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Wednesday, November 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 17.0° F  Fog/Mist
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August means animation at Wis-Kino

There were a mere five films shown at the August 19 monthly screening for Wis-Kino, the short filmmaking and viewing organization based in Madison.

The audience gathered in the large back room at Escape Java Joint on Willy Street once again that Sunday evening, taking a few moments after each short to discuss what they had just seen.

The optional theme for the month was "animation," something featured every year by the group. All films at the screening was animated, a rare occurrence but not an unexpected one given the popularity of the format.

A list and brief descriptions of films from the August 19 screening follows, many of which are available online for viewing:

  • Jabba the Hizza by Shelby Falk
    That giant old slug from Tatooine hogs the screen in this music video featuring a series of hand-drawn images and simple animations drawn from and oh, let's say inspired by the Star Wars original trilogy. Appropriately enough, the rap with the refrain "Freezin' bros in carbonite" is performed by the S.W. Mafia.

  • Clockwork by Sterling Glass
    The second work screened was likewise a music video, in this case featuring the song "Clockwork" by the Madison-based indie-pop trio BiPolar Orange. A fine arts student at the UW, Glass created a combined animated-live action short that includes hand-drawn animation, rotoscoping, and a first person perspective. While describing the making of the video, he explains his idea behind it:
    Here's my plan for the look and feel of the video: get a handful of A Scanner Darkly and a handful of Sin City. Toss them in a blender. Empty the contents onto an aluminum pie pan. Microwave the mixture on the pan for the maximum length of time before the microwave explodes.
    Glass has also written about synching the audio (here and here) for the short. After finishing it, Glass reports, he was approached by another band to make another music video.

  • Somebody Needs to Work on their Blocking by Aaron Catalano
    Ever want to watch dinosaurs playing football? This stop-action short featured clay saurians taking on one another on the gridiron of a laundry basket, backed by a live play-by-play soundtrack.

  • SuperVillain 3 by Grey Gerling
    Color takes over in this third part of the formerly black-and-white animated Anti-Hero epic. "SuperVillain becomes public enemy #1," notes Gerling. "The time has come to take down The Man." Chock full of wantonly-applied absurdist violence, the short is set to music by Funky Chair Caravan, InfiniteWalrus, The Hamster Alliance, and Patrick Hoctor. "It would probably help to have seen the other two SuperVillain cartoons prior to this one," Gerling concludes.

  • Me Not You by Grey Gerling
    The final short film at the screening was the third music video of the night, in this case set to the song "Me Not You" by the singer-songwriter Mike Mangione; more of the Milwaukee-based musician's work is available at his MySpace page. Animated in the same style as his other works, it tells the tale of a man questing for his toaster.

This month's screening for Wis-Kino will be on Sunday, September 23 at the Escape Java Joint & Art Gallery on Willy Street. The show starts at 7 p.m., and the theme is "infomercial."

Next month marks a milestone for Wis-Kino, as the group celebrates its fifth anniversary with the annual fall Kabaret. Over the course of two days and three nights, participating filmmakers will be tasked with creating an original short film in 48 hours, complete with a theme only revealed at the beginning of the two-day period. The fun will start on Thursday, October 11 with the always popular Halloween/Scary-themed screening. Two nights later, participating filmmakers will return with their new works to share with everybody.

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