KLIK is one of the Netherlands' biggest animation festivals, now on its eleventh edition. It is an incredibly exhaustive retrospective on what the short film world has to offer, and its selection surprises and delights viewers from all over the world every year. This weekend we went and saw the annual 'best of' - a few brilliant picks that left us amazed and wanting for more.
KLIK historically takes place at the EYE museum, on the other side of the Ij, at the very center of Amsterdam. It is an incredibly futuristic venue, with state-of-the-art projection facilities, a really cool terrace and café and a small but interesting collection of movie-related artifacts.
The greatest thing about going for a movie at EYE is that you can show up a bit earlier and have a beer or a cappuccino at the Eye Restaurant while taking in the view - which I absolutely recommend.
On to the main event - the short films! KLIK screens a number of thematic collections every year, each of which contains a few animated shorts, hand-picked from the thousands of submissions the festival gets every year.
The shorts below are a selection of the 'best of' selection, which highlights the festival winners and a few standout shortlisted items. So, without further ado...
After having blown the Internet away with the greatest depiction of post-lunch slump ever, visionary Korean director Seoro Oh is back once again with a delightful and incredibly colorful short movie about how it feels like having a cold.
(O O) will have you wriggle your nose nervously as you remember your last influenza bout in detail. It's definitive proof that synesthesia exists, and a brilliant visual novelette that surprises and delights; the short is unfortunately not available online yet, but the trailer alone will definitely give you a taste of what you're in for.
5 ans après la guerre
A poignant documentary, and beautifully animated, '5 years after the war' is a very personal piece about fatherhood, identity, choices and time. Tim, the protagonist, will win you over in no time with his incredibly personal stories about the struggles of growing up with a jewish mother and without an Iraqi father in Paris.
'5 years after the war' lies between pop culture and history; between animation and live action, between documentary and sci-fi, and it's an incredible gem and an amazing work of art to boot.
Luckily, you can already stream this online for a very low price on Vimeo on Demand. And you should definitely do so, because '5 years after the war' is absolutely worth the entry price.
An atmospheric sci-fi mystery, 'Dolly Zero' is a short but gripping noir that will leave you wondering "what the hell just happened".
As an animation piece, it brilliantly combines the Eurocomic graphic roots of Moebius or Hugo Pratt with the rotoscoping talent of Linklater's 'A scanner darkly'. Unlike the cloned sheep from which it gets its name, 'Dolly Zero' is incredibly unique and highly original.
And it's also free to watch in its entirety on Vimeo.
Half documentary and half infomercial, 'Better Humans' is a delightful speculative tale about the future of the human species. It's short but sweet, full of charming touches and interesting characters.
It's also a lovely piece of animation, which you can stream for free right now. So if you're in the mood for some science with a generous serving of cuteness, you should watch 'Better Humans' right now.
The Dishwasher Groove
'Maikeulboudjan', or The Dishwasher Groove, is an incredibly funky music video that describes in detail the life-changing wonders of having a dishwasher. It's absolutely hilarious and very, very catchy, and of course it's available to stream online for free.
Watch it, and you'll never look at your dishwasher the same way again!
'Wildebeest' is the Grand Jury Winner of this year's KLIK festival - a prize it fully deserves. Half live-action and half rotoscoped animation, 'Wildebeest' follows Linda and Troyer, an incredibly Belgian pair of middle-aged lovers, as they embark on a safari adventure in the African outback.
Linda is fat and old, and just loves elephants. Troyer is strong, fearless and doesn't care much for this trip - but as tragedy strikes and the duo is left stranded in the middle of the African savanna, the initial outlook changes completely, and it's no longer clear which character has the greatest chances of making it out alive.
'Wildebeest' is an incredible character study, that turns the tables multiple times throughout on both Linda and Troyer. It's a comedy precariously perched on a sea of sadness; depressing and delightful at the same time. It's an incredible adventure, a rollercoaster of emotions, and a brilliant piece of modern filmaking that you shouldn't miss out on, no matter what.
Where to go if you want to visit: EYE museum, in Amsterdam
When to go there: once a year, usually in october. But there's plenty of stuff happening at EYE all year round, and the café is worth a visit anyways!
How to get there: take the Buiksloterweg ferry from Central Station. It's free!
What to bring: Entrance is free with a museum card, and movie tickets also give you access to the permanent exhibition as well. The price of a screening is reasonable for the Netherlands, and so are the restaurant prices. So just pocket money and your good spirit!