Chicago International Puppet Film Festival, program one | Chicago Reader

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These six animations have no overriding theme, and not all of them involve puppets. Inger Lise Hanson's Hus (1998) shows an old shack coming apart in speeded-up motion that makes time's ravages visible. Each area of the facade reveals a different but rich texture as it deconstructs, giving the film a creepy sensuality. Lynn Smith's The Sound Collector (1982) is a nicely detailed celebration of childhood fantasy, as kids imagine castles and monsters among the objects of an ordinary home. In Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein's Balance (1989), a parable about ego and aggression, a platform suspended in space tilts back and forth as characters move from side to side. In Jacques Drouin's Night Angel (1986), about a man going blind, the images are striking but fail to flow cinematically, becoming a series of disjunct illustrations. Also on the program: Adam Benjamin Elliot's Cousin (1998) and Yuri Norstien's gentle and charming The Hedgehog in the Fog (1975). 61 min.

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