September 10, 2007

Animation Response

Jenni Schmidt's animation "Utopia" was an extremely abstract piece, focusing on a composition of multiple scenes having little to no connectivity to one another. Although continuity existed between recurring characters, anything resembling narrative structure seems to end right there. The characters appear to be partaking in some random action in every sequence, forming continuity only through the use of certain objects and characters (for example, with a meteor or a boy reading a book). Though Schmidt obviously had an intended message to be displayed by the sequence of actions, I was unable to pick up on it. I did find merit in the drawings of the characters and interplay between the background photographs and mattes, and the character forms. However, the animation was extremely simplistic and made the movement feel unnatural, particularly when the girl bumps in to the boy (and the action freezes for a second). The soundtrack was worth noting on this piece, as it particularly stands out in my mind after watching the film. It performed its purpose well, as it was the primary tool for defining the personalities of the characters; therefore, the girl was always featured with a louder tune and rock or dance-style drumbeat, while the boy was always featured with a gentler, harmonic piece. Overall, this was a piece with a very complex composition, achieving many goals of expression effectively, and obscuring othergoals with its unique form of expression