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Ob železnici 8
Maribor, Upravna enota Maribor, 2000
Slovenia

StopTrik International Film Festival is dedicated to stop motion techniques of hand-made, spatial animation as puppet film, claymation, object or photography manipulation, animation of loose materials (such as salt, sand etc), pixilation, traditional cut-out and many more. The list of sub-genres could be complemented with such exceptional techniques as animation of lights, fire, yarns, threads. Artists' imagination is limitless and so we can be neither orthodox nor strict while defining the term "stop motion". The ultimate goal of this unique annual gathering is to admire and celebrate artistry of hand-made, spatial animation together with all the other drifters of the surreal, absurd or merry highways who are ready to pursue frame by frame illusion.

SOFIA PAPATSIMPA: Impressions from the 1st and 2nd Competitive Parts of Stoptrik

Workshot

SOFIA PAPATSIMPA: Impressions from the 1st and 2nd Competitive Parts of Stoptrik

igor unuk


On Saturday evening we finally had the chance to watch the first 2 competitive parts of this year’s edition of the festival. 17 films in total, many afterthoughts with the ending titles.

Peeping at the short summary of the films in the festival catalogue, I wasn’t really sure of what to expect, but I was more than confident that I would be probably engaged into new questions concerning my so-far-short but exciting acquaintance with the world of stop-motion animation. And I was right. What I found the most striking and fascinating after both screenings was the variety of techniques employed by the animators. I found myself wondering at the creative process as such and the innumerous possibilities behind the making-of. The diversity of genres is also worth mentioning, since I could trace a vast variety of thematic approaches, some of them more psychological, others more aesthetic, some grotesque, others more funny and satirical, some creepy and wicked, others horrific and scary. This element also contributed to transforming the night into a multidimensional animation journey.

Among the films, I singled out a bunch of them, either inspired by the story or the technique used to make them, other times by both.

 Ginevra, Tess Martin (Monticello Park Productions), 2017, NLD/USA

Ginevra, Tess Martin (Monticello Park Productions), 2017, NLD/USA

 I would like to specially mention Tess Martin’s short Ginevra, which captured me with its aesthetic plurality and narrative approach. Based on Percy Shelley’s lyrical poem The Dirge, the narration describes a young woman’s murder scene. We had the chance to meet with the Tess, who guided us through the creative steps and the difficulties of transforming such distinct and challenging literary genre into a stop-motion project. It was interesting to realize that with simple materials, such as paper cuts, you can create almost multi-dimensional and realistic figures. Knowing how to manipulate the light and shadows properly is the key.

 Frog Song, Violaine Pasquet (Studio d’Animation La Fabule), 2016, FRA

Frog Song, Violaine Pasquet (Studio d’Animation La Fabule), 2016, FRA

 Frog song by Violaine Pasquet kept me going with its musicality and sensible approach. Inspired by New Orleans’ jazz heritage. It gives a powerful message about how a community that is phenomenally weak, connected with music, tradition, heritage and determination can fight against every kind of oppressive monster, real or fictional. I could detect the political oeuvre of the short, which was elaborately and discretely channeled through a simple, subtle and touching story. Violaine was there giving us an insight into her voyage through the creative process of the piece.

 Framed, Marco Jemolo (Grey Ladder), 2017, ITA

Framed, Marco Jemolo (Grey Ladder), 2017, ITA

My final mention goes for Marco Jemolo’s Framed. I found this animation quite special since it offers us a study into the nature of the stop-motion technique. The puppet doll is oppressed, he seems to suffer without being aware of the origins of his oppression. The help that he aspires to is not fully achieved. This is a question for the author of animation, how far can you go into manipulating the puppets even if they do not have their own will? How easy is it to project emotions, psychological states and attitudes to a manufactured object? It is also a reminder; a reminder of how much patience, creativity, restlessness and hard work it takes to finish a work.