Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CC applauds REDCAT Children's Film Festival

It was an hour of Latvian puppet-animation films that kept CC's eyes on the big screen this weekend at the REDCAT International Children's Film Festival.

CC and I -- and a couple hundred other parents and kiddos -- gathered in the downtown theater's main space to watch "Animation Brigade," a series of short films from the '90s and early '00s (or aughties, as I like to call our previous decade) created by Latvia's AB Studio.

Geared toward all ages, each of the eight short films was mischievous and entertaining, and the limited running time kept short attention spans happy.

The first three entries, all directed by Janis Cimermanis, followed a trio of hapless "helpers," who always seemed to be at the center of trouble. That batch included:

* "The Swan," which followed a theater production gone awry. Sets fall apart to comic effect, thanks to an avian costume that goes a bit off course.

* "The Tart," which was CC's favorite of them all. This film centers on an old man who, on his 100th birthday, wants a cake built to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Imagine the hijinks that can ensue from that premise. (I think CC enjoyed the whole messiness of it.)

One of the more mischievous films was "Magician," directed by Maris Brinkmanis, about a traveling magician (con man, er, con animal) that spirits away items and makes a break for it before village citizens knew what hit them.

"Where did it go?" CC asked every time an alarm clock or other household item disappeared. "Where did he put it?"

Eventually, of course, the magician comes around, seeing the error of his ways and all is well.

All of the entries were worthy films for tykes, and from what I saw all the kids felt at home in the theater. In fact, REDCAT representatives even said to grab a pillow and cozy up on the floor if there were no seats available. Some kids even walked right up to the screen -- much to CC's wonderment -- but there were no harsh words or scoldings, only a fun time for the little ones.

REDCAT is also conveniently located on the southwest corner of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, right, so CC and I got to have a look around before the program started.

It's a great space, complete with children's amphitheater and expansive views of downtown L.A. Complete with bright outdoor seating and greenery, this would be a nice place to grab lunch and relax with the kids.

Above photo of "Animals: Home Hole Horrors," courtesy of REDCAT

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