Tag Archives: Ida Lasic


366 Weird Movies may earn commissions from purchases made through product links.The prospect of reviewing animation is always alluring, but perhaps never more so than when the Slamdance film festival rolls around. Alternately dream-like and nightmarish as a general rule, this year’s slate bends considerably more toward the abstract and absurd—and as such were a particular treat. I highly recommend you invest in access to these fine additions to the “cartoon” canon, with a particular shout-out for Frank Volk and his ad-blitz bombastic “Hotdogs!”, which has the visual and narrative chops to pull on the heartstrings, induce plenty of chuckles, and squeeze in a seamless mention of dialectical materialism.

And without further ado, the Animation Shorts ’23 showcase!

Arrest in Flight (dir. Adrian Flury; 8 min.)—Candy-colored props and sets are put to unsettling use through an ambient-industrial-choral score and jerky animations—as if the mechanized legs, kitchen chairs, and “people” are being sliced in and out of time. Flury’s dissection of modern life, with all its repetitions and tipping points, hypnotizes the eyes and ears, making even a flippant optimist like myself all too apprehensive.

Babe Beach (dir. Ida Lasic; 8 min.)—Some social commentary from Croatia, with a (top) half-fish / (bottom) half-human beach guide. ’90s polygons and ’80s neon are on proud display as a couple of beach-bum tourists ask a not-quite-local about the benefits of tourism. Visually pleasing, wryly humorous, and remarkably salient.

Baloney Beacon (dir. Max Landman; 6 min.)—Stop-motion using balloons is a gimmick I had never before laid eyes upon. The effect was unsettling. Cosmic creatures are overrun by a death-ray emitted by a hungry god of a tiny planet, who then consumes his prey. Top marks for originality, tone, and medium.

Don’t Die on Me (dir. Ori Goldberg; 3 min.)—A couple of guys on a park bench sharing a doobie frame this scattered narrative, but I would remiss if I did not share the content warning: quintessence mucous. Ori Goldberg animates this quick, spiritual exploration of mucous in a George Grosz style, and does not shy away from the general unpleasantness of nose-related usage. Some sick humor.

Horse (dir. Diana Gong; 4 min.)—RAM trucks, sunsets, and a claymation horse sporting pretty eyelashes. The methods of “mixed media” never fail to keep my attention. Diana Gong combines live video, clay, tissue paper, and a little computer noodling to talk about masculinity, ideals, infidelity, and doubtless a bit more. While there is always something moving onscreen, it never overwhelms, and it almost feels like one of the more abstract interludes I remember Continue reading SLAMDANCE 2023: ANIMATION SHORTS


I’m a bit old to dance the “Slam”, but I still like to keep tabs on what the young people are up to. Please join me as I dive headlong into the short-form cyberspace transmissions of SlamDance 2021. (The festival’s entire slate, shorts and features can be watched online through February 25 for a $10 pass, $5 for students).  Some films may be online, in whole or in part, in other online venues; we’ve sprinkled in the occasional link or trailer.

For those who may be overwhelmed by my thoroughness, I can quickly (and highly) recommend the following for a 1/2-hour-or-so of programming: Opera (for awe), Passage (for weird), and The Danger in Front (for fun).


Letters from Your Far Off Country (dir. Suneil Sanzgiri; 18 min.)—It is doubtlessly mere coincidence that I watched this so soon after Hitler: a Film from Germany, but their parallel structure, and even general message, sync up uncannily. This movie explores “how history moves through us, and how we move through it”; and it asks, “What is one’s claim to the past?” It concludes “How we connect, how we comprehend, is up to us.” With a combination of contemporary news footage, 8mm-style home movies, song snippets, recorded speeches, and even what appears to be a Zoom conversation, Letters primarily addresses the Kashmir uprising in 1989, though the urgency of recent events is never far in the background. A thoughtful, moving video document, which I’m guessing will be banned by the local authorities.

Morning Sickness in the USA (dir. Cristine Brache; 3 min.)—Brache’s recorded phone conversation with her mother plays over a series of alternately odd and alarming images of pregnant women undergoing various observations. The mother’s anecdote about how she was sent to a mental institution for two weeks because doctors were unable to diagnose her strange nausea (“morning sickness”, as the title indicates) is amusingly related. The unsettling  photo-video undercurrent… less so.

Passage (dir. Ann Oren; 13 min.)—An androgynous foley artist sonically morphs into the horse for which they’re creating effects, and grows a handsome tail. I can’t help but think of Berberian Sound Studio brought to its (il)logical conclusion. Passage examines obsession through observation, but also illustrates the importance of sound design for the art of illusion. After clomping softly into the “Passage” theater, our protagonist views the fruits of their labor before disappearing. What begins with human feet ends with a horse’s eye.

Rumi and his Roses (dir. Navid Sinaki; 5 min.)—Navid Sinaki tells the story of his first boyfriend using the unlikely medium of DVD menu Continue reading SLAMDANCE 2021: THE BIG SHORTS COMPENDIUM