Higher Dimensions

The concept for

Joel Trussell


War Photographer

could only come to life through animation. In the short, set to the song of the same name by breakcore musician

Jason Forrest

, the crews of two pirate ships do battle with super-powered musical instruments. Every note of Forrest’s rollicking instrumental is reflected in the video, either literally (a buckaroo wails on a guitar that shoots a flurry of energy beams) or figuratively (a drumbeat correlates to a group of pirates on the march.) It’s the kind of inventiveness and firm grasp of the craft the

Ottawa International Animation Festival

looks for.

“I am tired of seeing works that try to replicate the natural world,” says curator Chris Robinson. “I mean, shit, it’s animation. You can break the laws of physics. Why the fug do you want to recreate a tree on a computer?”

Not every pick in the “Best of the 2006 Ottawa International Animation Festival,” screening this weekend of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is so elaborate though. Robinson says Andreas Hykade’s farm story The Runt is “like an old blues/folk song” in its simple poignancy. “On the surface, it’s just a story about a boy bonding with a rabbit he will ultimately have to kill, but beyond that this is a film about loss of innocence, about mortality -- hell, even about our relationship with food and animals.” --Nick Keppler

The Ottawa Film Fest isn’t the only organization picking out highlights. The Houston Metropolitan Dance Company is compiling the best of its current season, the Big Range Dance Festival has picked out Houston’s best choreographers and photographer Simon El Hage Lisha is putting on an exhibition of 35 images, one for each of his years practicing the trade. For more on all of the above, pick up this week’s Night & Day® section.

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