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041Balance by Wolfgang Lauenstein

balance

This clay based animation is a depiction of the need for harmony and the danger of greed. Its simplicity is what makes it brilliant.

Since their academy award win in 1989, the twin brothers from Germany have concentrated on commercial work for a list of international clients such as MTV, Coca-Cola, Nike and Smarties.

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040A & P by John Updike

john updike

A & P has divided readers for decades. A Holden Caulfield type checkout boy becomes distracted by three girls who walk into the supermarket in bathing suits. When the protagonist tries to stick up for them, is it as an attack on hypocrisy and a defender of reason, or is he just smitten because they’re semi naked?

The ambiguity is what makes this story great, simply because, life is rarely that clear cut.

John Updike was one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century. In a career spanning over 50 years, he wrote dozens of novels, short story and poetry collections.

A & P, collected in Pigeon Feathers, is one of the hundreds of Updike stories published in the New Yorker.

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039Wasp by Andrea Arnold

wasp

Wasp is the heartbreaking story of a single mother in Dartford. Although she can barely feed her four children, Zoe is determined to rekindle a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, David.

Dartford is Arnold’s home town and her familiarity with the area and conditions in the story are probably what make Wasp so raw and unsystematic to the characters.

It won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 2005.

Andrea Arnold went on to direct the award winning Fish Tank in 2009.

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038Logorama by H5

logorama

Anti-corporate messages don’t come any more shit kicking than this. Logorama is an action packed animation based in a Los Angeles made up entirely of 2500 logos.

Ronald McDonald, Michelin Man and Green Giant lead a star studded cast of mascots and brand identities through a typical blockbuster action movie plot. It’s everything from Pulp Fiction to Lethal Weapon, with a strong hint of Dante’s Peak or any other disaster movie.

This is not only an attack on how ludicrously engrained marketing is in our everyday, but also sharp slap across the face of Hollywood.

Logorama won a list of awards in 2009/2010.

H5 is a French animation studio that gained most notoriety for its music videos and advertising. Logorama was the company’s first short animation.

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037All That by David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace

All That was posthumoursly published by the New Yorker in 2009. It reflects on the ironies of childhood belief and understanding with typically brilliant humour, honesty and intelligence.

This is labelled as fiction with all the high definition of non-fiction. My sense is that it could be at least a blend. David Foster Wallace was profilic and acclaimed in both genres. His opus Infinite Jest was listed in Time’s All Time 100 Novels and leads a host of short story and essay collections.

The title essay to A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again is often sighted as one of the funniest pieces of writing of all time.

In 2008, he died aged 46.

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036Le Ballon Rouge by Albert Lamorisse

red balloon

La Ballon Rouge is a multi-award winning classic from 1956 about a boy and his mischievous red balloon.

It is a rare, ageless movie. With just a simple premise and virtually no dialogue, it accurately portrays much of the light and dark side of human nature. It still looks technically flawless and as it captures normal mid 20th century Parisian life with its old cars, trams, trades, fashion, cobbled alleys and scars from the war, it’s a film that will only improve with its vintage.

It won Lamorisse the Palme d’Or Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and an Oscar for best original screenplay. He went on to direct several feature films and invent the board game Risk in 1957.

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035The External World by David O'Reilly

The External World is a brilliant grouping of abstract vignettes mashed together in often a sordid and comically fashion. Upon its release it won a list of awards including an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Animation.

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034Della by Anne Enright

Della is a touching story about the strange attraction that blossoms between two old neighbours who never previously got along. Enright handles the situation and characters with wonderful subtly, maturity and understanding.

Enright shot to international fame in 2007 when she won the Man Booker Prize for her fifth novel, The Gathering. This followed the Davy Byrne Award in 2004. Since then she has published two collections of short stories, Taking Pictures, from which Della is taken and Yesterday’s Weather.

Other available stories on the web include Natalie and In the Bed Department

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033Wish 143 by Ian Barnes

The Oscar nominated struggle of a terminally ill fifteen year old who has one dieing wish – to lose his virginity.

This is a funny and touching short with sharp dialogue, that never tries too pull at our emotions or feel sorry for itself. Definitely worth a watch.

Before this Ian Barnes has mostly directed for television.

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032Madagascar by Bastien Dubois

An orginal animation beauitifully delivered in the style of a travel diary. It subtially utilises 3D to switch from pen sketch to charcoal, from crayon to water colour, to felt, newspaper and memoriblia stuck on the page. The honest and indepth account of life in Madagascar, carnet de voyage leaps from the pages. It is undoubtable a forerunner for this year’s short animation oscar.

Dubois is an animator from France and this is his first animation.

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