogs roaming the city I would have got upset and adopted them all.
My workshop seemed to go well, and was certainly packed and still packed six hours later. I think people come expecting to be taught how to animate or at least seen it demonstrated which is hard to do without a set up that would stretch the resources and budget, but I didn't short change this audience. I worry that perhaps I always end up showing my favourite clips of films, ballet and so on, but all the clips are chosen because, simply, they work and if I cna get the audience to see how and why they work they can apply that to the animation. I did go through Next in great detail and rather briefly skimmed through Screen Play and Achilles - all three films still seem to work, Screen Play particularly, though all I can see are the mistakes.
Waiting in the hotel before the awards do was an odd experience. It was dark and very stormy - lightning forking everywhere, all timed with cheers and screams form the whole sity watching an important football match, and in the Rear Window like apartment blocks opposite were people walkign round naked and half naked in the heat, throwing things at the screen or calmly standing out on the balcony, as I was, watching the storm. A hot sultry night.
I was very sad to leave everyone and it did get emotional and very tactile. In this region it is just one kiss on the cheek but lots of touching and hugging - and there were certainly a lot of that on saturday night.
As always though I want this to be a brownie point towards the next film, for someone up there to be keeping a tally of all the good things I have done and for these to count towards the next project. Back home what I got up to in Cordoba, and whatever good or what I achieved will count for naught back home.
A long journey home, and it is bizarre to see the Andes, the huge dry plains of Spain (where the rain clearly hadn't stayed on the plain), the complete shape fo the Isle of Wight and the lush fields outside Manchester all in one day. I did get a twinge of something emotional flying back over the White Cliffs of Dover. The emotion on the flight back to manchester though was of anger and embarrassment at how some Mancunians can really let the side down. Racist, sxist, homophobic, ignorant jokes a plenty from a gang of drunk lads, and a businesswoman who had had one sherry too much and was ready to pounce on anything in trousers, and pounce very loudly. Sometimes mancunians lack a certain finesse, a finesse and elegance I have seen plenty of this week. I would liked to have got out of the airport in Chile and seen the Andes properly and enjoyed the colour of the costumes and llamas and such.....I had tomake do with admiring the tourist gifts in the airport shop and imagine what the real art was like. I was surprised to see so much Rapa Nui stuff, but then if I had done my homework, Easter Island is relatively not far away.
Anyway I am home, though the ground still seems to be moving. I have a million business cards to sort out, and a million memories of great films and lovely people to slowly digest.
I have a feeling it may not be long before I am back.
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