The best of TAFF Turku’s film festival was presented in Friday’s afternoon screening. TAFF Turku festival is international animated film festival in Finland.
One of the screenings in Friday’s program was a combination of eight selected stop motion animated films.
The opening animation titled The Country Doctor/Maalaistohtori (Katariina Lillqvist 1996) was a 15 minutes long film based on a short story by Franz Kafka. This animation shows a distinctive feature of stop motion animation, that is its rawness and its potential to show dark and scary scenes, capturing Kafkaesque nightmarish humor. It portrays the difference between 3d and stop motion animation, where the raw, stammering impression of puppets doesn’t depict the cuteness of the 3d animated characters.
The first film also signaled the viewers to expect darker or more serious stories and dark humor. However, the genres were diverse.
The crowd seemed to be drawn the most to Treevil (Aiju Salminen, Aino Ovaskainen, Christer lindström, 2002) that tells the story about a lumberjack, who is experiencing weird troubles with cutting trees, since they simply mock him and run away as soon as he chops them off. But he doesn’t give up until the very end.
Another animation that got the audience laughing was The Night Shift/Yövuoro (Samppa Kukkonen, Sara Wahl, Simo Koivunen, 2004). The animation tells a lyrical story about a bat and a family of woodpeckers, trying to make their coexistence on the same tree bearable for them all, while their different lifestyles don’t make it any easier. I particularly enjoyed the way this animation used colors, sound and facial expressions. The bat was shown in darker tones and only the pray that he neatly caught were exposed with shining tones. The woodpeckers, which were active in daylight, were shown in strong and bright colors and they seemed joyful just as much as the bat seemed annoyed when they didn’t let him sleep. Woodpeckers communicated with loud, guffawed voices and the bat with his red, annoyedrevealing eyes.
The closing animation titled The Last Elephant/Viimeinen elefantti (Antti Laasko, 2008) told an emotional story about a baby elephant, living a happy childhood life with his crocodile dad. But the little elephant sees a picture of other elephants and he wants answers his crocodile father is not completely willing to share. This animation is a story about childhood ignorance of the outside world, about growing up and finally about realizing that parents aren’t always perfect. But growing up is also realizing that they are doing what they can and what they think is best and sometimes that means trying to hide the ugliness of the world from their children or showing them the nicer gaze of the reality that is not really truthful.