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Arts and Entertainment

LAist Film Calendar: The Los Angeles Animation Festival

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It's like Sunday - silent, gray and cold. Dash the December doldrums with a colorful change of pace! The UCLA Film & Television Archives kicks off its Les Illusionistes: A Celebration of French Animation series Friday with jazz-inspired The Triplets of Belleville, paired with a preview of L'Illusioniste, the latest from Triplets director Sylvain Chomet. Mia et Le Migou is a charming rainforest adventure, while Kirikou and The Wild Beasts builds off of West African mythology. If that isn't enough Bruin Franimation, the Hammer also sponsors its own free screening of the medieval-tapestry tale Azur and Asmar on Sunday.

But why stick with a single country when the Los Angeles Animation Festival can offer the world? This year's festival, hosted at the Cinefamily, keeps the French space going with Fantastic Planet accompanied by a live score from Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound. Then it skips over to the Czech Republic for Surviving Life (Theory and Practice), a psychosexual romp from stop-motion legend Jan Svankmajer with shades of Monty Python. The Fest jets over to Japan for the LA premiere of Redline, a rocket-fueled anime from Animatrix director Takeshi Koike, and then makes a pit stop for Piercing 1, China's first independent animated feature.

Back on the banks of the Mississippi, the Fest celebrates Mark Twain's 175th birthday with the newborn-by-comparison 25th anniversary of The Adventures of Mark Twain, the first all-claymation film. That film's director, Will Vinton, appears in support of Twain and a line-up of his own work, including '80s icons The California Raisins and the Domino's Pizza Noid. A more subversive, equally beloved story of American animation shines through a program of How MTV Rocked The Animation World, hosted by Titmouse (the animation studio behind Adult Swim's Metalocalypse). The last pick from American shores is a celebration of Pixar's marvelous short Day & Night, with director Teddy Newton reviewing his years of work with the studio and how his most recent work came together.

In the live-action world, fledgling film collective Long Beach Cinematheque is a-buzz over their team up with the Museum of Latin American Art for a screening of The Spirit of the Beehive alongside the museum's Siqueiros Paisajista / Siqueiros: Landscape Painter exhibit. The Spanish film follows two girls' quest to find Frankenstein's monster after a roadshow of the classic monster movie in their village. For even edgier experiments en Español, the LA Filmforum presents There's Something Else: Some Titles of Recent Spanish Experimental Cinema, featuring found footage, super 8, animation and a postapocalyptic teen work-camp from the year 1997.

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Friday, the Long Beach Cinematheque returns to the Art Theatre mothership for another girl's fantasy with the Mondo midnight screening of Jim Henson's Labyrinth. The rest of the weekend, the Long Beach Cinematheque partners with AMP Organization for a two-day, uncut screening of Angels in America to mark World AIDS Day. The event is free, and donations will be collected throughout for AIDS/LifeCycle.

Full list appears below. See you at the movies!

All Week

Thursday 12/2

Friday 12/3

Saturday 12/4

Sunday 12/5

That's all for this week. I'll be out of town & out of commission next week. I'll miss you too.