Movie Squad Award

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolishas been given the Movie Squad Award of the young people's jury at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Moya Lyubov (My Love, 2006)

Alexander Petrov has employed a hand painted style making use of multiple layers of glass sheets, photographing each frame, then using his fingertips in place of a brush to animate the series of frames. This technique was used on his Oscar winning adaption of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Some time after the completion of the Oscar-winning movie, Petrov returned to his hometown of Yaroslavl in Russia to work on his next film: My Love was finished in Spring 2006 after three years' work.
This film, set in pre-revolutionary Russia, follows the adenture of a boy about to turn 16 as he dreams of and then chases his first love. Anton is attracted to two older women who have totally different personalities. This short movies narrates the genuine emotion of first love, the dizzying romanticism of youth and the torments of the immature heart. The strong narrative, combined with Petrov's elaborations of the boy's subconscious imagery gives the film an outstanding psychological depth and emotional impact. Petrov's ability to explore the mystic sides of the human being's inner life is unique.
Alexander Petrov’s sketches remind one of an animated work by Impressionists if they had made animated films. This film is indisputably a masterpiece. It is visually perfect, the score so neatly integrated that it feels natural. It delicately moves between reality, introspection and dreams without destroying the truthfulness of the story. The continuous blurs and sharps of the image are part of the poetic language of the film.


* 2006—11th Hiroshima International Animation Festival: "Audience Prize" and "Special International Jury Prize"
* 2006—International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film: "FIPRESCI Prize for Best Animation"
* 2006—10th Japan Media Arts Festival: "Excellence Prize"
* 2007—12th Open Russian Festival of Animated Film: "Grand Prix", "Best Direction" and "Best Visuals"
* 2007—Zolotoy Vityaz: "Best Animated Film"
* 2007—Message to Man: "Golden Centuar" (Grand Prix)
* 2007—Melbourne International Animation Festival: "Grand Jury Prize for Best Film", "Jury & Audience Vote" in the program "Hand Painted Panorama"
* 2007—Anima Mundi: Professional Jury Award for "Best Animation"
* 2008—80th Academy Awards:Best Animated Short Film - nomination

Calling Mr. Smith (1943)

The Themersons had a significant influence on the art and philosophy of the avant-garde of Eastern Europe during the 1930s. Their work reflected something of the Dada and Constructivist forms and ideas of the time, but what most distinguished them throughout their lives, was their remarkable invention and technical experiment. The central concerns of Stefan Themerson's writing are ethics and language. He invented 'Semantic Poetry' which first appeared in his novel Bayamus (1949). It is a sort of poetry that prefers the matter-of-fact meanings of words in dictionary definitions to the romantic euphemism of poetic conventions. It contrasted the innate sense of good with which man is born, with the impassioned pursuit of belief and causes by which he is subsequently deluded. "Means are more important than Aims".
They were the most important makers of avant-garde film in pre-war Poland. They made five short experimental films in Warsaw during the mid-1930s: Pharmacy, Europa, Moment musical, Short circuit, and The Adventure of a Good Citizen, the only pre-war film to have survived the war. During the 1940s, in London, they made two more films. Calling Mr Smith (1943 ): a 10-minute anti-war film denouncing the destruction of Polish national culture under the Nazis.The Eye and the Ear (1944-45): a translation of sound into images based on 4 songs by Szymanowski.
In London they became key figures in the post-war cultural scene, founding Gaberbocchus Press, a major small press which published the first English editions of Jarry, Adler, Apollinaire, Schwitters, Queneau amongst others as well as writing novels, poems, philosophical treaties, operas, painting and theater design. They died in London in 1988.

The film is experimental in technique, using anamorphic lenses, still and moving images. While the spoken soundtrack employs a rhetoric heard elsewhere in wartime propaganda, the overall tone of the film is unusually urgent and authentic and in some sequences images combine with music (Chopin, Szymanowski) to convey a real feeling of loss.


by Claudio Cardinali. His comics were chosen as finalists in many comics contests. Last year he won the contest "L’amore che verrà". He has won many editions of the "Questo l’ho fatto io!" illustration award. His principal character is Pulci, an alien chick.

I Met The Walrus (2007)

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview. In 2007 using the actual audio he recorded during his meeting with John Lennon, filmmaker Josh Raskin recounts his experience in his short “I Met The Walrus”. A six-minute animated film in which John Lennon talks about global conflict and the need for peace. The idea for an animated movie jelled three years ago, when he met the young Toronto filmmaker Raskin.

This short film, directed by Toronto's Josh Raskin, earned an Academy Award nomination for best animated short. Raskin combines traditional pen sketches by James Braithwaite with digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message. The style of the drawing is modelled on Beatle's era animation for movies such as Yellow Submarine.
The Walrus is an extremely timely revisiting of Lennon’s revolutionary freedom of thought with razor sharp yet artful deconstructions of the military-industrial complex. This narrative tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multi-pronged animation.

Freeheld (2007)

Like Cynthia Wade's other films, this story is about controversial issues, too. Freeheld narrates the ugly life of a policewoman through the eyes of strong female characters. There is a sense of urgency and purpose to the story. The footage is dramatic and very emotional.

Cynthia Wade had read about Laurel's life, then she decided to attend a Freeholder meeting. She brought her camera and a couple of assistants with her. She just started shooting, and nobody told her to turn off the camera. After the meeting she went up to Laure and told her she wanted to make a documentary. She spend a lot of nights in Laure's guest room and went to the hospital with her. Then the filmaker lived with Laurel during the last 10 weeks of her life, during the period of her fight againstlung cancer.
It could have been a long film, but she chose to make Freeheld a short film because she knew she had access to Laurel for only a brief time.
Freeheld has received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Short Documentary and has won the Special Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at Sundance Film Festival.

Higher Education

by Jorg M. Colberg.

Madame Tutli Putli (The Making of, 2007)

If you want to watch Madame Tutli Putli, click here.

The Ghosts of Cité Soleil (2006)

For the Haitians depicted in the film there is no right way of living in the sense of a "safe" person mentality, there is no compromise/alternative. Watch this documentary, in which some of the emotional tools of film-making integrate smoothly within the faint storyline.

It is simply a story of gang warfare in an environment of extreme poverty and shifting political loyalties. They have families and they want the same things that every human being desires. Asget Leth takes an incredible risk documenting the existence of the secret army, known as 'the chimeres', in the Haitian capital sub-slum, Cite Soleil.
The Ghosts Of Cite Soleil is the story of young armed men from the slum being used for political purposes: it narrates the personal lives of two gangsters who, along with several other gangs, were employed by former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to intimidate and make political opponents disappear. The brothers are not shown as completely good or bad either. They' re involved in vicious street gangs although there is still a sense of brotherly love between them, despite the odds.

People have called this film racist. I don't see any of the Haitian people as evil thugs, I see them as victims and survivors used and manipulated by corrupt governments. There is no truth--there is no right--there is no way out. The conflict will only end when one side is wiped out. We see their deplorable living conditions and their bones prominent on their scrawny bodies when they shower and we realize that they are desperate.
You need to understand. After watching"Ghosts of Cité Soleil", you cannot wipe out the image of their lives from your mind!


by Alex Chiu
He's also the author of Blar Brain Comics


Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian are the winners of GRAND PRIX DE LA VILLE D'ANGOULÊME 2008

BIBLIOGRAPHIE ALBUMS Petit Peintre (1985), chez Magic Strip (réédition chez Cornélius en 2003)
Graine De Voyous (1987),chez Audie / Fluide Glacial
Une Aventure De Stanislas : Klondike (1989), chez Milan
Le Chat Bleu (1990), chez Comixland
Les Héros Ne Meurent Jamais (1991), à l'Association
Journal d'un Album (1994), à l'Association
Le Petit Garcon qui n'existait Pas (2001), chez Cornélius

Le Journal d'Henriette 1 - Le Journal d'Henriette, Tome 1 (1988), chez Fluide Glacial, réédité en 2000 aux Humanoïdes Associés
2 - Le Journal d'Henriette, Tome 2 (1988), chez Fluide Glacial, réédité en 2000 aux Humanoïdes Associés
3 - Le Destin d'Henriette (1991), aux Humanoïdes Associés

1- Une Envie de Trop (1998), aux Humanoïdes Associés (participation au scénario : Nathalie Roques & Anne Rozenblat)
2 - Un Temps De Chien (1999), aux Humanoïdes Associés (participation au scénario : Nathalie Roques & Anne Rozenblat)
3 - Trop Potes (2001) ), aux Humanoïdes Associés (participation au scénario : Nathalie Roques & Anne Rozenblat)
4 - Esprit, es-tu là ? (2003), chez Dupuis

Monsieur Jean
1 - Monsieur Jean, L'amour, La Concierge... (1991), aux Humanoïdes Associés
2- Les Nuits Les Plus Blanches (1992), aux Humanoïdes Associés
3 - Les Femmes Et Les Enfants D'abord (1994), aux Humanoïdes Associés
4 - Vivons Heureux Sans En Avoir L'air (1998), aux Humanoïdes Associés
(Hors-série) La Theorie Des Gens Seuls (2000), aux Humanoïdes Associés
5 - Comme S'il En Pleuvait (2001), aux Humanoïdes Associés
6 - Inventaire Avant Travaux (2003), chez Dupuis
7 - Un Certain Equilibre (2005), chez Dupuis

Carnets (chez Cornélius)
New-York Carnets (1996)
Barcelone Carnets 1999
Lisbonne Carnets (2001)
Tanger Carnets (2004)
Istanbul Carnets (2007)
Françoise (2006), chez Naïve
Un Peu avant la fortune (avec Jean-C. Denis) (2008), chez Dupuis (Collection Aire Libre)

Par Philippe Dupuy :
Hanté (2005), chez Cornélius
Une élection américaine (2006), chez Futuropolis (dessins de Charles Berberian, scénario de Loo Hui Phang)

Par Charles Berberian :
Sauve qui peut, Chez Carton (1985) (dessins de François Avril, scénario de Charles Berberian)
Des mouches pour Nemon (1986), chez Futuropolis (Dessin de Aussel, Scénario de Charles Berberian)
Le Pigeon (1988), chez Futuropolis (dessins de Stanislas, scénario de Jean-Claude Götting et Charles Berberian)
Cycloman (2002), chez Cornélius (dessins de Gregory Mardon, scénario de Charles Berberian)
Playlist (2004), chez Naïve
Les Gens (2007), chez Alain Beaulet (Dessins de Charles Berberian, scénario de Anna Rozen)

Sur Dupuy-Berberian :
Tout l'Univers de Dupuy Berberian (2006), chez Panama

You might be interested in Fauve d'or 2008

Madame Tutli Putli (2007)

Madame Tutli Putli is Lavis & Szczerbowski's first professional film. They, in fact, wrote, animated and directed the film entirely by themselves. The National Film Board of Canada presents a stunning, stop-motion animated film that takes the viewer on an exhilarating existential journey. The film introduces groundbreaking visual techniques and is supported by a haunting and original score. Puppets, costumes and sets are very detailed. Lavis & Szczerbowski rejected traditional stop-motion puppet armatures and built aluminum wire skeletons by hand: it took seven months of work! The same level of intricacy and attention to detail went into costuming. All of the film sets were hand built, too.

The special visual effects were produced in collaboration with acclaimed portrait artist Jason Walker. For each scene, he analyzed the puppet's animation with great patience and precise notes. The he positioned, digitally scaled, painted and re-timed the footage for nuance and believability of gesture.
They have done an incredible job: the changing light which moves across the travelers' faces; the figure of Madame Tutli-Putli, who embodies a wide range of emotions and displays an authentic feminility! It just might represent the technical high-point of stop-motion technique to date.
Madame Tutli-Putli boards the Night Train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace of strangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Her past remains sketchy, but we can perceive enough to become involved in her story.
The Canadian animated short Madame Tutli-Putli has won two awards at the Cannes film festival and now it could be the next Oscar winner.
Enjoy the video! It takes time to download the movie, please be patient.
If you want to buy it, click here

Brain on the drugs

by James S. Chen

Meme le pigeons vont au paradise (2007)

(Even Pigeons Go To Heaven) by Samuel Tourneux

A funny story about a priest who tries to sell an old man a machine that he promises will transport him to heaven. There are many amusing characteristics in the short's brief running time which abounds in the dialogue exchange between the two characters. Its narrative style reminds me of the Pixar animation style.
Watch this cartoon now! This is the only version with English subtitles I could find.

Slamdance Film Festival 2008


The New Year Parade - Tom Quinn

Best Narrative Feature: The New Year Parade directed by Tom Quinn

How To Be - Oliver Irving

Special Honorable Mention for Narrative Feature: How To Be directed by Oliver Irving

Song Sung Blue - Greg Kohs

Best Documentary Feature: Song Sung Blue directed by Greg Kohs

Special Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature: My Mother’s Garden directed by Cynthia Lester

Best Animated Short: Blood Will Tell directed by Andrew McPhillips

Best Documentary Short: The Ladies directed by C.A. Voros

Best Experimental Short: Doxology directed by Michael Langan

Best Narrative Short: Son directed by Daniel Mulloy

Special Honorable Mention for Narrative Short: 4960 directed by Wing-Yee Wu

The jury was made up of: MicroCineFest director Skizz Cyzyk, IFP managing director Amy Dotson, Sidewalk fest co-founder Erik Jambor, Film Arts associate editor Laurie Koh, filmmaker Leah Meyerhoff, YouTube manager of film and animation Sara Pollack, director Todd Rohal, director Michael Skolnik, and True/False Festival co-founder David Wilson.


The Project - Ryan Piotrowicz

Best Narrative Feature: The Project directed by Ryan Piotrowicz

Best Documentary Feature: Song Sung Blue directed by Greg Kohs

Rock Garden: A Love Story - Gloria Kim

Global Audience Award for Best Anarchy Film: Rock Garden: A Love Story directed by Gloria U.Y. Kim

Woman in Burka - Jonathan Lisecki

Spirit of Slamdance Award: ("for exhibiting passion and talent as a filmmaker, commitment to the independent community, and enthusiastically embracing all Slamdance has to offer") Woman in Burka directed by Jonathan Lisecki

Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography: Crooked Lake / Portage, cinematography by Sascha Drews & Ezra Krybus

WRITER AWARDS Best Feature Length Screenplay: "The Wonder Girls" by Anthony Meindl

Best Short Screenplay: "Easy Pickins’" by Will Hartman

Best Teleplay: "Stage Six Pandemic" by Barbara Marshall

Best Horror Competition Screenplay: "The Punished" by Tony Mosher

Creative Excellence Award for the Horror Screenplay Competition: "Child in the Dark" by Damian Lahey & Ian Ogden

Sundance Film Festival 2008

Here is the list of the other awards from Sundance Film Festival 2008.

Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
"Trouble The Water"; directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal

Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic
"Frozen River"; directed by Courtney Hunt

World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary
"Man on Wire"; directed by James Marsh

World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic
"King of Ping Pong" ("Ping Pongkingen"); directed by Jens Jonsson

Audience Award: Documentary
Fields of Fuel"; directed by Josh Tickell

Audience Award: Dramatic
"The Wackness"; directed by Jonathan Levine

World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary
"Man on Wire"; directed by James Marsh

World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic
"Captain Abu Raed"; directed by Amin Matalqa

Directing Award: Documentary
Nanette Burstein for "American Teen"

Directing Award: Dramatic
Lance Hammer for "Ballast"

World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary
Nino Kirtadze for "Durakovo: Village of Fools" ("Durakovo: Le Village Des Fous")

World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic
Anna Melikyan for "Mermaid" (Rusalka)

World Cinema Screenwriting Award
Samuel Benchetrit for "I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster" ("J'ai Toujours Reve D'Etre Un Gangster")

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award
Irena Dol for "The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins"

Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary
Phillip Hunt and Steven Sebring for "Patti Smith: Dream of Life"

Excellence in Cinematography Award: Dramatic
Lol Crawley for "Ballast"

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary
al Massad for "Recycle"

World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic
Askild Vik Edvardsen for "King of King Pong" ("Ping Pongkingen")

Documentary Editing Award
Joe Bini for "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired"

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
Alex Rivera and David Riker for "Sleep Dealer"

Special Jury Prizes

World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic
"Blue Eyelids ("Parpados Azules"), directed by Ernesto Contreas

Special Jury Prize: Documentary
"Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo," directed by Lisa F. Jackson

Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, The Spirit of Independence
"Anywhere, U.S.A.," directed by Chusy Haney-Jardine

Special Jury Prize: Dramatic, Work by an Ensemble Cast
Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly MacDonald and Brad Henke for "Choke"

Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking
"My Olympic Summer," directed by Daniel Robin
"Sikumi" ("On the Ice"), directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean

Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking
"Soft," directed by Simon Ellis

Shorts Jury Honorable Mentions in Short Filmmaking
"Aquarium" directed by Rob Meyer
"August 15th," directed by Xuan Jiang
"La Corona," ("The Crown"), directed by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
"Oiran Lyrics," directed by Ryosuke Ogawa
"Spider" directed by Nash Edgerton
"Suspension," directed by Nicolas Provost
"W.," directed by The Vikings

You might be interested in Alfred P. Sloan Prize and in Sundance Filmakers Awards.


Shaun Tan wins Book of the Year at Angoulême!
Here is the list of the other comic books which received an award:

Rutu Modan — Exit Wounds
Pascal Rabaté & David Prudhomme — La Marie en plastique
Cyril Pedrosa — Trois ombres
Jean Regnaud & Emile Bravo — Ma maman est en Amérique, elle a rencontré Buffalo Bill
Pierre Dragon & Frederik Peeters — RG

Discovery of the Year
Isabelle Pralong — L'éléphant

Fanzine Prize
Turkey #16

Heritage Prize
Tove Jansson: Moomin

Youth Prize
Philippe Buchet & Jean-David Morvan — Sillage, Tome 10 : Retour de flammes

Prize of the Public
Catel & José-Louis Bocquet — Kiki de Montparnasse

About photography

When a painter paints a picture, he is an outsider, looking at the world with amusement and curiosity. The moment is private, the painter looks at the world through the comings and goings of the world, at something that wasn't at all apparent but which was always there.
In photography, a different social code protects both participants: the sitter and the photographer. The sitter, his spontaneity suspended and his best appearance displayed, invites scrutiny.
Photographers can supplement the fundamental attitudes of the human mind and body with the more extrinsic gestures of daily behavior. They can profit from the mobility of the snapshot camera, reaching into the world as an intruder and creating a disturbance. The photographer captures the spontaneity of life without leaving any trace of his presence.
Hence the detachment of the artist becomes more of a problem in the photographic media because photographers must immerge themselves bodily into situations which call for human solidarity: the photographer must be where the action is!
The photographic medium is immensely valuable for documentation, but it's less suited to interpet or explain relevant aspects of what's going to be shown. Illustrations are more useful if one desires to clarify spatial relation or tell what belongs apart or together because only drawings are able to translate into visual patterns what has been understood about the object.
Photographs cannot be self-explanatory. Their meaning depends on the total context of which they're a part. It depends on the attitudes and motives of the persons depicted that may not be apparent from the photos, and it also depends on the values attributed by viewers to life, to death and to human beings in general. Consequently, when photography wishes to convey a message, it should try to place the symptoms it exposes into the proper context of cause and effect. This will always require the help of the written or spoken word.

Peter & The Wolf (2006)

The film was made at the Se-ma-for Studios in Łódź, Poland between February and August 2006. The live premier was held on September 29 2006 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then the film has toured with both live and recorded accompaniment around Britain, in Hong Kong and in Australia. The British television premier was shown on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve, 2006, and was accompanied by pre-recorded music performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra.
Peter & The Wolf took two of the top prizes at Annecy - the Annecy Crystal for Best Short and the coveted Audience Award.

Peter is a tormented soul, living as he does with an old drunken relative. On the edge of the vast forests of Russia, where wolves still roam, lies a little cottage surrounded by a big, high fence. This is where Peter lives with his grumpy Grandfather. Grandfather will not let Peter go out into the forest. "What if a wolf comes? What then?"
Peter and the Wolf is exceptional in its use of stop-frame animation to create serious movies with impact. The quality of the set and of the models is quite exceptional. The subtle expressions on the faces of all the parties is very revealing. The detail of the old house and the make-shift wall protecting it from all-comers put the best excesses of Waterworld in the shade. Without giving the game away for those yet to see this gem, not everything goes to plan.
In this version, instead of hunters there are two ugly and brutal militiamen. The grandfather is not a kindly old man, the house is a mess and Peter is bullied unmercifully by the neighbourhood thugs. The wolf is all menace. All this and no mention of the conclusion and theme. Templeton's adaptation is very modern, providing psychological depth. When Peter spares the wolf it is not out of naive sentimentality, but it's more of a statement against the brutality of our world!

Alfred P. Sloan Prize

The 2008 Sundance Film Festival has announced that the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize is Alex Rivera's "Sleep Dealer" . The prize carries a $20,000 cash award for the filmmakers and is presented to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character.

Sundance Filmmakers Awards

The Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced the winners of the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards: Alejandro Fernandez for "Huacho," Braden King for "Here," Aiko Nagastu for "Apoptosis" and Radu Jude for "The Happiest Girl in the World." The winning director from each region will receive a $10,000 award and a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of their project.
The jury was made up of Gregg Araki, Jeremy Pikser, Erin Cressida Wilson, Martin Rejtman, Andrucha Waddington, Shekhar Kapur and Anand Tucker.

For Sore Eyes (2006)

by Anders Weberg (1968, Sweden). He works in video, sound, new media and installations.
He's specialized in the expressions that digital technologies provide and his aim is to mix genres and ways of expression in order to explore the potential of visual media.
He lives and works in in the small coastal town of Angelholm in the south of Sweden, and his works are exhibited at numerous art festivals, galleries, and museums internationally.

I already was familiar with this short film when Anders Weberg contacted me. I like the illusion of life behind a woman who is drowning and doesn't fight for breath. It's tragic that we like this short film. Do people like themselves? Do people hate themselves? Perhaps we find the behaviour of this woman courageous.

On Coal and Appalachia

by Daniel Shea

Pubblications: Ridge Outdoors Magazine Featured Photos, November 2007; Carroll County Times: In Focus Feature, Article Interview and Photos, 2007 ; MICA Photography Department’s Photo Book 2007 Selection, 2007 ; Baltimore City Paper: Charm City Art Space Write-Up and Photo, 2007 ; Self-Published Bike Zine, 2003-2005.

80th annual Academy Nominees

The animation nominees for the 80th annual Academy Awards were announced January, 22 '08:

Best Animated Feature

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Ratatouille by Brad Bird

Surf's Up by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Best Animated Short Film (This is the first time since 1999 that US filmmakers have been shut out of the animated short category)

I Met The Walrus by Josh Raskin

Madame Tutli-Putli by NFB, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski

(Meme Les Pigeons Vont Au Paradis)Even Pigeons Go To Heaven by Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse

My Love (Moya Lyubov) by Alexander Petrov

Peter And The Wolf by Suzie Templeton

The World of Stainboy (2000)

The World of Stainboy is a series of flash animation shorts created in 2000 by director Tim Burton and animated by Flinch Studios. Each of the six episodes is under five minutes in length.The character Stainboy first appeared in two short poems in the book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, also created and illustrated by Tim Burton.
It is difficult to describe what Stainboy is. It's impossible to have a clear idea of what this tale is about. What we can say is that the series is a parody of superheroes, where superheroes are simply strange creatures, and that Stainboy is another one of Burton's darkly mischievous and funny creations. In the shorts, Stainboy works for the Burbank police, and at the beginning of each episode he is ordered to investigate and bring in social outcasts. Many of the outcasts are characters from the Oyster Boy book.
If you have appreciated this episode, you can download the other episodes.

Exhibition "L'attimo neorelista"

From January 19 '08 to February 24 '08 you can visit the exhibition "L'attimo neorealista" which is being held in Mestre, near Venice, at the Centro Culturale Candiani. It's a selection of 84 frames from 32 neorealist films. We can't show you the entire exhibition, but the Centro Culturale Candiani has allowed us to show you the following photos:

Roma città aperta by Roberto Rossellini 1945

Paisà by Roberto Rossellini 1946

The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette) by Vittorio De Sica 1948

Bitter Rice (Riso amaro) by Giuseppe De Santis 1949

Path of Hope (Cammino della speranza) by Pietro Germi 1950

If you want buy the catalogue, please click here.

Wim Wenders visits Palermo to promote new film (and eat Italian ices)

On Monday January 21st, in front of an assembly of nearly 300 afficionados, Wim Wenders delighted Palermo's Golden Theater audience with jokes and anecdotes about Shooting Palermo, his new film which will be ready in about four months' time. The brilliant German director, playwright and photographer who is already renowned for such films as Don't Come Knocking (Viva Butte, Montana!), Paris, Texas and Buena Vista Social Club, just to mention a few of his masterpieces, has fallen in love with Palermo's gourmet Italian ices and has decided to shoot a film in Sicily's capital city in order to stock up on lemon sorbets.
The Palermo Shooting stars Andreas Frege, "Campino", the lead singer of the German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen ( The Dead Trousers) [a photograph by Andreas Gursky of one of their concerts is on display at The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y.] in the role of a German photographer who comes to Palermo in order to make a break with his past and finds... Sorry you'll have to see the movie for yourself when it comes out, spoilers verboten!!!
The cast, for now, subject to change without notice, includes the following: Campino, Dennis Hopper, Patti Smith, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Jana Pallaske, Lou Reed, Inga Busch, Udo Samel, Sebastian Blomberg, Melika Foroutan, Alessandro Dieli, Francesco Guzzo, Giovanni Sollima, Wolfgang Michael, Harry Blain, Axel Sichrovsky, Irina Gerdt and Gerhard Gutberlet.

(Lorraine Eda Rolla)

Phonogram: Rue Britannia

You open this comic book, and suddenly you're getting people talking about bands you've never even heard of. It could be alienating, but although they're talking about specific bands, the ideas they are expressing are universal. You don't have to worry about the specifics and can roll with what's in the story. In fact, everything that's actually important in Phonogram can be deduced from the context in which it’s used.
A long search for himself, for the meaning of his existence, in which Kieron Gillen tells us the answer to life is music. Phonogram explores the idea that music truly is magic. "'Phonogram is based on people who realise that metaphor is actually the true foundation of the universe, and so actively manipulate it to achieve their desires", declares the comics writer publically.
This book contains a lot of passion for Britpop but it's more of a struggle about the memories of the music rather than an expression of Gillen's love for it. It analyses the music and the movement with a passion only available to those who really loved it. It also takes the whole thing apart with the venom of those who’ve come out to the other side. The motif of music as a spiritual or magical force is something musicians return to time and time again.
David Kohl is a mage who uses the medium of Britpop music to interpret his magic. He has been tricked by The Goddess into visiting one of her temples. While in the temple, she curses him for the misuse of his powers and then sends him to investigate what is happening to one of her aspects. The aspect in question is Britannia, Goddess of Britpop, who baptised Kohl, was the original source of his abilities and is at least ten years dead. While investigating, he discovers the ghost of a girl who used to have a crush on him. The next day he wakes up to find that his memories have altered.
We realize that our world can begin to change by simply changing our perceptions.
In the end, Phongram is about non-literal ways of seeing the world, alternative perspectives, and so forth.
Now we can turn to the editorial details: the comic book is written by Kieron Gillien and drawn by James McKelvie. It is published by Image Comics.
A run of at least two mini-series is planned. The first volume was a six issue run, collected under the title "Rue Britannia". In keeping with the Britpop theme, the six individual issues had cover art based on album artwork from that era.The first volume began in August 2006.

Future Film Festival Awards '08

The Lancia Platinum Grand Prize, the prize for best long animation film or best special effects, was awarded to Makoto Shinkai's Byousoku 5 Centimeters (5 Centimeters per Second: A Chain of Short Stories about Their Distance) . A special prize was awarded to Michael Arias' Tekkonkinkreet.
The members of the jury were the Italian filmaker Enzo d’Alò, the screenwriter Giorgia Cecere and the head of animation of Lumiq Studios, Carlo Alfano.
The public has voted the short films selected for Future Film Short. The winners of Premio del Pubblico Groupama were Attentiòn al cliente by Marcos Valìd and David Alonso (first prize of 1000 euro) and Scaramuccia of Federico Guidi (second prize 500 euro).
The Autodesk Digital Award was awarded to Alibi by Anthony Lamolinara (Direct2Brain) and Making of “Carnera” by Renzo Martinelli (EDI Effetti Digitali Italiani).

Halas and Batchelor part two

In the 1950s, Halas and Batchelor were able to expand their work yet further, producing films on purely artistic subjects. Experimental work as early as the 1950's included stereoscopy (with Norman McLaren) and advanced forms of film puppetry, combining the multi-projection of film in close synchronization with the live player on the stage and the production in the 1960's of about 200 8mm cassettes to illustrate through brief animation loops important points in scientific and technological instruction linked directly to the textbook. The 1950's represented the true birth of the studio as a recognised source of high quality animated films. It continued to make public information films for governmental offices. These high quality films, especially their shorts for the Marshal Plan, The Shoemaker and The Hatter (1949) and, for the Ministry of Health, Fly About the House (1949 ) were instrumental in attracting funding for the studio's future development. Its UK profile was further enhanced with the production of the Charley series (1946-47) for the Central Office of Information.
They are best known, however, for their adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm (1954). Rumors persist that the film was funded by a CIA covert operation, but Halas insisted that it was humanist and anti-totalitarian rather than anti-Communist, and the film is a considerable achievement: a feature length work of poignancy and deep emotion which revises our expectations of animal characters as comic or sentimental figures. The sombre satire of Orwell's novel is muted by a controversially upbeat ending in which the animals once again mobilize in resistance to authoritarian leadership but the film's highly politicised viewpoint still seems a bold and unusual one, particularly within the context of the British film industry of 1950s.

During the production of Animal Farm Halas & Batchelor employed over seventy people based in different offices in London, including a studio in Stroud. In texts held in their archive, the number of staff employed during the production series varies from author to author: figures range between 70 to 100. At the start of production in 1951, the studio experienced a large increase in personnel: some of these were former employees from Anson Dyer's studio. To support the production of Animal Farm, Halas & Batchelor established Animation Stroud Ltd. in 1951 under the management of Harold Whitaker. The Stroud department became an established part of Halas & Batchelor and became the training base for new staff and new generation of animators. In order to sustain its high level of output and development, the studio was proactive and flexible in identifying and exploiting new markets. It achieved this by recruiting talented staff and advisors whose skills and knowledge helped to achieve these results. The company actively promoted this aspect of its work in promotional leaflets and in the trade press. Due to the high demands that making these films put on the studio, they were forced to divide the studio space into different units and different production areas. This also led to setting up divisions dedicated to key commercial areas of the studio. Much of the structure has not changed from that of the 1950's, except for the creation of additional units aligned to different commercial areas that the studio oversees.
Even with production centered on Animal Farm, the studio was able to continue making commercials, information and educational films. A survey made during current research of the creative output of the studio during this period gives an indication of the range of films they produced. At the proposed launching of the new television channel ITV in the UK in 1955, Halas & Batchelor were already investigating the impact the launch of commercial television would have on animation studios. The most significant effect of the new station was the increased number of commissioned commercials, and in particular animated commercials, by advertising agencies. By 1955 the number of studios producing animation increased as a response to this demand.
By 1955, Halas & Batchelor was promoted as the largest cartoon studio in Europe. The economics of animation have always been precarious, and Halas and Batchelor primarily supported their unit by the mass production of commercials for television, the production of sponsored public relations films, films made in association with other production companies, and by sponsored entertainment series undertaken for television, such as the Foo-Foo cartoon series and the Snip and Snap series. The latter introduced paper sculpture animals, and both series, made in association with ABC-TV, enjoyed worldwide distribution.

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Tromsø International Film Festival - '08 award

The '08 award winners at Tromsø International Film Festival are now official. Five films have received awards, two have gotten received mentions. The festival's main prize, the AURORA, was given to the French film WATER LILIES directed by Cèline Sciamma. The prize money guarantees the film full cinema distribution in Norway. This year's opening film, THE KAUTOKEINO REBELLION, won the FICC jury's Don Quijote prize.

The AURORA prize is given by the Tromsø International Film Festival committee. The prize is 100.000 NOK sponsored by FILM&KINO, and ensures the film's distribution at Norwegian cinemas.

The prize goes to: WATER LILIES. Directed by: Cèline Sciamma, France 2007.

The jury: Vigdis Lian (leader of the Norwegian Film Institute), Bent Hamer (Film director), Petter Benestad (cinema director at Kristiansand Cinema og leader in The Norwegian Association of Cinema Directors).

The Don Quijote award is given out by the FICC jury – the international federation of film societies and non-profit cinemas.

The prize goes to: THE KAUTOKEINO REBELLION. Directed by: Nils Gaup, Norway 2008.

The jury: Hege Kristin Widnes (Tromsø Film Society), Ada Guilà Puig (Fed. Catalana de Cineclubs, Barcelona), David Miller (British Federation of Film Societies).

The FIPRESCI award is the international film critic award.

The prize goes to: THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN. Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche, France 2007.

The jury: Katharina Dockhorn (Filmwoche, Welt, Blickpunkt. Germany), Eero Tammi (Filmihullu, Finland), Øyvor Dalan Vik (Dagens Næringsliv, Norway).

The Norwegian Peace Film Award is given out by Tromsø International Film Festival, Center for Peace Studies at the University of Tromsø and the Student Peace Network.

The prize goes to: LITTLE MOTH. Directed by: Peng Tao, China 2007.

Honourable mentions: WHAT REMAINS OF US. Directed by: Hugo Latulippe, Francoise Prèvost, France 2004 and THE BAND’s VISIT. Directed by: Eran Kolirin, Israel, France, USA 2007.

The jury: Efrat Ben-Ze (Ruppin Academic Center and Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem), Unni A.B. Sørensen (Student Network for Peace, Tromsø), Hisham Zaman (film director, Oslo).

THE TROMSØ PALM is given to the best short or documentary from the “Films from the North’ program.

The prize goes to: KESÄN LAPSI (Summerchild). Directed by: Iris Olsson, Finland 2007.

The jury: Mika Ronkainen (filmregissør og produsent, Klaffi Productions, Finland), Endre Lund Eriksen (director and director, Tromsø), Torunn Nyen (Festival Director of the Norwegian Short Film Festival).

Laws of seeing

Many art students in college don't like studying Arnheim's Art and Visual Perception. I like Arnheim's books, especially Art and Visual Perception; I'm interested in art psychology and I believe that anyone who wishes to study modern art, should study this branch of knowledge and thus take advantage of the fact that non objective or abstract art doesn't offer us the distraction of a specific narrative. This, in fact, is what give such works of art their extreme opticality.
I guess Gestalt theory offers us a useful tool towards an understanding of the laws of seeing: proximity, similarity, closure and continuity.
A viewer's mind tends to group visual forms in order to achieve simplicity or stability. This organizing principle in the way we see forms is a natural tendency of mankind for not only do we tend to detect symmetry: but we prefer to find symmetry in art.
Painters have an innate knowledge of how these systems influence and fascinate their assumed target viewers. Painters use the concept of object recognition to develop figure-ground relationships. They do their best to manipulate the viewer's attention so that a specified part of the painted suface is perceived as the object of interest or "figure" while other areas are seen as background. In fact, because the viewer's attention is focused on the object, the ground becomes of secondary importance.
Modern painters have been concerned with making every part of a painting's surface vital. Composition is one of several ways that painters can undo or subvert the figure-ground ways of seeing. This involves a vast amount of mental organizing .
Our acceptance of abstract art can be seen as the product of an evolving visual sophistication: our culture has invented new ways of seeing paintings. Abstract painting demonstrates the significant development of a new visual paradigm.

What's abstract art?

When I was younger I preferred classical art to abstract art because as I told people "it's more real". Now that I'm a bit older and have more experience, I can tell you that this was a mistake. Abstract art is more real than classical art is.
Let me ask you "Isn't color real in an abstract painting? And what about texture?" I'm sure you don't have to think about the answer. Yes, color and texture are just as real in abstract paintings as they are in classical art. The term abstract refers to form only.
The term non-objective art would probably be more appropriate than abstract art. Abstract art can be ambiguous in a way that realist paintings aren't. Abstract painters have some intuition about the kind of dialogues that a painting will engender because of its difference in volume and direction. Their paintings come from something in the real world.
If we really want to get to know abstract art we should ask ourselves how it began. I don't like the Marxist approach which is a sort of cliché after Peter Burger's talk about avant-garde origins. I don't have any thing against the theory of the influence of socio-economic revolution on abstract art, but I think the true forces at work here are the invention of photography and the search for purity.
It's true that economic independence allows artists to gain artistic independence and freedom from the dictates of style. But I doubt this is enough to explain the artistic revolution.
Who would desire a portait if he had the possibility of using the new technological tools? Many artists feared this would be the end of art. Painters were, in fact, forced to search for new subject matters which could embody their internalized ideals. Many artists found a solution in eliminating details and the illusion of space.

Halas & Batchelor Part one

Your Very Good Health

In 1932 John Halas (János Halász) formed his first film studio with Gyula Macskássy in Budapest. His involvement with animation evolved from his work with George Pal (György Pál Marczincsak). While working and studying in Budapest Halas became acquainted with László Moholy-Nagy. This encounter was later developed when both were working in London. Due to the lack of business at the studio, Halas left Hungary for a job in Paris where he also continued studies he had begun in Budapest. During this period, Joy Batchelor was an established illustrator producing work for fashion magazines and newspapers in London. After living in Paris, Halas moved to London in 1936 to complete the production of Music Man (1938). It was during this production period that he met Joy Batchelor, who also worked on the film.
John Halas and Joy Batchelor began their graphic design partnership during the pre-war period and then were married in 1940. Halas & Batchelor Cartoon Films Ltd was established in 1940 as a formally registered company. They hired a small room in Bush House, Aldwych, on the 18th May 1940, which was the headquarters for the J Walter Thompson advertising agency.
Their work was immediately identifiable by its combination of Disney-style characters and Eastern European aesthetics. The Ministry of Information invited the couple to make wartime public information and propaganda shorts.
Promotional and instructional films made by the studio led to an acceptance of animation as a mode of expression which could engage with mature subjects and serious themes. From 1940 to the late 1950's the studio was firmly associated with the production of propaganda and public information films. Most of these were shorts and represented a maturity of aesthetic style and imaginative visualisation. The films, usually about 5 minutes long, were written by Alexander McKendrick and fully animated by John Halas and Joy Batchelor with Vera Linnecar, Katherine Houston, Harold Mack and Wall Crook assisting.

Charlie Junior's School Day

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The Cartoonist and The Cat 3

Here's another Davide Zamberlan's strip.

If you want to read the The Cartoonist and The Cat 1 and 2, please click here.
The Cartoonist and the Cat 4

Halas & Batchelor cronological filmography

We're continuing our selection of Halas & Batchelor's short films.

Here's a cronological list of their non-commercial works:
1938 Music Man
1938/39 The Brave ‘Little’ Tin Solider (uncompleted project)
1940 Carnival in the Clothes Cupboard
1941 Pocket Cartoon
1941 Filling the Gap
1941 Dustbin Parade
1942 Digging for Victory
1943 Compost Heaps (Pathé trailers)
I Stopped, I Looked (trailer)
Model Sorter
War Bonds (Pathé trailers)
Look out in the Black Out (Pathé trailers)
Early Digging (Pathé trailers)
Nine Men (animation effects for Ealing Studios)
Jungle Warfare
1943/45 Abu series
1944 Cold Comfort (newsreel trailer)
From Rags to Stitches (Pathé trailers)
Christmas Wishes (Pathé trailers)
Blitz on Bugs (Pathé trailers)
Careless Talk (Pathé trailers)
Spending Money (Pathé trailers)
Anti-Personnel Bomb (Pathé trailers)
Early April (Pathé trailers)
Domestic Workers (Pathé trailers)
Mrs. Sew and Sew (Pathé trailers)
1945 The Big Top
1944/45 Handling Ships
Export! Export! Export!
Export or Die
Six Little Jungle Boy’s
Tommy’s Double Trouble
Britain Must Export!
Dead of Night (animation effects for Ealing Studios)
Road Safety
1946 Immunize Against Diphtheria
Old Wives’ Tale
The Keys of Heaven
Modern Guide to Health
1946/47 Charley series
1949 Farmer Charley
1947 Pattern for Progress (animation Inserts for Technic Films)
First Line of Defense
This is the Air Force
1948 Magic Canvas
Water for Fire Fighting
Heave Away My Johnny
1949 Tracing the Spread of Infection
A Better Spirit (Part 1 of series Start With What is Under Your Nose)
A Little Forethought (Part 2 of series Start With What is Under Your Nose)
A Well Kept Machine (Part 3 of series Start With What is Under Your
The Shoemaker and the Hatter
Submarine Control
Fly about the House
Mortal Shock
Think to the Future
Television Opening
Passport to Pimlico (animation effects for Ealing Studios)
1950 Dollar Gaf (animated inserts for Crown Film Unit)
As Old as the Hills
1950/51 The Earth in Labour
1950 Fowl Play
Fowl Play
British Army at Your Service
1951 Catalysis
Moving Spirit
1951 Poet and Painter Series
1951/4 Animal Farm
1952 We’ve Come a Long Way
The Owl and the Pussycat
Linear Accelerator
Service: Garage Handling
Changing Face of Europe (animated titles)
Cinerama Holiday (Continuity sequences)
Power to Fly
Coastal Navigation and Pilotage
The Figurehead
1954 Martin Luther
Down a Long Way
Refinery at Work
Early Days of Communication
Know your Allies (animated titles)
Pilgrims Progress (not produced)
Conquest of Everest (animation effects)
1954/5 The Sea of Winslow Homer
1955 The World that Nature Forgot
Animal Vegetable Mineral
Basic Fleetwork
Sniffles and Sneezes (animation inserts)
Refinery at Work
POPEYE series
Private’s Progress (Animated titles)
1955/56 The Aluminum Story
1955 Mr. Finley’s Feelings (animated inserts)
1956 The World of Little
The Candlemaker
To Your Health
Speed the Plough
1956/7 History of the Cinema
1956 Think of the Future
To Open the Worlds to the Nations – Suez Canal
Some Diseases of the heart and Circulatory System (animation insert)
Invisible Exchange
1957 Midsummer Nightmare (uncompleted project)
Open Window (animated titles)
Legend of the Lost (animated effects)
Granada Television Symbol
All Lit
1958 The First 99 (animated inserts)
The Christmas Visitor
Dam the Delta
Speed the Plough
Follow that Car
Best Seller (for Shell Petroleum Company)
Paying Bay
Early Days of Communication
1959 Rude on the Road
ABC Television Symbol
Armchair Theatre Titles
How to be a Hostess (live action)
Man in Silence
Charlotte’s Web (not produced)
Piping Hot
The Energy Picture
For Better for Worse
1959-60 Foo Foo (series)
1960 SNIP AND SNAP (series)
History of Inventions
The Brides of March
Road Hog – Don’t Be Rude On The Road
Wonder of Wool
Once More with Feeling (animated titles)
Guns of Navarone (excerpts, map effects)
1960-61 The Thief of Baghdad (animation effects for Titanus Film)
1961 The Monster of Highgate Pond (live action)
Lees Bar
Hamilton the Musical Elephant
Hamilton in the Music Festival
1961/69 8mm CONCEPT FILMS: BIOLOGY (series)
1961/69 8mm CONCEPT FILMS: MATHS (series)
1962 Barnaby – Father Dear Father (1962) 5min
Barnaby – Overdue Dues Blue (1962) 11min
The Showing Up of Larry the Lamb
The Romance of the Juke Box
1963 Weave me a Rainbow
Automania 2000
The Axe and the Lamp
Red Spotted Ball
1964 The Tale of the Magician
Ruddigore (feature)
Living Screen: Is there Intelligent Life on Earth
Paying Bay (for Shell)
Follow That Car
DODO (series)
1966 ICOGRADA Congress (live action)
Dying for a Smoke
Flow Diagram
Linear Programming
1966/67 LONE RANGER (37 episodes)
1967 The Question
What is a Computer?
Girls Growing Up
Mothers and Father
Colombo Plan
The Commonwealth
1968 Bolly: A Space Adventure
Functions and Relations
1969 Small World: Henry & Henriette
Henry & Henriette in The Seven Stages of Marriage
Measure of Man
To Our Children’s Children’s Children
1970 Short Tall Story
The Five
Wot Dot
TOMFOOLERY (17 episodes)
This Love Thing
The Five
1971 Children and Cars
Football Freaks
The Condition of Man (series)
1972 THE ADAMS FAMILY (17 episodes)
THE JACKSON FIVE (17 episodes)
THE OSMONDS (17 episodes)
1973 Children Making Cartoons (live action)
BRITAIN NOW (series) (live action)
Making Music Together
1973-74 Kitchen Think
EUROPEAN FOLK TALES (series of 33 films from different countries)
1973 The Glorious Musketeers
The Twelve Tasks of Asterix
1974 Carry on Milkmaids
Butterfly Ball
1975 How Not to Succeed in Business
Life Insurance Training Film
1976/78 Max and Moritz (feature and separate episodes)
1976 Skyrider
1977 Making it Move (live action)
Noah’s Ark (project not completed)
The Three Musketeers
1979 Bravo for Billy (Sport Billy)
Ten for Survival
Dream Doll (directed by Bob Godfrey)
1980 Instant Sex (directed by Bob Godfrey)
BioWoman (directed by BobGodfrey)
Bible Stories
1981 Heavy Metal (“Grimaldi” and “So Beautiful and So Dangerous” stories in feature film)
A Cat is A Cat
First Steps: Caring For the Very Young
1982 The Adventures of Blip: Mechanical Dog
1983 King Rubic: The King’s Cold
1984 Growing Up: A Guide to Puberty
Doctor in the Sky
Great Masters: A New Vision: Botticelli
1986 Great Masters: A New Vision: Leonardo da Vinci
Great Masters: A New Vision: Toulouse-Lautrec
1987 The Players
Masters of Animation (series)
1990 A Memory of L. Moholy-Nagy
1996 Know your Europeans project
1996 Know your Europeans UK (directed by Bob Godfrey)
1996 Know your Europeans Germany (directed by Christoph Simon)
Let it Bleed
It Furthers One to Have Somewhere to Go
Discovery of America
This Love Thing (includes Pilot version)
Together for Children
Tide Tables
The Big Sneeze (project not produced)
Elementary Physics: The Action of
the Lever I, II, III., The Inclined Plane, The Screw
Animal Behaviour series (film loops)
The Mussel
The Sea Urchin
The Kittiwake
Animal Conference
Captain Cook’s Travels
The Choice
First Aid: Bleeding, Scalds
The Way to Security
Think of the Future
Alice in Chinaland (not produced)
Water Safety

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