The screenings that make up each session delve into the private life of toys, showing the intimate moments children share with them. The eleven pieces chosen see the act of playing and imagining as an essential tool for young children to develop their relationship with the world. As in the illusionist cinema of Méliès, the authors make use of the possibilities offered by montage and various tricks and place them at the service of play: the main reason for creating cinema. The programme includes a piece created specifically by the researcher Marta Sureda and the filmmaker and critic Félix Pérez-Hita.
Tigeris nau nau (Tiger the Cat), Arnolds Burovs, Soviet Union, 1967, 9’
A boy who's used to treating his toys carelessly treats his best friend, an orange cat, just as badly. Looking for new ways to entertain himself, the boy ends up bothering a magician who, angry, turns him into a little doll. Now he has to suffer the consequences of his actions and escape from the huge cat that's chasing him.
Real cats drink milk, Al Jarnow, United States, 1982, 1’20’’
Some are soft toys, some in the form of a letter, others made of ceramic while some are made up of various pieces... In this short piece, all the artificial cats imaginable parade across the screen to the music of Jonathan Larson, the famous Broadway theatre composer. A piece originally made for the US edition of Sesame Street.
Architecture, Al Jarnow, United States, 1980, 2’
A brief journey through the fascinating history of architecture, in which the author uses toy blocks to show the different building techniques used over the years. A piece originally made for the US edition of Sesame Street.
Bench, Al Jarnow, United States, 1980, 1’
In this short stop-motion piece, a bunny rabbit is trying to build a bench but without any success until he finally decides to ask his friend, the chick, for help. A story about cooperation and the importance of friendship.
Toys, Grant Munro, Canada, 1966, 7’
In the window of a toy shop, under the watchful eye of a group of children, a group of soldiers and other war toys come to life and begin to emulate the gestures and actions of real soldiers, engaging in a deadly battle. Made in the midst of the Vietnam War, this stop-motion animation implicitly criticises glamorised violence and the perverse idea of war toys (Warning: this film contains scenes of violence).
Kid’s Castle, Koji Yamamura, Japan, 1995, 5’
An amusing Japanese animated short in which imagination and reality become confused while a little boy is alone in his room. His dreams will turn playing with toys into an real adventure.
Un món de nines, Laura Ginès and Pepon Meneses, Spain, 2017, 3’
Un món de nines addresses the issue of the Eurocentric view of otherness, a view based on prejudice and represented stereotypically. Simplification and hasty judgement of the unfamiliar make the doll couples dance until they become disorientated.
Aliment de l’ànima, Marta Sureda and Fèlix Pérez-Hita, Spain, 2022, 6’
The drawings printed on tablecloths come to life and watch scenes related to play and toys on TV: from advertisements to scenes from classic films by authors such as Jean Vigo, Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini and Jan Svankmajer.
Girls, Helga Fanderl, Germany, 1995, 2’
A group of girls in summer dresses play tag in the Place des Vosges in Paris. A silent short filmed in super 8 and edited in camera, like most of the works by this German filmmaker.
Fadenspiele I (Toying with String), Detel and Ute Aurand, Germany, 1999, 8’
Colours, threads, stones and various natural elements give birth to images constantly changing in form in this silent piece created by two sisters, one a painter and the other a filmmaker.
La casa exagerada, Carlos Ballesteros and Genís Segarra (Hidrogenesse), Spain, 2020, 7’
In this short film based on the video for the song "Carta Exagerada", the band Hidrogenesse examine their own miniature toy props to explain everything, from England's most popular dance moves in the 1990s to how to make sauerkraut.