FOUND IN TRANSLATION: ANIMATING THE GOOD AND THE BAD
April 18 - May 30, 2019

The ANIMATING THE GOOD AND THE BAD program looks at animated films from the Winnipeg Film Group’s catalogue. Animation can be a very effective medium for social criticism and satire, in which caricature serves as a weapon and parody is a tool for exposing the follies of social conventions and the corruption of authority.
 
 

Still image from "THE TALK" TRUE STORIES ABOUT THE BIRDS & THE BEES (« LA CONVERSATION », HISTOIRES VRAIES À PROPOS DES OISEAUX ET DES ABEILLES), Directed by Alain Delannoy | 00h 8m 50s | Comedy | 2016

FOUND IN TRANSLATION: ANIMATING THE GOOD AND THE BAD 

By Stephanie Berrington 
 

Animation can be a very effective medium for social criticism and satire, in which caricature serves as a weapon and parody is a tool for exposing the follies of social conventions and the corruption of authority. The films in this program are sometimes funny, sometimes irreverent, and sometimes dystopic in their rejection of normative ideologies. They are largely progressive and inventive, both artistically and formally, as well as politically and socially engaged.
 
Alain Delannoy’s masterful animated documentary, “THE TALK” TRUE STORIES ABOUT THE BIRDS & THE BEES, recreates a private rite of passage, the sex talk between parents and preteens, and invites the audience to share in the awkwardness and embarrassment of the memories recounted of “the talk.” This film is best watched with others since the palpable but playful public humiliation is part of its charm and fun.
 
In Trevor Kristjanson’s Boy Toys two men are manipulated by a young girl who behaves much like a director, directing actors. Her victims vainly struggle to free themselves from the girl’s smothering authority in this hilarious and surprising movie.
...sometimes funny, sometimes irreverent, and sometimes dystopic in their rejection of normative ideologies
"Boy Toys" Directed by Trevor Kristjanson, WFG, 6:21 | Comedy | 2015

"Boy Toys" Directed by Trevor Kristjanson | 00h 06m 21s | Comedy | 2015 | WFG

In Bush Wact, Mike Maryniuk mixes footage of former US President George W. Bush, justifying the American invasion of Iraq, with images from old cartoons and news shows. Maryniuk subverts this governmental propaganda, pairing a satirical song by the D.Rangers with his visually explosive anti-war collage video/scratch animation/political protest piece. 
 
Alison Davis’s Loving the Bomb crafts a vision of a western middle-class society whose economy is predicated on a vibrant arms industry. It offers us a glimpse of an America that blindly accepts the military-industrial complex propagated by war-hungry leaders like Bush and a potential reality sadly devoid of resistance.
 
The quotidian of the American middle-class is also the subject of critique in John Paizs’s 1975 animation, The Nine to Five Crack. Driven mad by daily pressures mounting at work from a demanding boss and at home from an unhappy wife, Paizs’s troubled protagonist literally takes matters into his own hands in a violent assertion of autonomy. The film looks at the dehumanizing, unfulfilling nature of many a nine-to-five office job.
...offers us a glimpse of an America that blindly accepts the military-industrial complex propagated by war-hungry leaders like Bush...
"The Nine to Five Crack", Directed by John Paizs, 00h 3m 50s | Dark Comedy | 1975, WFG

The Nine to Five Crack, Directed by John Paizs | 00h 3m 50s | Dark Comedy | 1975 | WFG

If work is neither intellectually stimulating nor personally satisfying, spiritual practices (or cerebral stimulants like cannabis) can offer escape from mundanity and a sense of meaningfulness. The two aspiring psychics in Patrick Lowe’s A Bit Transcendental embark on a cosmic quest through their consciousnesses in this amusing homage to the Canadian experimental films of the 1960s.
 
In contrast with the alternate mentality self-induced by Lowe’s wannabee psychics, Murray Toewss i want it transports us to an alternate reality in which convenience and consumption are paramount and the Earth is doomed to self-destruct. Appropriately styled as a promotional ad, the video offers a satirical critique of our current reality, which, it turns out, is not so different from Toews’s imagined one. 
... transports us to an alternate reality in which convenience and consumption are paramount and the Earth is doomed to self-destruct.
A Bit Transcendental, Directed by Patrick Lowe, 00h 4m 39s | Comedy | 2000, WFG

A Bit Transcendental, Directed by Patrick Lowe, 00h 4m 39s | Comedy | 2000, WFG

A different kind of destructive consumption is the subject of Jackie Traverse’s Empty, which reflects on the devastating effects of a young mother’s alcoholism as witnessed by her child and the traumas of displacement experienced by Indigenous families moving from the reserve to the city.  
 
Leslie Supnet’s In Still Time raises important questions about the ethics of consuming as spectators the suffering of others, witnessing trauma through the news, the Internet, or, the movies. In her haunting experimental animation, Supnet adopts found images of the ongoing Syrian civil war (a real-life dystopia), which she animates and overlays with audio from news sources, interviews, and YouTube videos posted by Syrian civilians, activists, and journalists experiencing the conflict first-hand. This final film in the program leaves us considering our complicity in the violence documented on screen, asking ourselves how catastrophe can be represented without exploitation and how we should bear witness to crisis from afar. 
... reflects on the devastating effects of a young mother’s alcoholism as witnessed by her child and the traumas of displacement experienced by Indigenous families...
Empty, Directed by Jackie Traverse | 00h 05m 07s | Personal Documentary | 2009, WFG

Empty, Directed by Jackie Traverse 00h 05m 07s | Personal Documentary | 2009, WFG

FOUND IN TRANSLATION: ANIMATING THE GOOD AND THE BAD  ///
TRADUCTION FIDÈLE: ANIMER LE BIEN ET LE MAL

 

 
"THE TALK" TRUE STORIES ABOUT THE BIRDS & THE BEES (« LA CONVERSATION », HISTOIRES VRAIES À PROPOS DES OISEAUX ET DES ABEILLES)
Directed by Alain Delannoy | 8:50 | Comedy | Mars 2016
 
There are things in life you never forget. One of them, like it or not, is "The Talk".

 
Boy Toys (Garçons jouets)
Directed by Trevor Kristjanson | 6:21 | Comedy | 2015
 
Two beautiful but vain men must survive and escape their cheerful hell as they are tormented by their ever-present overlord.

 
Bush Wact
Directed by Mike Maryniuk | 2:30 | Experimental | 2003

An anti-war collage with scratch animation on the face of George W. Bush.

 
Loving the Bomb (Aimer la bombe)
Directed by / Réalisé par Alison Davis | 4:00 | Fiction | 2009

 
Atomic positive propaganda and historical accounts of nuclear explosions infiltrate the daily existence of a family living in a town supported by atomic bomb production.
 
 
The Nine to Five Crack (Craquer de neuf à cinq)
Directed by John Paizs | 3:50 | Dark Comedy | 1975

The animated story of a timid and troubled clerk. Driven over the edge by mounting pressures, he lashes out by grabbing an axe and reaping his revenge. 

 
A Bit Transcendental (Un peu transcendantal)
Directed by Patrick Lowe | 4:39 | Comédie / Comedy | 2000
 
Two teenage psychic wannabees experiment in reading each other’s minds with unpredictable and hilarious results.
 
i want it (je le veux)
Directed by Murray Toews | 4:53 | Science-fiction | 2013
 
A promotional video is transmitted across space and time from a doomed alternate Earth, where automated shopping malls and convenience are central to its human-like inhabitants.

 
Empty (Vide)
Directed by Jackie Traverse | 5:07 | Personal Documentary | 2009

Set to music by Little Hawk, this animated and starkly honest story is a daughter’s tribute to her estranged mother. 
 

In Still Time (Au temps fixe)
Directed by Leslie Supnet | 10:23 | Experimental | 2016

Found images from the ongoing Syrian civil war are juxtaposed with audio from news sources, interviews and YouTube videos posted by Syrian civilians, activists and journalists. 

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.