News2013.06.27 11:57

Australia celebrates 100 years of Lithuanian animation 2013.06.27 11:57

On this coming Sunday, 30 June, 2013, the diverse cultural wealth Melbourne proffers will include a fanciful gem within a gem. 

On this coming Sunday, 30 June, 2013, the diverse cultural wealth Melbourne proffers will include a fanciful gem within a gem.

As part of the Melbourne International Animation Festival, phantasmagorical tales of Eastern European mythology will be brought to the screen via a series of unique animations that comprise ‘Milestone: 100 Years of Lithuanian Animation’.

In describing his desire to bring myriad works of animated Lithuanian mythology to light, festival organiser Malcolm Turner astutely stated: “Lithuanians have a very strong connection to their forests. Forests feature heavily in their art, fairytales, literature and oral history. Until quite recent times, it was relatively common practice for old people to walk into the forest when they decided that it was their time to die.”

Turner has selected works ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime in order to showcase not only Lithuania’s history, but its aforementioned ingrained passion for everything to do with forests and the possibilities that exist therein.

Where else on a wintry Melbourne Sunday afternoon would you be able to find a piece of animation – ‘Guilt/Kaltė’ by Rėda (Bartkūtė) Tomingas – carefully crafted with modern technology examining how A lonely fox isolates herself from the world to enjoy the pleasures of being tormented by guilt. But as the days go by, and as her world begins to crumble, she must choose between madness and reconciliation”? Not at your local cinema, that’s for sure.

Using animation as a vehicle, Turner’s carefully curated selection presents to Melbourne and the world the complexities of Lithuania’s identity as a nation; its search for identity – both pre-and post Soviet independence – through the wonderfully cryptic and metaphorical personality of this wacky Baltic nation.

Turner is particularly enamoured by the opening film – ‘We May Meet, We May Not’ by Škirmanta Jakaitė, which he says he loved from the first moment he saw it. Turner stated: “It took me a visit to Lithuania and lunch [with the filmmaker] to understand the specific cultural depths that she has infused it with… [but] it encapsulates everything that I love about the kind of animation The Melbourne International Animation Festival is committed to screening”.

If you have nothing better to do this Sunday come on down to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square and treat yourself to a smorgasbord of in-depth quirkiness. However, if you do happen to have something planned, put it aside for the distinct possibility of falling in love with a faraway land full of fantasy tales. Either way, you will not regret it! 

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme

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