by Cecilia Baron, contributing blogger
Anima Buenos Aires, directed by María Verónica Ramírez in collaboration with major Argentina graphic artists Pablo Faibre, Florencia Faivre ( Meado por los perros), Pablo Rodríguez Jauregui (Claustrópolis ), Carlos Nine (Bu-Bu ) and Caloi ( Mi Buenos Aires herido) interlaces four evocations of a mythical Buenos Aires. Each story is different in its plot and artistic style, using animation 2D, collage, photomontage and stencils to capture the land of tango. Each of the short films critiques modern prohibitions and the rigidity of consumer culture.
Meado por los perros deals with the insatiable need of the consumer society, which urges us unmistakably not to think. It is in this context that Alberto, the butcher is taken in an infernal spiral when his neighborhood celebrates the opening of a supermarket. Suddenly, all the barrio and its people he used to know turns out to be strangers and ghosts. All they are concerned about is buy as much food as they would never eat. The now- zombie people transform their own environment into a ghost town where Alberto struggles to survive. Whereas Meado por los perros focuses on extreme negative consequences of the consumerism on affecting social interaction, Claustrópolis critiques our modern conventions through a child’s eyes. This child is dragged into a whirlwind of colors among an insipid city where collective rules do not leave any space for personal freedom.
Regarding the third animation movie called Bu-Bu, life changes when a candy factory opens in a poor neighborhood. At first the community becomes more active with the arrival of this company. Being suddenly introduced into the capitalist system has huge social consequences on people and its district, as they are driven crazy by its arrival. Using nostalgia, Mi Buenos Aires heridois a metaphor for Argentina and its inhabitants, their customs, their characteristics and contradictions. I really like Mi Buenos Aires herido. I was particularly touched by its poetry, especially in its depiction of how Argentine men are fascinated by women and their need to seduce them. This short film concentrates all the Argentina classics such as tango musicians, cobblestoned streets, European style bars, relaxed rhythm of life; but also the frantic side of Buenos Aires that encroaches on the old way of life.
With the development of new digital technologies, animation became a unique film genre that brought to light many worldwide creative talents, and Ánima Buenos Aires testifies the strong tradition of graphical Argentine comics and graphic artists. With humor it points out the absurdity of the human condition and modern life. Recommended for fans of animation who want to see authentic animation created by the hands of artists, not huge studios.