Flix for Short: Tango


(NOTE: The above video contains some material that’s not safe for work.)

Amid Amidi had an interesting bit of commentary at Cartoon Brew yesterday. It concerned the way that animation compresses and distorts our perception of time. Multiple events can happen simultaneously even if they actually took place hours apart. The new buzzword for it is “time merge media,” but it’s something that’s been done for decades.

To illustrate this, Amidi posted Tango by Zbigniew Rybczynski. Released in 1981, this animated short depicts various events in a room. The actions occurred at different times, but Rybczynski combines and superimposes the events until the room is full of activity. A day’s worth of events is merged together into a big chaos of repeated action. It’s pretty incredible to watch, especially given how labor intensive this must have been.

After the cut is Cy Kuckenbaker’s Landings at San Diego Int Airport Nov 23, 2012, the short/viral video that prompted Amidi to write his commentary. I’ve also included some hilarious trivia about Tango culled from IMDb.

[Via Cartoon Brew]

Landings at San Diego Int Airport Nov 23, 2012 by Cy Kuckenbaker

So here’s that IMDb trivia about Zbigniew Rybczynski’s Tango:

At the 1983 Oscar ceremony, Polish director Zbigniew Rybczynski had possibly the worst night that any Oscar winner has ever had at the Academy Awards. When his short film, Tango, was announced as the winner of the Best Animated Short category, presenter Kristy McNichol mispronounced Rybczynski’s name as “Zbigniewski Sky.” When Rybczynski accepted the award, his speech was cut off by the orchestra. After talking to reporters in the press room, Rybczynski stepped outside the auditorium to have a cigarette. When he tried to return, an overzealous security guard refused to let him in. Rybczynski was holding his Oscar, but was dressed in a cheap suit and sneakers because he had been unable to afford better clothes. He tried to explain to the guard that he was an Oscar winner, but his English was limited. Hearing Rybczynski’s Polish speech, the security guard assumed the director was drunk and shoved him up against a wall. During the altercation, Rybczynski reportedly yelled, “American Pig! I have Oscar!” and tried to kick the guard in the groin. Rybczynski spent the night in jail before the mess was sorted out.

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.