Thursday, July 28, 2011

This cartoon festival is no child's play

By Haru Coryne

Brooklyn’s biggest animation festival features plenty of cartoons — but it’s no child’s play.

The eighth annual Animation Block Party presents nearly 100 short films over the course of three days, with love stories and war films screening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Fort Greene and Automotive HS in Greenpoint from July 29 to 31.

Just don’t expect “Looney Tunes.” The animated shorts promise to capture the full variety of filmmaking as an art form, with plenty of abstractionism to boot.

“Parents come here expecting Bugs Bunny and Mighty Mouse, and all of a sudden they get some German experimental film with nudity,” said festival founder Casey Safron.

Take, for instance, Williamsburg filmmaker Becky James “Shapes in the City.” The difficult-to-define piece runs just under five minutes and follows the “life” of a simple, geometric shape — with all the action of a dark, 1940s noir.

“There’s a murder, there’s a dance scene, there’s theft,” said James. “There’s even a circle smoking a cigarette on a corner.”

Animation Block Party at the Automotive High School [50 Bedford Ave. near N. 13th Street in Greenpoint, (718) 218-9301] and BAMcinématek [30 Lafayette Ave. between St. Felix Street and Ashland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4100], July 29-31. Free. For info, visit


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