|A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIESHAUN THE SHEEPFARMAGEDDONANIMATIONNETFLIX|
With “Farmageddon,” the stop-motion sequel to the Oscar-nominated “Shaun the Sheep Movie” now streaming on Netflix, Aardman couldn't resist embracing sci-fi for the first time. And for newbie feature directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan, it was a rare opportunity to take a deep dive into the genre, especially the beloved films of Steven Spielberg “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”.
When a cute yet free-spirited alien child, LU-LA, crash-lands near Mossy Bottom farm, Shaun, normally the troublemaker, becomes a responsible buddy on a quest to find Lu-LA's lost spaceship and return home, fighting off a secret government agency bent on capturing the alien. “The idea of Shaun being the rebel and always pushing boundaries changes when he meets this alien who has no limits, who has no boundaries,” said Becher. “And he has to grow up a bit, learning what it's like to be an older brother.We talked a lot about the days we started school or meeting new people or foreign exchange students, where we realize there are cultural differences. So we learn and grow as people.”
“Once the idea of doing of sci-fi film had been agreed, we went to town on watching and getting a feeling from all those films that we grew up with in the '80s and '90s,” said Phelan. “And then we went further back as well, and got all the crew enthused about science-fiction as a genre.”
Aardman / screencap
That meant exploring new frontiers for the legendary stop-motion studio from Bristol, England. They created larger and more ambitious sets, made the largest puppet with a two-foot robot, and played with different lighting, camera lenses, and compositions. At the same time, they planted plenty of sci-fi nods, from an H.G. Wells sign to HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey” to the TARS tactical robots from “Interstellar.” They even stocked an entire supermarket with references, including Matt Damon's character from “The Martian,” Mark Watney.
The work began with concept art of the familiar “Shaun the Sheep” farm, redesigning the yard to provide an old-school look, and adding corn fields for the iconic image of a crops circle. “We had these great ambitions,” added Phelon. “A sinister underground base, which was a Bondesque lair, the biggest set we've ever built.” It's “Dr. Strangelove” meets “Moonraker” in a Ken Adam production design mashup. “We gathered photos of underground bunkers and it became a mixture of dynamite blasted caves and poured concrete,” Phelon said. “It was like a harsh dragon's...
The 60th anniversary edition, set for June 15-20, will instead take place June 14-19, 2021.
The Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and its associated market, has been called off this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 edition, set to be Annecy's 60th anniversary, was scheduled to run June 15-20. Instead, the event will be held June 14-19, 2021.
Organizers made the announcement "with tremendous disappointment" Tuesday.
"Over the past few weeks, driven by our passion and our enthusiasm, despite the confinement constraints we were nevertheless hoping to maintain the exceptional edition that we had in store for you," they said in a statement. "But today, the rationale and the international situation compel us to act with lucidity and responsibility. To show our respect and our deep gratitude to the health care providers, as well as all those who choose solidarity and the public interest."
Calling the Annecy festival "a party, a family gathering," organizers said they could not bring themselves "to celebrate animation and our 60th anniversary when some amongst you would not be able to attend."
Pushing the festival to a later date this year was not possible, Annecy said, because of other events on the industry calendar. The 2020 Cannes Film Festival, which has been postponed, is eyeing a possible alternative date in late June or early July.
Annecy still plans to unveil its official selections for the 60th anniversary festival April 15, though the films won't be screened until next year. On April 15, organizers said, they will also announce details for industry attendees.
Annecy is the world's number one festival for animated film and has become a favorite event for studios and independents to launch new projects or kick off global marketing campaigns. At last year's festival, Disney screened the first footage of Frozen 2 and Netflix gave a sneak peek at images from several animated projects in development, including Ricky Gervais' The Willoughbys.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...