CARTOON NOIR is an anthology of six animated short films from around the world that go far beyond mainstream studio animation by delving into magic, mystery and the darker side of humanity. — ABDUCTEES, an award-winning UK ... more »production by Paul Vester, takes five true tales of people who believe they were abducted by aliens and, using their drawings and descriptions as the starting point for the animation, creates a superbly visual film that utilizes a wide range of animated techniques.
APE, American Julie Zammarchi's darkly comic animation is a statement about monogamy and the patterns of daily survival, featuring a grouchy, married couple who battle over their nightly dinner--a cooked, whole monkey!
CLUB OF THE DISCARDED is Czech filmmaker Jiri Barta's 30 minute piece inspired by master animator Jan Svankmajer. An amusingly grim commentary on the Czech Republic, Club tells the story of a family of discarded mannequins who enjoy a quiet life in an abandoned warehouse until a group of hipster mannequins move in and ruin the neighborhood.
GENTLE SPIRIT (LAGODNA) This Polish award-winner by Piotr Dumala, derived from a Dostoyevsky story, depicts the psychological landscape-- fraught with entrapment and violence-- between a young woman and an ominous male figure.
JOY STREET is American Suzan Pitt's ambitious and astonishing story of a woman's journey from suicidal despair to personal renewal, with the help of an unlikely animated muse. Underscoring her environmental concerns, Pitt's film is about our psychological and spiritual need to preserve nature and our ability to survive through imagination.
THE STORY OF THE CAT AND THE MOON (ESTORIA DO GATO E DA LUA) by Pedro Serrazina has been internationally celebrated in over 70 film festivals. This Portuguese mini-epic of unrequited love follows a cat beguiled by an always out-of-reach moon.« less
"There is one really wonderful feature here, The Story of The Cat And The Moon. It is the story of an aging cat who is quite mad and utterly in love with the moon. Wonderful black and white imaging and exquisite story monologue. It is probably worth owning this DVD just for this one feature alone. The other five are not so much noir as just deadly boring and depressing. You should try to see this before you buy it, as it is really not for all tastes."
What a flop
Carl Tait | New York, NY USA | 02/25/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone expecting either good animation or good noir is going to be very disappointed with this collection. By and large, the films are monumentally dull. The brief "Cat and the Moon" provides almost the only glimmer of interest; the rest of the disc feels like a bunch of student exercises.This disc will probably bore you silly, despite the trio of five-star reviews below -- all by "A viewer from Chicago." (Wow, what a coincidence that three Windy City residents all loved this tedious DVD and used the same words to describe it.) If you're looking for great animation with a dark twist, try Jan Svankmajer or the Brothers Quay instead."
A Must-Own DVD!
Win Martin | Seattle, WA United States | 10/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having been one of the lucky people who had the chance to see this remarkable anthology in theaters, I'm in the unique position of being able to recommend it to AMAZON shoppers. If you are a fan of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS or SPIKE & MIKE'S ANIMATIONS FESTIVALS, or just an animation fan in general, I highly encourage you to pick up this disc, even if you haven't seen it. This is an accomplished piece of work that can be watched and rewatched several times, and contains some truly breathtaking pieces of animation. The filmmakers behind these pieces are truly masters of mood, not to mention ingenious for attempting to merge film noir with animation. A wonderful investment."
Cool and dark animation
wiredweird | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation will not please the conservatives who adore Walt Disney, nor will it win any Oscars (too outrageous). But if you like underground comics, alternative music, and are interested in what the best of the experimental animators are doing - then you will love this tape. Paul Vester, Suzan Pitt, and Jiri Barta whose dark and beautifully realized work are a part of Cartoon Noir are some of the best underground animators working today. The films in this compilation are original and striking examples of where animation can take the imagination. These works ran theatrically at the Cinema Village in New York and received rave reviews throughout the United States. Don't listen to Mr. Establishment, Charles Solomon."
Five strange, sustained visions
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 01/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jiri Barta's "Club of the Discarded" is my favorite of this bunch, a stop-animation featuring outdated and damaged mannequins. It comes across as eerie but ambiguous, leaving a lotfor the viewer to bring to the imagery. Serrazina's "Story of the Cat and the Moon" is elegant and eloquent, a sweet dessert for finishing off this visual feast. Other pieces, including "Abductees," didn't do as much for me - I just don't feel any need to respond to alien abduction stories in a serious way, and Vester missed the huge potential for commenting on the many human weaknesses involved.
It's a mixed bag with, including some very strong selections. If you like animation that explores off the beaten path, you'll probably enjoy this, or parts of it.