There’s a lot we love about animator Makoto Shinkai, whether it’s his pertinence for slow narratives or his obsession with melancholic atmospheres. But Shinkai is as much a master of creating stunning backgrounds as he is a storyteller. The Garden of Words, a short film about a lonely teenage boy and his relationship with a 27-year-old woman, is one of Shinkai’s better known films, and one of the best things about the film are all the gorgeous background shots of rainy Shinjuku. Rain is a major theme of the whole film, and Shinkai manages to turn slick streets and drenched gardens into scenes that have a life of their own.
The Garden of Words: Memories of Cinema is an art book that compiles all of Shinkai’s stunning background art for the film. At $75 a pop, it’s only recommended for hardcore fans, but we included a few images above for you to gawk at from afar. If you haven’t seen the film yet, watch the trailer.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, March 28th, 2016||No Comments »|
Today’s technology is sophisticated enough to make game design a legit art form. Designer Sandro Tatinashvili mostly design game backgrounds, but they decided to take a break and create these ambient animations of mini scenes. Together, each scene looks like it could be a part of a larger story, either a short animation or a video game, but that’s what’s most appealing about it, the suggestion of something larger. But ultimately, these are just a couple of beautiful looking gifs. And you can’t argue with that.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016||No Comments »|
There’s a specific image people think of when they hear the words “fan made” — usually something low budget, slop-dodged and inferior to the original. Basically, amateurish. But the medium of fan art has been growing in momentum lately and going into new, intriguing directions, like with Elliot Lim’shomage to The Wire and Yoann Hervo‘s fan made Simpsons tribute. This fan made homage to Mad Max: Fury Road, made by Julien JDM, exchanges the hypercut editing of the original with a retro, pixelated version with a sleek vaporwave undercurrent. Weirdly enough, he manages to capture the energy of the film while injecting some new energy of his own. If you’re wondering who did the song, it’s “Defiant Order” by Birdy Nam Nam.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, March 8th, 2016||No Comments »|
Typically the words “tiny dancer” makes us think of Elton John’s popular song of the same name. But illustrator Charlotte Smith took the literal approach with her series Tiny Dancers, which feature, you guessed it, gifs of tiny dancers. With her simple drawing style, she highlights famous dance scenes, like Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” side-step or Billy Elliot‘s cathartic leaps. But probably our favorite thing about it is how she uses simplicity to illustrate how easily we remember certain pop culture landmarks. Now excuse us. We’re gonna go watch Moonrise Kingdom again.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016||No Comments »|
When TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Faith No More’s Mike Patton and Anticon rapper/producer Doseone team up with animator Sarina Nihei, it’s guaranteed to be an enjoyable experience. Can you say “quadruple sandwich of perfection”?
This video for “Mr Mistake” is the first single off Nevermen’s self-titled debut. Animated by Nihei, who is best known for her amazing Small People With Hats short film, carries over her unique vision to match the whimsicality of Nevermen’s eclectic sound. The video shows a young girl walking through the woods as they morph and change around her, commenting on obvious themes about life, change, and rebirth. For more from Nevermen you can buy their album on iTunes. Don’t forget to check out the Boards of Canada remix, too!
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, February 16th, 2016||No Comments »|
It’s been eight years since The Wire ended and, fortunately, the show has not soured its iconic reputation. In a pop culture climate over-saturated with hype and critical darlings that are forgotten about within months, The Wire has maintained its footing as one of the important TV shows ever made. Illustrator Elliot Lim pays tribute to the show with this animated homage to the movers, shakers, cops, and thieves of Baltimore. Using a clean graphic style, he simplifies the familiar imagery of the show into sleek, recognizable profiles any fan of the show can identify. If this video doesn’t make you want to rewatch the entire series again, nothing will.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016||No Comments »|
A big part of anyone’s life and personality is the hold of what usually remains unseen: the memories, the emotions, the mental prisms that seem to trap us, bind us to some preordained fate. The innate parts that always leave us asking: is there any way to break free?
Perhaps there is, declares Raymond McCarthy Bergeron, a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, if we give them form and life beyond our minds. Such is the premise behind Bergeron’s Re-Belief , a zoetrope animation he created with Autodesk Maya software and 3D-printed and handcrafted pieces. In spite all the new technology used, the animation has an eerily hypnotizing feel, in no small part because it was filmed at 24 frames per second, the speed of the world’s very first animations.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Thursday, January 21st, 2016||No Comments »|