Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ruling the Roost: Animation Show of Shows

Marcel, King of Tervuren
The 15th annual Animation Show of Shows was held this past Saturday at the Hess Collection Art Museum in Napa. Ron Diamond has curated this Animation show since 1998. Films shown at this boutique festival have gone on to win seven Oscar's in the category of animated shorts and have garnered 23 nominations. It was super rad to say the least, set amongst Motherwell, Rauschenberg & Anselm Kiefer never hurts either.

As always, I pulled the trigger on America's Finest #2 (1994), by Lynn Hershman Leeson, prior to entering the third floor of the Hess Collection. A curious viewer willing to touch the disabled MK-47 is allowed to decide...

"Pulling the trigger turns the viewer into both an aggressor and subsequent victim of his/her own actions."                                         - Lynn Hershman Leeson

With that detour behind us, we quickly & quietly took our seats within the darkened viewing room. I was entirely inspired by the animated short, Marcel, King of Tervuren, directed by Tom Schroeder with Ann Berckmoes. Rarely does a Greek tragedy grab you so hard, so fast. The lead, Marcel, immediately had me spell bound. The art work prevailed like a cold wave soothing your aches. There was a need to appreciate what had been done. An old tale with such vibrance, an impressionable gift of freshness. Films like this should thrive with healthy exposure. I fully celebrate what is sure to be considered one of, if not, the best animated short of 2013.

Other films that may spark your imagination are; Requiem for Romance, Subconscious Password & Drunker than a Skunk. It was nice to be taught a brief lesson on the terminology swirling around these modern drawings. Terms such as motion capture, hand animated on computer & boiled, were ideas that made sense, that moved motion elsewhere. I had a great day, thanks to the event organizers for holding such an amazing event & thanks to my best friend for coming along.
Bravo Marcel!


Monday, September 23, 2013

America's Cup in San Francisco

America's Cup sailing in San Francisco

Oracle Team USA won two races in one day for the first time to extend the America's Cup. San Francisco has been a spectacular host city, even with the occasional postponement due to high winds. Emirates Team New Zealand is still clinging to match point. Team USA has made numerous strides, both on the water and with the shore team performing modifications, allowing them to capture the last four victories. The series now stands at 8-5, a far cry form the once 7-1 margin. It appears that Team Oracle has made some key adjustments in personnel as well, they brought on Olympic gold medalist Ben Aisle as a tactician.

Surely Team New Zealand will counter-punch as they try to maintain their championship. San Francisco will need to up the home town presence if Team USA is to continue this comeback. The nautical battle for the Cup continues today, Mother Earth permitting.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Hardly Strictly turns 13!

With just a couple of weekends standing between now and the best free fest in the west, it's time to take a look-see at this year's line up for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. Golden Gate Park will once again play host to a plethora of great artists from October 4th through the 6th. 

Golden Gate Park, October 4, 5 & 6
This annual event has become both a right of passage for some and a reason to flee the city for others. Personally, I have attended religiously since living in northern California, with the exception of last year. It truly is one of the best festivals in the nation, a veritable Newport West. Hardly has announced their initial list of 41 artists, most of which are anything but bluegrass. 

Of the names and bands that have been released, I'm more than stoked for those that catch my attention. Here is a brief list of the acts that are sparking my interest; Steve Martin, Trampled by Turtles, Devil Makes 3, Father John Misty, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, the Wood Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Shovels & Rope, Jerry Douglas, Martha Wainwright & Patty Griffin. Two of which are below.

I highly suggest braving the masses at least once in order to enjoy this epic San Francisco event. If you're lucky most of your favorite artists will play on the same day. Be there or be square.