Each week the folks at Cinema Circus show a series of short films on Wednesday evenings at the Chilmark Community center. The films begin at 6 p.m. but at 5 p.m. the circus — complete with jugglers, face painters, stilt walkers, food and music — gets under way.
The short films are programmed each week around a central theme, introduced in the first film by Professor Projector. This week’s theme is animation.
An advanced screening of the films was arranged with a young cineaste. In a world with few certainties, the kid critic is the critic to trust. This week’s reviewer is Clara Athearn.
Professor Projector: Animation (Dir. Scott Barrow / U.S.A. / 2013 / 5 min.)
It didn’t really have a storyline, but it showed you different ways to make animation. It was a mix of live action and animation clips. The main characters were Ellie the elephant, Mr. Peeps, and Professor Projector. It takes place in an art shed by my school. The movie made me feel that I know how it works, when I used to wonder how they do that? Now I have a better idea. You can use anything to make a film. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Captain Hu (Dir. Basil Vogt / Switzerland / 2011 / 9 min.)
This movie was chalk animation. The storyline was that there was a man and his boat crashed in a storm. He met people and they weren’t being fair to him. He just wanted to go back to the sea on his boat. The main characters were the giant, the old man and the boat captain. It is sort of animation and sort of chalk. It made me feel sad. I give it 1 star.
The Little Red Plane (Dir. Charlotte Blacker / U.K. / 2010 / 3.5 min.)
It was about a cat and a woman going sightseeing on a plane. They saw an octopus and turned back home. They used mostly felt and some patterns of socks in the movie. It was very stuffed and plush; the ocean was made of newspaper. It made me feel really happy. I learned that you can film not just with trees and real stuff, but you can also use socks. I give it 5 stars.
The Pencil That Didn’t Know How To Write (Dir. Joana Torgal / Portugal / 2011 / 5 min.)
This film was half animation and half live action. There was a boy who didn’t really color in the lines. He had to go somewhere. I don’t know where. Then the pencils started to color by themselves and stayed in the lines. The main characters were the boy and the pencils. It was different because the pencils were characters. It made me feel like I wanted to laugh. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Lola and Her Dog (Dir. Nathaniel Winckler / U.S.A. / 2011 / 3 min.)
This film was stop-motion animation. A little girl was playing ballet with her stuffed animal. Her dog was trapped in the wall and she could hear him. She had to go a different way to find him. The main characters were Lola and her dog. It was different because it took place on a piece of paper and it wasn’t in color. It made me feel happy. I give it 5 stars.
Stranded (Dirs. Donia Lietchi and Victoria Penzes / U.S.A. / 2013 / 2 min.)
This film is computer animation. The plot was about a bird who ate the guy’s fish, so the guy tried to chase him. The main characters were the guy and the bird. It was the first computer animation one in the group. It made me laugh. I didn’t learn anything. It gets 4 out of 5 stars.
Baby Cloud (Dir. Piper O’Neill / U.S.A. / 2010 / 2.5 min.)
I loved it! It didn’t have much story line, but it was kind of enchanting. The main character was Baby Cloud. It had a song to it, a very sweet song. I give it 5 stars.
Recipe for Love (Dir. Gwyneth Christoffel / Canada / 2012 / 3 min.)
This movie was stop animation, I think? It was about a cupcake that was lonely. The cupcake baked cupcakes and one became alive to be his friend. The main characters were cupcakes. It took place in a kitchen, a realistic setting, but the characters were pretend cupcakes, but the background was real. It made me feel happy when the cupcake got a friend. I learned nothing, but I liked it. I give it 4 out of 5.
Partir (Dir. Joanna Lurie / France / 2012 / 3 min.)
This film was different because it was in a city. The main characters were drawings that turned into bubbles. It was about two friendly monsters falling through the city. It made me feel curious. I give it 4 out of 5.
Violin Play (Dir. Tunde Vollenbroek / Netherlands / 2012 / 2 min.)
This movie is stop-motion animation. It’s about a girl who didn’t like how her violin sounded, but then the cat meowed the same song and the girl liked it. When she played again it sounded like the cat, and she loved it! The song is from the Suzuki violin book. I loved this movie. They used paper pictures. If your violin doesn’t sound good at first, keep going till it does. You aren’t always going to be a professional. I give it 5 stars.
PFFF (Dir. Susan Wolf / Canada / 2012 / 1.5 min.)
I think this movie was part computer animation, but I’m not sure. It was about a sun who has a foot and clouds with fists. The moon also has a foot. It was mostly sort of really detailed, but also not that detailed. It made me happy, but I didn’t love it. I give it 2 stars.
Boris The Rat Dresses Warmly (Dirs. Kaisa Penttilä and Leena Lääskeläinen / Finland / 2012 / 5 min.)
This movie was about a fish that liked the rat, even though the rat keeps being a little goofy. Boris and Annalis the Baltic herring are the main characters. This movie made me feel like I might giggle, but I didn’t. I didn’t really like it actually. I give it 1 star.
How Shammies Teeter-Tottered (Dir. Edmunds Jansons / Latvia / 2012 / 2 min.)
This movie was about little toy people wanting to play. A lollipop got stuck on their seesaw. The main characters were the button toy people and the cat. The fabric toy people were not real, but the cat was an actual real cat. I learned that teeter-totter means seesaw. I loved the button people. I give it 5 stars.
The Review on the Reviewer
Name: Clara Ann Athearn.
School: 2nd grade at the Chilmark School.
Siblings: Zeb, 4 1/2; Penelope, 7 months
Pets: Percy (dog), Alby and Winnie (cats), Rainbow (fish), Creepy (rooster), Ice Cream Sandwich and Silver (cows).
Something new you are learning: The newest thing I’m learning about is sea animals. I’m not studying anything specific right now, but I just finished a research project on the whelk.
New place you would like to explore: The Big Island of Hawaii.
New food you recently tried: Raw chocolate mousse.
Favorite thing about Martha’s Vineyard: Going on a walk with my friends and looking for lady-slippers in the woods.
What do you want to do/be when you grow up: I want to be a farmer.
Anything else you want us to know about you: I mostly play with my brother and I sometimes help Mommy with my little sister.