by Emma Cohen
Craving some artsy family fun? Here is a preview of upcoming programming. March 3 is a day of foreign flix, including seven shorts from Germany, South Africa, UK, France, Iran, and Canada, and an animated feature-length Japanese movie.
Everyone feels lonely sometimes. So when we saw these films about loneliness and friendship, we knew we had to snatch them up and show them to you. These works explore how characters overcome fear, boring rules, and even gravity to make friends and experience the beauty of the world–even if things don’t always turn out as planned!
In “Mobile,” a 2010 German film by Verena Fels, a solitary cow literally flips her world upside down in order to make a friend.
“Elephants,” by Sally Pearce (United Kingdom, 2008), tells the story of a curious girl who, to catch the grey elephants hiding in her grey house, paints the walls and discovers a colorful world of new friends.
The neglected hamster in “New Digs,” a 2010 Martin Sen film from South Africa, makes a daring escape, but it’s just a moment too soon!
The notes from Farmer Henry’s cello just plop to the floor in Stacey Chomiak‘s “Tah Dah” (Canada, 2009) until Bentley Bug alights on the strings and the duo discovers how to make the music soar.
The 2011 Iranian film “Zero” by Nazanin Sobhan Sarbandi tells the story of an outcast boy who discovers how to transform his desolate nightmares of bad grades into fun-filled reality.
Tired of watching the pineapples have all the fun, in John Banana‘s “Orange O Despair” (France, 2011), a young orange escapes to the other side of the shop where its clever disguise causes an unexpected adventure.
In Mario Zozin‘s 2011 German film “Emil Orange,” Emil puts all his faith in one magnificent color on a trip to the fair.
And our feature film: Shinsuke Sato’s “Oblivion Island” (Japan, 2009). In this film, Haruka’s search for a lost hand mirror from her mother leads her into the magical world of forgotten possessions. There she meets Teo, a shy outcast, and through their forbidden friendship they discover music, battle the evil Baron, and learn they are less alone than they feel. We recommend this film for ages 8 and up.
If your little ones can’t yet read, it’s no problem! We’ll be showing a newly-released English-dubbed version of “Oblivion Island.” It’s not being shown in theaters so this is your only chance to catch this Japanese film on the big screen!
Besides its fun, uplifting story and limited distribution, “Oblivion Island” is also a must-see because it has won heaps of awards. It won Best Feature Animation Film for young people at the 10th annual International Film Festival “Nueva Mirada” for Children and Youth in Buenos Aires; it was a Jury Recommended Work at the Japan Media Art Festival; it won the Digital Content Association of Japan Chairman Prize at the 25th Digital Content Grand Prix. And that’s just a few of them!
The short films will be shown one after the other at 11am and 1pm, and “Oblivion Island” plays at 3pm. We are so looking forward to watching these films with you at the Walker on March 3!