As part of Fantastic Fest, several animation shorts played Drawn and Quartered 2021. There’s lots of love here — you should try and check out each of these as they appear online.
Sunbelly (Directed by Jordan Speer): A canine astronaut travels through the galaxy yet still has to deal with fleas. This movie, packed with color and great music by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, is a great kickoff to this collection of shorts.
Dust Belly (directed by Seth Smith): This rotoscoped short is incredibly gorgeous and offers the intrigue of how a chicken looks at life and contemplates death.
Heart of Gold (directed by Simon Filliot): A poor young mother must sell parts of herself to a sick old woman for the gold her son needs to survive. Yet by the end, all of her organs, skin and even face have been replaced with mechanics. While a claymation piece, this is a pretty haunting looking segement, even if the message is pretty basic. That doesn’t take away from the artistry.
Self-Actualization of the Werewolf Woman (directed by Connell Pendergast: Two creatures of the night meet and discuss philosophy in this black and white line art cartoon. I loved that the cartoony look was juxtaposed with such mature dialogue.
Death and the Winemaker (directed by Victor Jaquier): A winemaker who is known for the finest vintage in the world is visited by Death, who wants to taste his wine. Yet while he shares a drink with death, he learns that his bride is on her to do list in this exquisitely animated fairy tale.
Launch (directed by Leah Shore): Of all the animated shorts in this collection, Launch has the most vibrant and in-your-face look, showing a reality on the brink of the end of everything.
Mother Bunker (directed by George Metaxas): During the robot-human war, one of the military commanders — named Mother — dresses in drag. Human drag, that is, and performs for her troops before going back into combat. I really loved the energy in this segment. Check out the official site for some awesome behind the scenes imagery.
Nuevo Rico (direcrted by Kristian Mercado Figueroa): Winner of the Best Animated Short at SXSW, this film is set within an future version of what Puerto Rico could be, as a brother and sister become music stars at the risk of losing one another. They got their abilities by stealing them from dieties of the island, so when fame takes them far away, it may doom everyone. This is an incredible looking showcase of Latinx voices and artists and is well worth tracking down. Learn more at the official site.
This year’s Drawn and Quarterly program was a great opportunity to see films that I may never have had the chance to get to otherwise. As these animated films play fests this year, make it a point to watch them!