ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is a special place for anyone into film. Located in the heart of Melbourne, the centre aims to celebrate and showcase the moving image with an endless program of film screenings, exhibitions, festivals, workshops and many other special events. This month, ACMI was also the location for RMIT’s 2011 Animation and Interactive Media graduate show, Easing Out.
RMIT’s Animation and Interactive Media program aims to “provide students with the broad base necessary to develop a career within the art, design and media industries.” Other areas of specialist training offered throughout the course include animation (2D and 3D), digital art and design, digital video, motion graphics, special effects, interactive media design, sound design, as well as media theory and professional practice in a creative environment. We were fortunate to see the end result of this training with films from the eighteen students who completed the program this year.
Bonnie Gregg offered a cute interpretation of children making friends when they start school in her film ‘Grow’. Gregg’s characters each have an ‘imaginary friend’ who stays by their side until they make a new school friend.
Domenico DeRosa’s film, ‘The Sleep of Reason’ is the story of a man who is held captive in a fortress guarded by a sinister creature. The man watches from his window as an ass struggles to carry a bolder over a crumbling bridge. He is inspired by the ass’s determination and escapes from the fortress, plunging into the mysterious fog that surrounds his prison.
Alastair Richardson’s film, ‘Clean and Jerk’ featured Brett, the competitive gym-junkie who hangs out in the gym waiting for his next ‘challenger’ to arrive. When one unsuspecting gym-goer enters the gym, Brett follows him around and tries to out-do him by lifting heavier weights or cycling and running faster. Can Brett live up to his personal image of being the “the biggest, the strongest and the best”?
Cheng Peng’s ‘The Animal Restaurant’ is a powerful reminder of the way we often treat and think of animals i.e. like a piece of meat. Peng questions what would happen if the tables were turned and people were on the menu in an animal restaurant when his main character becomes ‘fair game’.
Jeremy is the housemate from hell. He takes too long in the shower, breaks his housemates’ stuff and is generally inconsiderate to everyone he lives with. After planning to evict Jeremy, his housemates are quietly relieved when he dies in a freak accident on his way to work – until he comes back to haunt them. Dale Anderson’s film ‘Evicted’ is the morbidly humorous tale of how three disgruntled housemates evict their unwanted housemate and his ghost for good.
‘Happy Happy Yay Yay’ is the adventure of two bored girls, Ike and Darwin, who embark on an imaginative journey into a land of unicorns, candy and lollipops. Mel Roach’s eccentric tale ironically demonstrates that sometimes things are not as they seem…
Amelia is a dancer and utilises her nimbleness to climb a power pole and release a bird tangled in the lines. She too becomes trapped in the electromagnetic field of the power lines, but spends her time learning to use the lines as a tight rope to dance across. The crow that she frees earlier in the film returns to keep her company. ‘Powerlines’ is a hauntingly beautiful showcase of Michelle Rose’s work.
A little boy’s dreams come true in Esther Pang’s film, ‘More Than Anything’ when he shrinks down to become the same size as his toys. The little boy meets some interesting characters in his miniature wonderland. This is the ultimate children’s adventure.
‘The Cell Hole’ also employs humour and irony when a small escape hole appears in a prisoner’s cell. Seizing his opportunity, the prisoner tries to squeeze through the hole, but soon learns the hole has a mind of its own. Sunnefa Palsdottir has cleverly captured her character’s frustration of not being able to grasp his opportunity immediately.
An unmarked spray-can leads to all sorts of trouble in the wrong hands. ‘Spray’ is Havard Forland Isaksen’s hilarious tale of a cheeky little character who sprays everyone he comes across. The spray results in rapid hair growth, which our main character finds entertaining, but many of his targets don’t see the funny side.
‘The Croissant’ by Kachain Vangsrivadhagul is the hilarious tale of a mime, a croissant and a cheeky bird. A mime is performing in a park and sits down to take a break and eat his lunch. As he is about to bite into his delicious croissant, a bird in the tree above seizes the opportunity to whisk the mime’s lunch out of his hands. The amusing chase that follows sees our mime utilise different contraptions, such as a scooter, skateboard and jet pack to chase the bird down. Eventually the bird accidently drops the croissant and the mime pounces on it. As the mime goes to take his bite of victory, the bird’s poop lands on the croissant. Ironic brilliance at its best!
Easing Out Website.