originally posted at https://canmom.tumblr.com/post/619368...
Hello, new reader, and welcome to the Animation Night archives!
What is Animation Night? Two things…
- a weekly film night on Thursdays in which I stream animated stuff over Twitch—short films, long films, TV series, web videos, OVAs…
- a weekly column of sorts, where I tell you about the story of how those films came to be!
This archive compiles all of the second thing.
Animation Night started very simply: I wanted to show my friends Aeon Flux and the Japan Animator Expo, particularly Me! Me Me!. From there… it escalated!
Animation Night has been going on for nearly three years at the time I’m adding this introduction. Quickly these columns grew to be thousands of words long. Sometimes, I’d use it as an excuse to talk about a historical theme I find interesting—for example the history of the samurai, or the invention of nuclear weapons. Other times it’s a dive into the story of a particular director or animator, a franchise, a specific work. In a sense it’s something like a research diary, or if you prefer, the story of one woman descending into obsession…
If I’m lucky, I’ll find detailed production anecdotes, interviews, commentaries, all the good stuff. But some of my absolute favourite Animation Nights have taken me totally by surprise with films that have barely a footprint in English. Films like Birdboy: The Forgotten Children or Dahufa. I still continue to find it amazing that after nearly 150 nights showing 2-3 films per night on average, I still continue to find amazing, moving, beautiful films. This medium is incredible.
Animation Night is definitely not a definitive guide to the history of animation, but I do try to go for some pretty deep cuts when I can. Especially when it comes to the ‘big names’: if we’re talking Miyazaki, you bet I’ll track down a copy of Panda, Kopanda. I do my best to cite my sources, but in general, you can see this as a synthesis of Sakugablog, Animetudes, Animation Obsessive, and of course Wikipedia, plus whatever else I can find on the day.
Now, a couple of caveats: my view of animation, film and fiction in general has changed enormously over the course of this project. So the earlier columns may be more likely to have oversights, or I just couldn’t analyse things with the tools and context I have now. And some nights, I was so pressed for time I could barely write anything before rushing to screen the films. All the same, I hope it proves interesting to dig into this archive! I am very proud of this project—it’s been one thing I stuck to every week throughout a very tumultuous period, and I’ve found about all sorts of incredible films that have just flown under the radar.
If you’d like a ‘best of’, please take a look at the yearly recap posts, Animation Night 52 and Animation Night 104! Or for a shortlist of writeups…
- Animation Night 24: Samurai Films and Jidaigeki—the absurd monster essay that became easily the longest Animation Night
- Animation Night 27: Donghua (Chinese animation)
- Animation Night 31: (C)hannuk(k)ah
- Animation Night 34: Akira
- Animation Night 68: Brazil
- Animation Night 69: Sex
- Animation Night 97: Houseki no Kuni
- Animation Night 106: Haibane Renmei, in memory of Fall
- Animation Night 119: Dick Williams
- Animation Night 127: Project Itoh
But that’s just a fifteenth of the whole archive, so please, dig in…