FRÉDÉRIC BACK: DRAWING LIFE To March 21 Rating: NNNN
The Toronto Animated Image Society celebrates the sumptuous work of Montreal animator Frédéric Back with a series of exhibitions and screenings in and around Toronto.
On Saturday (March 15, 4 pm), the Bloor screens 35mm prints of four of his longer works, including the Oscar-winning shorts Crac! and The Man Who Planted Trees.
Monday (March 17, 7 pm), Alliance Française de Toronto presents five shorter films Back produced for Radio-Canada in the 1970s, including Tarata (The Parade) and Illusion. Admission to both events is free, and Back will attend at the Bloor for a post-screening discussion.
Breaking Back’s body of work into two discrete parts is a smart move. He’s a magnificent animator, and his individual works are lushly rendered entertainments. He, does, however, have only the one theme.
Every one of his shorts is a none-too-subtle screed against technological progress, arguing for simplicity and a return to innocence in a way that becomes kind of exhausting if you experience it all at once – on a DVD screening copy, say.
Spacing out the films over a couple of days allows viewers to appreciate Back’s inarguably gorgeous visual textures without feeling quite so much like we’re being indoctrinated.
At the Bloor (506 Bloor West) and Alliance Française (24 Spadina Road).