A Pair of Modern Silent Animated Films Available for Free and Legal Viewing

I fell down a research rabbit hole, as I am wont to do, and ended up knee-deep in Canadian animation. Not the worst problem to have. Anyway, I wanted to share a pair of splendid films that were new to me and available for online viewing, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada!

And the best part? No dialogue! (normadesmond.gif) There are synchronized sound effects but the power of these films is in the imagery, not the words.

(I am located in California and had no trouble viewing these films. I hope they work as well for the rest of the world!)

Pinscreen

Ever since I started researching the career of Claire Parker, I have been obsessed with pinscreen animation. This beautiful art operates in a world of light and shadow, no color. (I detail the technical aspects in my review of The Nose.) Using an original pinscreen delivered to Canada by Parker and Alexander Alexeieff, filmmaker Michèle Lemieux creates a rich and deep cinematic experience. Here and the Great Elsewhere (2012) is a highly philosophical film but also quite accessible. I should also point out that this is an unusual and fun entry for those of you partaking in the 52 Films by Women challenge.

Here and the Great Elsewhere, Michèle Lemieux, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Stop-motion (with a twist)

Filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski use stop-motion with human eyes composited onto model faces. That’s not as creepy as it sounds… or is it? Madame Tutli-Putli won a pile of awards when it was released in 2007 and it’s easy to see why. It’s dark, it’s stylish, it’s about kidney theft!

Madame Tutli-Putli , Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

I hope you enjoy these films as much as I did! Look for reviews in the future. Hats off to the NFB for making these gems available to all. (There are plenty more excellent animated shorts on their site, so be sure to poke around!)

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3 Replies to “A Pair of Modern Silent Animated Films Available for Free and Legal Viewing”

  1. Just call me “Alice,” Madame White Rabbit.

    Your post re “Cartoon Roots” discs started my serious pursuit of animation. The National Film Board of Canada stream works here but is beyond my lousy i/net speed. “Madame Tutli-Putli” and others are available on a range of discs from Amazon Canada, I’ve ordered one.

    Some editions, like any Norman McLaren I can find, are pricey, but not all. Caveat emptor.

    As always, thanks for the tip off.

      1. I fear a day approaching when streaming will be the main source of most films; one reason I buy discs and consider buying a spare player. And go to the cinema often.

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