Have a Nice Day

Natural realism has been the holy grail of animation since the 1920s, when Winsor McCay established the art of character animation with his groundbreaking Gertie the Dinosaur cartoons, and the 1930s, when Walt Disney elevated it to a new level with the supple, emotionally precise character movement of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The quest lives on in the age of 3-D digital animation, when motion-capture technology offers a new frontier in creating hyperrealistic characters. Social realism is another matter—with all those paychecks to sign, animation producers inevitably gravitate toward more bankable fantasy and sci-fi stories. But over the next two weeks Gene Siskel Film Center will present two new animation features that offer startling glimpses of modern life in strange lands: Ali Soozandeh’s Tehran Taboo, which explores the sexual underground in Iran, and Liu Jian’s Have a Nice Day, a gritty film noir about hopeless losers crushed by China’s ruthless market economy. Continue reading>>