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The best shorts on this international animation program are the ones that don't spell everything out, leaving a little room for our imagination. In Susan Kim's Australian Shadowplay objects come to life through their shadows, which seem more powerful than the objects that cast them. Sungyeon Joh's puppet animation Grandma alludes to her Korean grandmother's mistreatment by the Japanese in World War II; one memorable image conveys the grandmother's isolation by placing her between cutout waves that bob back and forth. The computer-animated kitchen fixtures that come to life in Marc Stanyk's Fixture Fixation suggest that everyday things have spirits too, and Christopher Brady-Slue's A Day in the Life of a Student reminds us that simple line drawings, used here to convey a boy's discomfort, can be highly suggestive. Myra Margolin's adaptation of an E.E. Cummings poem, Maggie and Millie and Molly and May, may be overly literal, with drawings illustrating each line, but the allusive poem generates a sense of mystery anyway. The 20-minute Falldown Brown in Smokey Lies, directed by Monica Wilkins, is irritating, high-volume antismoking propaganda, with a moose using deceit and lies to make Moose Tobacco “the most powerful corporation in . . . the world”; unfortunately, the true story is way more chilling. 83 min.

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