Panasonic’s Motion Olympic shorts

“Bring it up, bring it up… Squeeze it up. Take it down.” Capture the motion, ten short movies from Panasonic on the olympic spirit, are an idiosyncratic, enlightened micro-movie blitz of creativity. From weightlifting, dancercising poodles in Nagi Noda‘s infomercial comedy, to impressionistic snatches of athletes in action in Joel Peissig‘s latest, compositing and special effects are integrated to tight capsule ideas. While Noda’s Fitness Video crowns the selection with sheer oddness, Lobo‘s experimental homage hints at a more thoughtful approach. Ultimately the fluid-action comic-strip by Bessy and Combe, mixing le parkour styling with elegant two-tone animation wins through as the collection’s tour de force work. This is a winning collection (Panasonic seemed to have learnt their lesson from their misfiring Digital Networking shorts of 2003, too closely tied with product placement), even surpassing the recent exceptional, and much-hyped, Nike Art of Speed project in sheer immediate entertainment value.

  • Panasonic Ten shorts official site: Capture the motion
    640×480 MPEG2 video download links below.
    Streaming video options on site.

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    The full selection in a rough order of preference with quick comments:

  • Peace Running, Bessy and Combe
    “Run through a monochromatic world in this fast-paced animated ‘comic-strip’.” Parkour style action in this maxed-out stark kinetic animé.
    MPEG2 download [39M]

  • Mariko Takahashi’s Fitness Video for being appraised as an “Ex-fat Garl”, Nagi Noda
    “Fun fitness movie expressing the joy of exercise.” Absurd humour and fresh compositing gives a humorous spin on the infomercial.
    MPEG2 download [38m]

  • Motion. Captured., Joel Peissig
    “A strong visual message expressed using the Pei Bell Effects developed by the artist himself. Celebrating the joy of human motion.” Post-2000 pointillist motion stylings.
    MPEG2 download [39M]

  • Untitled, Koichiro Tsujikawa
    “A running person or a moving machine? An animated character of cinematic feel called yakudo-kun (“lively movement”).” Wacky, running machine seamlessly integrated into camcorder action.
    MPEG2 download [39M]

  • P.B. Recki, Lobo
    “Graphics and music fuse in a painting-inspired film. Focussing on the beauty of the movement of the human body through space. Inspired by Futurism and Oskar Fischinger.” Lobo continue to expand into a maturing fine art style, moving on from their signature vector-infuenced work.
    MPEG2 download [37m]

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  • Momentum, Ramon and Pedro
    “Capturing the sensation of being an athlete. Capturing a view of sports unseen before.” First person sports perspective turns this into a stylish ESPN-style promo.
    MPEG2 download

  • Arc, Daniel Askill
    “A spiritual message in a floating world. Athletics as a transcendental experience. Between the start line, the finish line, the physical and the mental.” Beautifully composed, slo-mo diving. Less is often more.
    MPEG2 download [43M]

  • Runnnnner, Takeshi Nakamura (Caviar)
    “Female runners race from a miniature world into the real world in this work of stop-motion animation.” Simple ideas executed well are a Caviar trademark. Although suffering from tackling the subject with a too literal treatment, Runnnnner still captures Nakamura’s irrepressible style.
    MPEG2 download [38M]

  • Adrenalin, Glenn Marshall
    “Video art as beautiful as a kaleidoscope and filled with tension. Worked on Peter Gabriel and Ninja Tune promos.” Iridescent, old-school VJ video art.
    MPEG2 download [39M]

  • Untitled, Neil Blomkamp
    “Futuristic film shows that the souls of athletes will never change. 2095 and the souls of athletes never change.” Nicely art-directed but ultimately too derivative take on future genetics scenario.
    MPEG2 download [38M]

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