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Chinese Gems at Animation Fest

Following are reviews of two of this weekend’s screenings in the third Los Angeles International Animation Celebration.

“New Voices From China: A Salute to the Shanghai Animation Studio"(China) 12:30 p.m. today at the Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. 87 minutes.

During the last decade, the Shanghai Studio has emerged as one of the creative centers of world animation. The artists capture not only the graphic styles of the traditional Chinese arts but their aesthetic content. Chinese artists and connoisseurs often added their own verses to paintings, and these animated shorts suggest a filmic equivalent of those poems--visual meditations on the beauty of a vast landscape or single spray of bamboo.

Te Wei Yan adds the dimensions of time and motion to a handscroll painted on silk in his exquisite “Feelings From Mountains and Water,” gently wafting the viewer through scenes of misty mountains and rain-washed forests. In contrast, “Mantis Stalks the Cicada” by Hu Jinquin, uses delicate cut-outs of insects and birds to evoke the microcosmic world of “bug and flower” album leaf paintings.

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A rare look at some of the most artistic animation being done today.****


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