Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Level 13Net - Weird Mysterious|
Actors: Jen MacNeil, Gabriel Folse, Jett Garner, Michael Dalmon, Alana Liles
Directors: Blayne Gorum, Craig Knapp, Eric Radomski
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Collecting some of the best experimental animation in the world, this strange and delightfully perplexing assortment of 2D, 3D and mixed medium films represents the best in cool avant garde filmmaking. Absurd and comical... more »
Animation of the absurd
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 01/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Film Roman, producer of the Simpson's and King of the Hill, and Image Entertainment presents us with a collection of bizarre and often humorous animated shorts in Level 13: Weird and Mysterious. It's an interesting collection, mostly comprised of works from film schools, but there are a few independent studio works thrown in to complete the mix.
There are about 21 animated shorts on this disc, with many various styles, ranging from very complex and polished to extremely crude and/or simple, but all have their own, distinct style and seem to display real effort from their respective creators. Drawings, computer generated art, painted figures, and more...I like the diversity, but I didn't necessarily care for all the shorts.
My favorite was Mindless Bob, created by Eric Radomski and Mark Mothersbaugh (yeah, one of the guys from Devo). It was funny, stupid, loopy, and had me laughing. A few other ones I really enjoyed were Tea for Two, a sort of Kafkaesque discussion between a man and a rabbit over tea seemingly spoken in Swedish with subtitles, Ringed Planet, a wonderfully drawn and very funny short that reminded me of those old Warner Brother cartoons from back in the day, and Deus Ex Machina, a very detailed short feature long on symbolism. The artwork in this last one is amazing in the amount of detail and the story tells quite a lot in a short amount of time.
Probably my least favorite one was the first, Beyond the Distortion. It's kind of funny as this one was probably the most polished and sleekest looking short on this disc. About two thirds of this computer generated short contains a machine that looks like it was modeled after a man using a Stairmaster exercise machine, except only the lower part of the body was shown. We see this figure multiply on itself, like when one looks in a mirror and there is a mirror behind that person. I'd say it's almost H.R. Geiger like, but only peripherally. The last third breaks off into a sort of skeleton figure of a giant, hollowed out woman in a silver lake surrounded by a barren landscape. The whole short didn't seem like much other than someone trying to show off his artistic computer generation skills, trying too hard to impress. And the music...imagine Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells played twice as fast and not as good, and that's what you get. Kind of annoying, to be sure.
Given that there are around 21 shorts on this disc, there will probably be something for everyone, if you are interested in original and unique animated short subjects. There is about an hour of material on here, but there are no special features. I would be more inclined to give this three and a half stars, as while I appreciated the diversity, some of the animation just wasn't suited to my tastes. There are two more discs in this series, Level 13.Net: Just for Laughs and Level 13.Net: The Dark Side, neither of which I've had an opportunity to see, but given the strength of this one, I would be willing to give them a try.