Kapaemahu

Rich and reverent.

This short animated film, which made the first cut as a possible nominee for the upcoming Oscars, is based on Hawaiian legends revolving around large healing stones located at Waikiki Beach.

The result looks like a painting come to life before our eyes.

The animation style, which flows and ebbs, is complemented by the use of Olelo Niihau, described as “the only unbroken form of the Hawaiian language.”

Hitting on concepts of healing and gender diversity, the film is unique in every way.

 

The Haunted House

It’s a skeleton dance party.

Having ventured out into the stormy night wearing just a pair of shorts, Mickey Mouse doesn’t think twice about entering a creepy old mansion if it offers a little relief from the rain and cold.

Once inside, however, he discovers that the place is overrun with bony hep cats, all anxious to get down with their bad selves.

Forced to play a merry tune on a piano, our hero keeps the beat boppin’ in a cartoon which looks pretty darn good for being 92 years old.

Some things are just timeless, I guess.

 

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Still a heck of a lot of fun.

Special effects have advanced over time, but it’s hard to top the stop-motion magic conjured by Ray Harryhausen.

When the master of mayhem unleashes sword-wielding skeletons, it doesn’t really matter if you’re five or 75 — it’s thrilling.

Tracking Jason and his plucky warriors as they pursue the Golden Fleece, dodging enemies of all shapes and sizes, this is perfect matinee fodder.

While it hit theaters before my time, I kept the dream clicking, playing it on in-store TV’s at Videoville back in the day.

Just doing my part to keep cinema alive.

 

Girl Asleep

Welcome to the troubled years.

Struggling to stay afloat, a young Aussie lass bounces between the reality of her 1970s home life, and a surreal dream vista where her friends and family take on bold, sometimes disturbing new looks.

Lost in a forest of the mind, our heroine pursues a creature who has stolen her music box, which leads her into conflict with evil versions of her classmates, and more.

Meanwhile, back in what passes for reality, she has birthday party shenanigans to deal with.

A subtle mix of sad, funny, and touchingly sweet, this is a rare gem.

 

Sound & Fury

It’s something, that’s for sure.

This mix of Sturgill Simpson music and blood-soaked anime isn’t for everyone, but those who like it, will REALLY like it.

A country music twanger who strolled into straight-up rock, one of the few true rebels in modern-day Nashville lets his freak flag fly high.

Each track on the album comes accompanied by eye-popping (and often head-popping) animation, all different in style, with each one very loosely connected to what came before.

Purple death clouds swirl, Buddhist monks die in hyperviolent ways, and somewhere David Allen Coe nods his head and mumbles, “My dude!”