23 February 2013 | bob the moo
The technology may have left it behind but it is bang up to date for creativity and energy
A few years ago I had a real passion for short films, seeking them out at festivals and on television, trying to see those considered as established and also those from first time or local artists. This fell off for some reason and I found myself watching more television which is not a problem but I did decide recently I should take the time to watch short films when I have the chance. Fantasmagorie was the one of the shorts I decided to watch, partly for the historical value but also for the good things I heard about it generally.
Watching it once was not enough though, because it is very short but also moves with real speed and energy. The animation consists of chalk drawings on a black background and without any narrative context they flow across the screen, seamlessly turning from one thing into another but making a sort of sense while doing so. Every second of it is creative and clever and engaging and, most importantly, a real joy to watch. The age of the film shows in the quality of the picture (or at least it did in the version I saw) but nowhere else. There is a real pleasure to it, a sense of wonder and excitement in the animation that has stayed with it for over a century.
A great little animation; it has historical value but you will only think of that afterwards because during your several viewings I suspect you'll be too busy keeping up and enjoying the passion and flow that the images have.