You would probably expect a collection of shorts with titles like “Buena Vista Fight Club”, “Les Pantless Menace” and “Booger” to be a little on the offbeat side, but even so, this set of recent works by animator/filmmaker Evan Mather often proves downright inscrutable. Those expecting straightforward parodies of the “Swing Blade” variety are likely to be disappointed, but adventurous viewers will be rewarded with a cutting-edge mix of traditional stop-motion animation and digitally-tweaked weirdness.
First up is “Fansom the Lizard”, a relatively tender blend of dream and home movie, in which a childhood pet goes on an unlikely trip to Vegas – or is it just a short jaunt into the vacuum cleaner? Next comes “Les Pantless Menace”, a 3-1/2 minute distillation of “Eyes Wide Shut”, “The Phantom Menace” and “The Spy Who Shagged Me,” which, to my highly trained professional eye, makes absolutely no sense at all. This is followed by “Buena Vista Fight Club,” in which a trio of Cuban musicians invades an Ikea-style catalogue to kick some butt. Now here’s an attack on the excesses of capitalism I can get behind, even if was brought to life through the magic of Macintosh.
“Vert Remixed” is, well, a remix of “Vert,” an earlier documentary by Mather unseen by me. It’s therefore hard to judge just how successful a re-imagining this is; on its own merits, however, it’s a pretty damn funny portrait of a man determined to improve on the age-old game of skimming stones. And finally, there is “Booger,” about which the less said, the better. All of the above and much more can be viewed at www.evanmather.com.