This afternoon Dirk dragged me to the Univ. of Hildesheim to attend the Steinerei 2008 brick film festival. It was a contest of films made with Lego-built elements. This year’s theme is “remake”. Today the host presented totally 13 short Lego films in the final.
The first film “Imitation” tells a story of a man always imitating his neighbor’s house arrangement, the extreme similarity of the two houses upset the one who was imitated. A very short film but the music was nice and crisp.
The second film “Powerlight” was the funniest one among the finalists. It was imitating typical long advertisement of TV advertisement channel, magnifying many laughable elements. The gadget in ad was a magical light which can be worn on forehead. Like all TV ad channel goodies, this gadget can benefit all kinds of people: bring muscles to people in fitness studio, bring IQs to people struggling for school work, bring good mood to housewives…and on and on. The script was well written, scenes were extremely funny.
The third film “Bad Boyz” was a remake of some classic scenes in Star Wars. All the characters made with Lego were in exquisite costumes. The typical sword fighting with all kinds of effects were well remade. Lighting and post-production were extremely impressive. But the problem was, I did not grok what was happening at all – alas, I never watched Star Wars….At first I thought I might be the only idiot in the hall, but juries also commented that they did not grok it, either.
The fourth film “Linear” was trying to remake the ’70 Italian classic La Linea. Dirk showed La Linea to me before and I really liked it. But this remake somehow did not meet my expectation, and did not meet the juries’ expectation, either. In the original La Linea, the mouth movement of that little man was very vivid, but the yellow Lego man in this remake had no face expression at all….but the idea and the set were nice.
The fifth “Janithor remastered” was about a disaster accidentally triggered by two cleaners. I did not watch the original film, but the story was well told by the small Lego men. I especially like the sets of Lego-made aircraft-carrier sailing in the sea and Lego-made B1 stealth bomb flying around.
The sixth film “Remake” won the Jury award at the end. In this film, a young man saw a beautiful girl on balcony. He went to a cinema and was educated about chivalry by a Lego film. After he went out of the cinema, he remade what he learnt from the film and won the heart of the girl. It was quite professionally produced, sets and characters were all perfect. IMHO, however, the Dvorák music was a bit off for the whole film. It was perfect for the in-cinema drama, but when the young man went out of the cinema, the richer and louder sound-field was overkill. It was a one-man-and-one-girl romance after all. A remastered, electronic version of the same piece can be used instead of the full-blow orchestral one.
The seventh film “Galego” did not meet the max.-6.5-minutes criterion, but since it was so well made, the jury found it was a pity if it was not shown. I did not know the original at all and was totally fascinated by it. Best sets among all the files I’ve seen today. Dirk said it really just remade the original film and there was not too many own ideas. Hey come on, remaking a story in Lego bricks itself is already not that trivial. I for one, do not have the patience and passion of fiddling Lego bricks for making a film. Those Lego-remake works have the spiritual value of their own.
The eighth film “Auf Kiel” was a Lego MV of a popular German song. Those who know the band well had big sympathy for this film.
The nineth film “Weltraffer” was my favourite. In four minutes, a large part of human history was represented by Lego little men and other elements on 625 cm2. I strongly recommend you to watch it on the team’s homepage. Evolution from water-living animals to human-beings, ancient human’s agricultural activities, medieval religion wars, French revolutions, World War I and II, Berlin wall, and the today’s world. No special lightings or post effects, just POLOs (Plain Old Lego Objects), but absolutely fabulous idea and spectacular Lego work. And it’s a small film with philosophical depth. In the film you just see the history repeating itself again and again: people built up civilization and end up destroying it by themselves and kill each other again and again. The looping music was a perfect match to the scenes. At the end this film won the film-maker award and the audience award. When the producer team was invited to the stage, we saw a bunch of teens. Impressive, impressive, impressive!
The tenth film “Christmastruck” had a very beautiful snowy set.
The eleventh film “Rübermachen” was a bit too radically-styled for me….I did not grok the style elements in the film. One of the juries asked whether it was really made of Lego objects or was heavily post-processed by computers.
The twelfth fim “UCom” required the audience to have good knowledge of the film “Tron” for understanding. Alas, I turned out to be an idiot again and did not grok this film at all. Generally I find it not a good idea to leave too much background information to a certain original film. It especially won’t work in international contests. Yes this year’s theme is remake, but when any background information is needed, the producer had better introduce it in someway in the small film.
The thirteenth film “Fuffzich”, like a jury commented, was a pity. The Lego work was really complex and looked fantastic, but the camera work was below an average amateur’s niveau. Not a single frame was sharply pictured. This really destroyed the otherwise a great Lego film.
Each audience can vote for their favourite film. Both Dirk and I voted for the “Weltraffer”. Just like said above, this film got most audience votes and won the audience award. I liked the jury’s comments very much too. The lady professor usually gave detailed critiques on techniques and contents. She must be a very nice professor.
I must thank Dirk for dragging me to this event. Although I’m not a Lego freak like he is, I do like watching films. Life’s never boring with my darling, many thanks!