Monday, September 26, 2011

Short Film: Kunstbar (Canada, 2002)

Information about this nifty little Flash animation short seems to be sketchy at best, but from what we could learn it's been around for over a decade. Well, it's never too late to give a good film well-deserved attention.
The word Kunstbar is German (and according to one on-line source, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish and Estonain as well) and translates into "Art Bar". This 3:55 minute film uses a typical Joe Schmoe – who, a to Christain lim, is modeled as "homage to Rob Petrie, Dick Van Dyke's character in The Dick Van Dyke Show – to answer the question, as placed at (among other places) the Directors Lounge Berlin 2006: "What would happen if you drank an Yves Tanguy?" (Some pretty weird shit is the answer.)

As far as we could uncover, Kunstbar was made by a group of folks – Steve Whitehouse, Denis Gonzalez, John Halfpenny, Chris Labonte and Paul Teglas – who call themselves The Petrie Lounge and have been based in Toronto for over twenty years. They all seem to have a lot of experience in mainstream Saturday morning and late afternoon cartoons programs such Care Bears, Beetlejuice, Duckman, Sam & Max, etc, etc. Going by their sadly under-maintained website, they rarely do a solo project – but let's be thankful that they at least did Kunstbar, for it kicks more than just turpentine.
To an oddly endearing (mostly) atonal soundtrack, a man wanders through a Giorgio DeChirico's landscape when his attention is drawn to an arty bar populated by arty customers and with a menu of interesting cocktails (named after artists) with truly interesting side effects. A funny and well made Flash animation short, it tests your cultural knowledge as it entertains, presenting a lively selection of references to modern and contemporary artists and paintings (and some selected Old Masters as well). Enjoy!

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