Plus: global animation news and a scary ghost story.
These gift ideas are fun! I'm surprised at how some of the older books, especially the Miyazaki chronicles, remain affordable. Incidentally, I wish it were also easy to somehow gift non-traditional/non-tangible things like submission fees or things like "crit" for animators; I was reminded of how SOTW does amazing critiques for a fee—it's not exorbitant at around $70 USD I think, but still adds up!
Speaking of crit, I was thinking that I'd give a lot to be a fly on the wall for film jury deliberations. It must be so difficult to choose one film over another when so many of these animated shorts are so different not only stylistically but in terms of what their artistic "priorities" are—for lack of a better way to put it. One film can feel like an apple and another an orange, to me. I think GIRAF didn't have more granular categories?
Lastly, I loved Mekakure—thanks for spotlighting it! I look forward to these gems every issue. There's something so anxiety/fear-inducing about it, in an impressively non-flashy way. I thought a lot about how what we can imagine is often so much darker and more terrifying than what we can physically see. (The style triggered a memory of the small bits of animation used in the excellent 2018 arthouse horror film Mandy with Nicolas Cage for some reason, even though they're probably not that alike.)
Great article, this was a nice change of pace from the usual newsletter. Animation cells can also make great gift though they can be quite expensive an hard to find if you are looking for something specific. Also Mekakure was a really fun and striking short, thanks for making me more aware of it.