Mirrorball|Fresh Tracks


Reviewed by: George Williamson

Fresh Tracks is a collection of the hottest promos from the best of this year's directors; the elite choices that are absolute must sees. Or so the EIFF magazine would have us believe, unfortunately for the most part this year's selection is emminently missable.

Of almost twenty promos on show here, about half of them are made using low-fi stop motion animation. The boom in digital cameras means that anyone with a iMac and a few hours can stitch together an animation that looks like a dogs breakfast, and unfortunately this trend has apparently spread to Mirrorball.

Of the offerings here only one sticks out as being actually good - the Adidas Adicolor Black piece by Saimain Chow which features a chain smoking alcoholic panda, his friend the fish, and a game of Russian roulette. The other stop motion videos - a plane crash with animated clouds, an animated abstract collage made of dollar bills and nickels, the band captured in an eternal mid jump, snails rolling around a house - tend to have a good central idea, but either run out of steam midway through or have such low production values that they jar badly - the music may be fuzzy indie rock, but that doesn't have to translate so literally to the visual style.

Of the rest of the films the two other Adidas Adicolor - Pink and Green, by Charlie White and Happy respectively - are good (if brief) and the Boards Of Canada video by Melissa Olson is somehow very apt, even if it's mostly composed of vintage footage and could almost be a Billabong advert. But the offerings from genre stalwarts Chris Cunningham and Colonel Blimp are disappointing. The former's video for The Horrors' track Sheena is a Parasite is taken too literally - octopus bodyparts and indie rock shouldn't mix like this - and the surreal narrative qualities and beatsynching of his previous work are sadly missing.

The Colonel Blimp production for The Pet Shop boys featuring Walliams and Lucas dressed as Lowe and Tennant in a comic pastiche of their older videos watches like a particularly unfunny sketch from Little Britain. Worst of the lot is probably the heavily touted video for Cat Power by Harmony Corrine which tries to make a political statement in a funny and surreal way, but falls completely flat - a shame because it's a good track too.

This is a collection of shorts that isn't entirely without merit, but you'd be better off watching the decent videos on YouTube and saving your cash to see Mirrorball.

MadeInJapan, an almost 100% better collection.

Reviewed on: 08 Sep 2006
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Apparently the best the promo industry has to offer. Looks like they're in trouble.

Director: Various

Writer: Various

Starring: Various

Year: 2006

Runtime: 80 minutes


EIFF 2006

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