Bela Legosi and Boris Karloff in their first on-screen pairing in a film that really should be on the National Film Registry!
One of the most important avant garde feature films of the last fifty years, David Lynch's Eraserhead is on the Registry and for very good reasons.
The world of animation is wonderful. I've learned that so many artists have signatures that are instantly recogniseable. The moment we put on Boomerang, I knew it was Steven Vander Meer. His 2015 film Salmon Deadly Sins was an absolute highlight, and this was very similar to it in methodology, but also worlds way in emotional resonance.
Boomerang is a beautifully made animation, with each frame numbered in the corner. The thing is, it's a music video based on a song by Chris "Bird" Jowaisas. Again, like so many films we're featuring this year. the music and the imagery play within the same sandbox, and they make the entire work far more impressive.
Vander Meer's animation style is wonderful, and yeah the way he treats the reality of his images reminds me of Bill Plympton, but here the sensation given off is so much more than just surreal, which it is, but it's also beautiful, evocative, and most of all, it is generous with itself. That may sound unusual, but some films demand, insist, but Boomerang gives to the viewer, making it more impressive.
The figure of the Jester, based on the model Bella Uribe, is persistent, and gives us a trickster, but moreso, it ties it into the long standing tradition of clowns and jesters in Surrealist art. Add to that the visual signature of stripes, in everything from the tights of our trickster to the tiger shark a great white becomes after eating a swimmer, and you see the power of that particular character.
The impressive flowing images, morphing from one, often concrete, form to another which tends towards the organic through a set of doughy stages, makes for the entire five minutes to feel as if we are bring washed over, that these images are coming to us as a cleansing. The Boomerang motif is apparent, but more importantly, the transition from the hard/rigid/scientific to the soft/pliable/natural is a wonderful path, and through it, I found myself moved deeply. This is exactly the kind of film that makes programming a shorts program difficult; the moment it finishes, you have to go back and re-watch it or else you'll feel like you've not given it justice.
Boomerang shows as a part of the Animated Worlds program showing at Century 20 Redwood City Thu, Mar 2 9:15 PM, Sat, Mar 4 8:15 PM, and Sun, Mar 12 6:50 PM, as well as in Downtown San Jose at the Hammer Theatre on Wed, Mar 8 3:45 PM
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.