skip navigation
Why Me

Why Me(1978)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

teaser Why Me (1978)

Aubry Mintz and Ellen Besen (creators of the short "Sea Dream" and co-authors of Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories, with Besen as author of Animation Unleashed: 100 Principles Every Animator, Comic Book Writer, Filmmaker, Video Artist, and Game Developer Should Know) co-host a night of 30 animated short films produced by the National Film Board of Canada, which has a history of providing the world with a unique Canadian perspective through various means, famously including animation. The NFB began to garner its reputation for outstanding animation in 1941, when pioneering experimental filmmaker Norman McLaren joined the organization. A French-language animation unit was founded in 1966 by Ren Jodoin.

This collection of animated classics is broken into four programming units.

Fine Feathers (1968, 5 minutes), cut-paper animation by Evelyn Lambart, National Film Board technical director, about birds who change their plumage; What on Earth! (1966, 10 min.), directed by Les Drew and Kaj Pindal, about Martians who take a look at car culture on Earth; Mail Early (1941, 2 min.), Norman McLaren's first film for the NFB, animated by drawing symbols onto clear 35mm stock, with Benny Goodman's rendition of "Jingle Bells" providing accompaniment; A Chairy Tale (1957, 12 min.), directed by McLaren and Claude Jutra, animated through stop-motion pixilation and featuring Jutra and a very uncooperative chair; Very Nice, Very Nice (1961, 7 min.), an avant-garde collage film made by Arthur Lipsett from found snippets of audio; Boogie Doodle (1941, 3 min.), McLaren's drawn-on-film visual-music short, with music by jazz pianist Albert Ammons; Lines Vertical (1960, 6 min.), an experimental film directed by McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, with lines drawn directly onto film and responding to music; and Walking (1968, 5 min.), vignettes of how different people walk, animated by Ryan Larkin.

Hot Stuff (1971, 9 min.), an argument for fire safety animated by Zlatko Grgic and written by Don Arioli; The Owl Who Married a Goose: An Eskimo Legend (1975, 8 min.), a parable about love between two different types of fowl, directed by Caroline Leaf in the Inuktitut language; The Street (1976, 10 min.), Leaf's paint-on-glass animated version of Mordecai Richler's short story about a Jewish family reacting to the death of a grandmother; An Old Box (1975, 9 min.), a version of the Christmas story directed by Paul Driessen with minimalistic animation; The Family That Dwelt Apart (1973, 8 min.), Yvon Mallette's animated version of E.B. White's story of a family living in happy isolation on a small island; Monsieur Pointu (1975, 3 min.), an Oscar-nominated pixilation animation directed by Bernard Longpr and Andr Leduc in which a real-life Quebec violinist (Paul Cormier) appears to break into pieces that take on a life of their own; and Mindscape (1976, 8 min., French title Le paysagiste), pinscreen animation by Jacques Drouin, using no dialogue to tell its story of an artist who steps inside his own painting.

E (1981, 7 min.), Bretislav Pojar's animated comedy about the way various people in a park view a giant statue of the letter "E"; Every Child (1979, 7 min.), Eugene's Fedorenko's story of an abandoned baby left on various doorsteps; Why Me (1978, 9 min.), the study of a man who is told he has only five minutes to live, directed by Derek Lamb and Janet Perlman; Zea (1981, 5 min.), visual trickery created by Andr and Jean-Jacques Leduc, in which the commonplace is changed into the magical; Log Driver's Waltz (1979, 3 min.), John Weldon's lighthearted film based on Wade Hemsworth's song, one of the most popular animated shorts in the NFB catalog; La Plage (1978, 14 min.), a fantasy about a drowning woman, directed by Suzanne Gervais and based on a story by Roch Carrier; The Big Snit (1985, 10 min), an award-winning story of a couple facing nuclear disaster, directed by Richard Condie; The Sweater (1980, 10 min.), directed by Sheldon Cohen, about a French Canadian boy who receives a hockey sweater from the wrong team; and Sea Dream (1979, 6 min.), Ellen Besen's adaptation of a poem by Debra Bojman about a little girl who dives into an underwater fantasy.

Blackfly (1991, 6 min.), Christopher Hinton's Oscar-nominated look at a young surveyor in Northern Ontario who encounters pesky insects; Les Iris (1991, 4 min.), an animated short excerpted from Jacques Giraldeau's 1989 film Le Tableau noir, which takes a loving look at the Vincent Van Gogh masterwork The Irises; Bob's Birthday (1994, 12 min.), an Oscar-winning short directed by Alison Snowden and David Fine, in which a wife plans a surprise 40th birthday party for a husband who struggles with the thought of middle age; When the Day Breaks (1999, 9 min.), an award-winning fantasy directed by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, using pencil and paint on photocopies to tell the story of a rooster and a pig whose paths cross as they struggle to prepare breakfast; My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts (1999, 10 min.), Torill Kove's Oscar-nominated account of a woman who ironed for the king of Norway and had an impact on the resistance during World War II; The Cat Came Back (1988, 7 min.), Cordell Barker's hilarious, Oscar-nominated adaptation of the folk song about an old man's efforts to get rid of a troublesome cat.

By: Roger Fristoe

back to top