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Animation 2018


In 2018 we celebrate animation in all its guises, from puppetry and stop-motion to anime and CGI.

Introduction by co-programmers Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart

Animation 2018

“All of a sudden it hit me – if there was such a thing as composing music, there could be such a thing as composing motion”
Len Lye

Throughout the year we will be showcasing the craft and creativity of animation in all its forms and genres, from cut outs, puppetry and stop-motion to anime and CGI. While British animation will be at the heart of this story, we will also be investigating international perspectives and inviting animators to join us in person to present their work. There will be previews, re-releases and panel discussions all designed to illustrate why this unique art form can achieve what its live-action counterpart can’t, and why, despite popular misconceptions, animation is just as much for adults as it is for children.


Eastern European Experimentation (April)

“We were always drawn towards texture, towards the organic, nothing shiny and computer-like”
The Quay Brothers

The success of the UK-based Quay Brothers is owed in part to Eastern Europe.

This month we celebrate the work of The Quay Brothers, born in America but based in England for over 40 years, twins whose stop-motion style of animation is incredibly distinctive and experimental. Acclaimed for their short animated films, they also made a couple of live-action features – such as the hypnotic Institute Benjamenta, which we screen this month. Despite using actors (including the excellent Mark Rylance), the film contains the unconventional narratives and surreal qualities that Quay Brothers fans would hope for. Christopher Nolan, David Lynch and Terry Gilliam are among their admirers, and the Brothers in turn cite their influences as Eastern-European filmmakers such as Walerian Borowczyk, Ladislas Starevich and Jan Švankmajer.

Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart

Japanimation (May)

“What’s happened to me? I must be dreaming. I feel like I can take out the world”

To tie in with the Anime Weekender that we run every two years (see p38), this month we look at some classic anime titles – from the very first, back in 1944, to perhaps the most well-known anime of all time, Akira, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The term anime can be applied to any Japanese animated title regardless of style or genre, and the films are often based on manga, the graphic novels that are hugely popular in Japan. With a selection of classic titles from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli in our family section too, this is a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the best anime titles available, and enjoy the craft on the big screen.

Justin Johnson and Jez Stewart


See our preview of The Breadwinner + Q&A with Nora Twomey and Paul Young.


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