by Josh Gross
Film purists often claim that the medium was destroyed with the introduction of sound, that images alone should be telling the story, that dialogue and voiceover are a crutch and one that only serves to make film closer to the stage rather than letting it be a wholly unique form of communication.
Animation, by virtue of already being a cinematic oddity, is the one place where that purity of visual storytelling has remained least corrupted. Yes, there are animated features by Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and Don Bluth that follow the standard film model complete dialogue. But animated shorts by renegade film-makers like Don Hertzfeld and Bill Plympton, and even the shorts that precede Pixar films have eschewed dialogue, using gibberish, music and sounds alone to let the images reign supreme. Some of the best of the best can be seen here.
But why watch them low-res on a streaming video feed when you can see them live on a big screen? I say don't.
Head on down to the Alaska Building at 1020 Main St. at 6 p.m. tonight to see local animator Eliza Fernand show off hand-drawn shorts, have some snacks and watch an interactive video about storytelling. The event is free and is sure to deliver stories outside the mainstream.
And if afterward, for some inexplicable reason you still have the desire, you can go see Clash of the Titans tomorrow. Unlike these films, it will be playing on the big screen for some time to come.