As has been true for my wife and I for at least the past year life has been very busy lately and it has kept me from posting as often as I would like to and, for that, I apologize. I will not, however, apologize for the fact that I have been trying to catch up on seeing some of the Oscar-nominated films/performances in my spare time. There’s been some great stuff released this year and I am glad to see a lot of film’s with some serious artistic merit being up for awards (it really isn’t always with case with the Oscars, as we all know). In my web-wanderings I was pleased to realize that a clip by PES, a shop-motion animator whose work I have enjoyed for quite a while was nominated last year in the Best Short Film – Animated category for the clip above, Fresh Guacamole. Trivia note: it is the shortest film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award.
I remember seeing PES’s work on TV a number of years ago, his Bacardi and Coinstar commercials actually making me sit up and take notice to the commercial that was on. PES has done many commercials and also many of his own short films. His style is deceptively simple, his chosen style of stop-motion animation short pieces using everyday objects lends itself to a didn’t-I-see-this-on-Sesame-Street nostalgia and general feelings of whimsy. His films, being wordless, often rely on visual puns (Scrabble is an exercise in visual punning and a depiction of how players use similar verbal abilities to find better words in their hand) and cleverly chosen items to represent the signified (see Moth, below). I love all of the vitality finds its way into all of PES’s work, whether through his beautiful animation, the lively connection between the animation and the soundtrack, or the anticipation of what he is going to do next (The Deep). PES’s films are all short so take a half hour at some point today or tomorrow and check them out. They are endlessly re-watchable so it won’t be the last time.