Serial Parallels
This experimental animation approaches Hong Kong’s built environment from the conceptual perspective of celluloid film, by applying the technique of film animation to the photographic image. The city’s signature architecture of horizon-eclipsing housing estates is reimagined as parallel rows of film strips: Serial Parallels.



AWARDS
- Off-Limits Award, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, France, 2020
- New Signs Award (Audience Award), Lago Film Fest, Revine Lago, Italy, 2020
- Honorary Mention (Computer Animation), Prix Ars Electronica, Austria, 2020
- Special Mention (Animation Avantgarde), Vienna Shorts, Austria, 2020
- Award for Best Film, Kinodot Experimental Film Festival, Russia, 2020
- Honourable Mention (Professional Jury), Videoformes Festival, France, 2020
- Special Mention (Experimental), Guanajuato International Film Festival, Mexico, 2020
- Special Mention (Experimental) MalatestaShort Film Festival, Italy, 2020
- Award for Best Editing, San Giò Verona Video Festival, Italy, 2019
- Jury Mention, FIVA Festival Internacional de Videoarte, Argentina, 2019

SCREENINGS AND EXHIBITIONS 2021
- La Truca International Animation Festival, Cali, Colombia, 4-8 May 2021
- Ars Electronica Animation Festival on Tour 2020, Jan-Dec 2021 (International Touring Programme)
- Cinema Urbana - Architecture Film Festival Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil, 2021 (postponed from 2020, date of 2021 edition TBC)

2020
- London International Animation Festival, London, UK, 27 Nov - 6 Dec 2020 (Abstract Showcase Competition)
- Art Machines, Indra and Harry Banga Gallery, Hong Kong, 16 Nov 2020 - 14 Feb 2021 (group exhibition co-curated by Profs Richard Allen and Jeffrey Shaw. Features Serial Parallels multi-screen installation)
- 44th CINANIMA International Animated Film Festival, Espinho, Portugal, 9-15 Nov 2020 (International Competition)
- 36th Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, 6-8 Nov 2020 (German Competition)
- 22nd Wiesbaden International Animation Festival, Wiesbaden, Germany, 4-7 Nov 2020 (Best of International Animation 2019/2020 Competition)
- 6th Bit Bang Fest, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2-9 Nov 2020 (Official Competition)
- 10th KuanDu International Animation Festival, Taipei City, Taiwan, 1-7 Nov 2020
- Big Cartoon Festival, Moscow, Russia, 29 Oct - 9 Nov 2020 (International Competition)
- Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival, Baltimore, USA, 23-30 Oct 2020
- 7th Cinetekton! International Film and Architecture Festival, Puebla, Mexico, 22-29 Oct 2020
- Fredrikstad Animation Festival, Fredrikstad, Norway, 22-25 Oct 2020
- Kaohsiung Film Festival, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 16 Oct - 1 Nov 2020 (International Short Film Competition)
- ArchFilmLund: Lund International Architecture Film Festival, Lund, Sweden, 16-18 Oct 2020
- 18th shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival, multiple cities worldwide, 15-26 Oct 2020 (International Competition)
- 8th Accessible Film Festival, Ankara, Turkey, 12-18 Oct 2020
- 24th International Video Festival Videomedeja, Novi Sad, Serbia, 8-10 Oct 2020
- 49th Montreal Festival du nouveau cinema (FNC), Montreal, Canada, 7-18 Oct 2020 (New Alchemists Competition)
- Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 7-11 Oct 2020
- BIDEODROMO International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Bilbao, Spain, 6-22 Oct 2020
- Anifilm, Liberec, Czechia, 6-11 Oct 2020 (Abstract and Non-Narrative Animation Competition)
- Animatou International Animation Film Festival, Geneva, Switzerland, 1-10 Oct 2020 (Lab Competition + Honorific Competition for Swiss Schools)
- 23rd CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival, Torino, Italy, 1-4 Oct 2020
- Animafest, Zagreb, Croatia, 28 Sep - 3 Oct 2020 (World Panorama)
- Facade Video Festival, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 25-27 Sep 2020
- Contemporary Animated Shorts, Towson University, Towson, Maryland, US, 24 Sep 2020 (Animation studies class led by Lynn Tomlinson)
- 32nd Girona Film Festival, Girona, Spain, 23 Sep - 3 Oct 2020
- 10th Mov'ilha, Ilha, Pombal, Portugal, 19 Sep 2020
- 23rd Guanajuato International Film Festival, Guanajuato, Mexico, 18-27 Sep 2020 (Experimental Category)
- 16th Indie-AniFest, Seoul, Korea, 17-22 Sep 2020 (Asia Road Competition)
- 12th Seoul International Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival, Seoul, Korea, 15-20 Sep 2020 (International Competition)
- Move Cine Arch International Film Festival, Venice, Italy, 12 Sep 2020
- FICBUEU: Bueu International Short Film Festival, Bueu, Spain, 11-19 Sep 2020 (Experimental Competition)
- Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria, 9-13 Sep 2020 (CyberArts exhibition at OK Center for Contemporary Art, 9-15 Sep 2020, and various screenings in Deep Space 8K at Ars Electronica Center, as well as online)
- Minikino Film Week 6, Bali International Short Film Festival, Bali, Indonesia, 4-12 Sep 2020
- LINOLEUM Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival, Ukraine, 2-6 Sep 2020 (Experimental Animation and Video Art Programme)
- 26th L'Étrange Festival, Paris, France, 2-13 Sep 2020 (International Short Film Competition)
- 18th Fantoche International Animation Film Festival, Baden, Switzerland, 1-6 Sep 2020 (International Competition)
- Fest Anca International Animation Festival, Zilina, Slovakia, 27-30 Aug 2020 (International Competition)
- Odense International Film Festival, Odense, Denmark, 24-30 Aug 2020 (Animation Competition)
- MalatestaShort Film Festival, Cesena, Italy, 22-30 Aug 2020 (Official Competition)
- 17th Animation Block Party, Brooklyn, New York, US, 21-23 Aug 2020 (Program Three - Experimental, Graphic Design and Music Videos)
- 31st Curta Kinoforum: Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 20-30 Aug 2020 (Limite)
- 4th Festival Ecra, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20-30 Aug 2020
- 18th Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Hiroshima, Japan, 20-24 Aug 2020 (Best of the World)
- Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti, MI, USA, 20-22 Aug 2020
- 13th Glasgow Short Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, GB, 17-23 Aug 2020 (Urban Palimpsests)
- 19th Countryside Animafest Cyprus, Salamiou, Cyprus, 9-12 Aug 2020 (International Competition)
- Besides the Screen Festival and Conference, Vitoria, Brazil, 6 Aug 2020
- EXiS: Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, Korean Film Archive, Seoul, South Korea, 1-15 Aug 2020 (International Competition)
- 16th Lago Film Fest, Revine Lago, Italy, 24 Jul - 2 Aug 2020 (New Signs Competition)
- Video Art Miden, Kalamata, Greece, Jul 2020 (POSTPONED)
- 7th Diversions International Short Film Festival, Sveti Ivan Zelina, Croatia, 2-5 Jul 2020
- FILE Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 30 Jun - 9 Aug 2020 (POSTPONED)
- Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Annecy, France, 15-30 Jun 2020 (Animation Off-Limits Competition)
- 17th Vienna Shorts International Short Film Festival, Vienna, Austria, 28 May - 2 Jun 2020 (Animation Avantgarde Competition)
- Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany, 28 May 2020 (Kolloquium der Klasse von Prof. Marcel Odenbach, Fachbereich Video)
- Monstra Festival, Lisbon, Portugal, 25-31 May 2020 (International Short Film Competition)
- 8th Kinodot Experimental Film Festival, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 22-27 May 2020 (International Competition)
- 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Athens, Greece, 21-31 May 2020
- 27th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Stuttgart, Germany, 5-10 May 2020 (International Competition)
- 63rd San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, USA, 8-21 Apr 2020 (CANCELLED) (Golden Gate Awards Competition for New Visions Short - Under 30 Minutes)
- 16th Akbank Short Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey, 16-26 Mar 2020 (Perspective screening)
- 26th International Short Film Week Regensburg, Germany, 14-16 Mar 2020 (Window to Architecture)
- Videoformes Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 12-15 Mar 2020
- Stop Motion Our Fest, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 11-15 Mar 2020 (Panorama)
- ANIMAC, Lleida, Spain, 27 Feb - 1 Mar 2020 (Official Selection)
- 49th International Film Festival Rotterdam, Holland, 22 Jan - 2 Feb 2020 (Ordinary Heroes: Made In Hong Kong)
- Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, France, 13 Jan - 7 Feb 2020 (Click for Flicks)

2019
- Artsvit Gallery, Dnipro, Ukraine, 19 Dec 2019 (Nikita Liskov Artist Talk)
- 9th FIVA Festival Internacional de Videoarte, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 13-15 Dec 2019
- 8th China Independent Animation Film Forum (CIAFF) aka 1st TOPU International Animation Festival, Haimen, Nantong, China, 12-15 Dec 2019
- Relentless Melt No. 15: Hongkongské abstrakce, Filmasia Asian Film Festival, Kino Ponrepo, Prague, Czechia, Sat 7 Dec 2019, 15:00-16:30 (screening curated by Max Hattler, introduced by Iresa Cho)
- Feinaki Beijing Animation Week, Beijing, China, 14-17 Nov 2019 (Competition)
- ReAnima Bergen International Animation Festival, Bergen, Norway, 14-17 Nov 2019 (Competition)
- Kaboom Animation Festival, Utrecht and Amsterdam, NL, 9-17 Nov 2019
- Cinetoro Experimental Film Festival, Cali, Palmira, Roldanillo and Toro, Colombia, 29 Oct - 4 Nov 2019
- Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany, 29 Oct - 13 Nov 2019 (window display solo exhibition, part of Phantom Horizons series curated by Robert Seidel)
- Relentless Melt No. 14: 香港實驗動畫精選, Zhong Shan 73 (中山73影視藝文空間), Taichung, Taiwan, Sat 26 Oct 2019, 19:30-20:30 (screening curated by Max Hattler for International Animation Day)
- Banjaluka International Animated Film Festival, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 24-28 Oct 2019
- Taichung International Animation Festival, Taichung, Taiwan, 11-20 Oct 2019 (Director in Focus 1)
- Stoptrik International Film Festival, Maribor, Slovenia, 3-6 Oct 2019 (Borderlands Competition)
- Encounters Film Festival, Bristol, UK, 24-29 Sep 2019 (International Competition)
- Supernova Digital Animation Festival, Denver, 19-21 Sep 2019 (Director's Choice programme)
- Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria, 5-9 Sep 2019 (Ars Electronica Animation Festival programme)
- Max Hattler. Receptive Rhythms, Goethe-Institut, Hong Kong, 4-28 Sep 2019 (Max Hattler solo exhibition curated by Dr Harald Kraemer. Features Serial Parallels multi-screen installation)
- San Giò Verona Video Festival, Verona, Italy, 23-27 Jul 2019
- Convento São Pedro de Alcântara, Lisbon, Portugal, 17-21 Jun 2019 (Society for Animation Studies Conference exhibition)
- Relentless Melt No. 13: Consecutive Correspondences, Floating Projects, JCCAC, Hong Kong, Wed 15 May 2019, 18:30 (Hong Kong premiere of Serial Parallels)
- Anifilm, Trebon, Czechia, 7-12 May 2019 (Max Hattler Retrospective)
- 26th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Metropol 2, Stuttgart, Germany, 22:00 Fri 3 May 2019 (Relentless Melt No. 11: Hong Kong International screening)
- 26th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Metropol 3, Stuttgart, Germany, 17:00 Fri 3 May 2019 (In Persona: Max Hattler screening)
- Animation and Science SAS Symposium, Literaturhaus, Stuttgart, Germany, Wed 1 May 2019, 14:00 (paper: 'Superstructure Playgrounds')

TV BROADCAST
- Canal 9, Santa Cruz, Argentina, April 2020 (Screening of winning films of FIVA Festival Internacional de Videoarte 2019)

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
"This captivating architectural animation draws a dizzying portrait of Hong Kong’s urban environment. Through the lens of the animated film, each floor or window corresponds to a film frame. The colors follow one another in a repetitive and rhythmic movement that plunges us into a meditative state that is both gentle and anxiety-provoking. A rhythmic escalation until the saturation of a space in which we finally lose our bearings. It is only when the sky appears to us that we can finally breathe the air we desperately miss as we climb the floors of these overcrowded towers. The experience is not unlike the one that the global situation has forced us all to apprehend individually from the windows of our respective habitats." Jury Statement, Honorary Mention (Computer Animation), Prix Ars Electronica, 2020

"Due to the complexity of the animation, and the ability to offer a political speech through the juxtaposition of images without apparent narrative intention, a film that takes us into trance with architectural patterns, we believe it’s a good audiovisual experimental proposal." Jury Statement, Special Mention (Experimental), Guanajuato International Film Festival, Mexico, 2020

"This film reflects on urban architecture in a very physical rather than intellectual way. The megacity is experienced as a pulsating apparatus where you can just sense the presence of otherwise invisible humans. It speaks directly to the retina and vestibular system." Jury Statement, Special Mention (Animation Avantgarde), Vienna Shorts, 2020

"This film is an extraordinary fine and poetic work, which uses familiar methods in unexpected and new ways. And provokes the questions: is repetition our only support, are these monstrous ships a good reflection of human nature. Congratulations to Max Hattler for Serial Parallels." Jury Statement, Award for Best Film, Kinodot Festival, 2020

"Hong Kong's distinctively shaped housing blocks form mesmerizing patterns that appear to move and shimmer in this dazzling, subliminally subversive dance of images." International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), 2020

"the escalating urban anxiety of Max Hattler's Serial Parallels" Vassilis Kroustallis, Zippy Frames, 2020

"... Serial Parallels, remix(es) an abundance of imagery of Hong Kong flat blocks to construct new abstract impressions of urban architecture in the form of film strips. The film’s frenetic rhythm and visuals speak to both anonymity and a multitude of individual histories, while also containing the city’s potential." Glasgow Short Film Festival, 2020

"Max Hattler, another Festival regular, animates the windows, balconies, and façades of unnamed buildings in Hong Kong with such speed and repetition that the iconic high-rise architecture becomes something different altogether." San Francisco International Film Festival, 2020

"In seinem delirierenden Filmkunstwerk „Serial Parallels“ hat der deutsche Animations- und Avantgardefilmer Max Hattler der Brutalität in Stein, die sich in den Himmel stapelt, Leben eingehaucht. Dazu musste er die fotografierte Wirklichkeit nicht einmal manipulieren, lediglich die nur in Nuancen abweichenden Aufnahmen der Stockwerke als Einzelbilder aneinanderschneiden. Mit den Mitteln des analogen Films hat er ein Stück optisches Techno geschaffen, das kein Weggucken duldet. Der 9-Minuten-Film gehört zweifellos zum Coolsten, was das Internationale Trickfilmfestival Stuttgart in seiner Online-Ausgabe zu bieten hat." Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 2020

"Hong Kong's characteristic architecture of towering residential areas is being reimagined as parallel rows of film strips, in a composition in texture and color." Countryside Animafest Cyprus, 2020

"An experimental documentary that applies the art of animation to the photographic image, achieving a hallucinatory portrait of one of the most vertical and densely built cities in the world: Hong Kong’s immense housing blocks appear to shimmer in a dazzling dance of fluid and dreamlike images. A disorientating and meditative journey that challenges you to let go and immerse yourself in its hypnotic vision, set against a dead-on soundtrack of metallic noises and urban sounds. An innovative and transfixing animation firmly rooted in a hectic metropolis and completely detached of time and space, all at once." Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, 2020

"Todo es susceptible de ser animado. Incluso los edificios de Hong Kong. Serial Parallels es la vanguardista obra que lo demuestra. Max Hattler se propuso fotografiar la característica arquitectura residencial de su nuevo país de residencia, mientras Zhang Riwen y Iresa Cho se encargaron de la también laboriosa tarea de animarlos con stop motion. Las fachas desfilan ante nuestros ojos de un modo tan original y a tal velocidad que pronto dejan de ser fachadas para convertirse en estímulos hipnóticos, algo así como una pieza de electrónica experimental, de trance, pero para los ojos. Cierto que el experimento pierde algo de fascinación en la segunda mitad, pero Hattler encuentra la manera de mantenernos interesados con tan mínimo recurso narrativo, cosa que tiene su mérito. Para quien quiera experiencias nuevas. (8,5 / 10)" Animacion para adultos, 2020

"Serial Parallels ... provides a transfixing portrait of one of the most vertical cities in the world. ... captivating architectural animation." Directors Notes, 2019

"... a hypnotic vision of a relentless urban architecture, set to a suitably mechanical soundtrack." Alex Dudok De Wit, Cartoon Brew, 2019

"Max Hattler’s new piece, Serial Parallels is as soothing as it is dizzying. ... The experience is like a meditative journey, in which you let go of control and become immersed in the flowing and rushing buildings. The sounds are reminiscent of the kinds of things you would encounter in an urban landscape; motors, helicopters, scraping cement and the warm ticking of a film reel playing. The pace of the sound and visuals create a mesmerising, abstracted view of Hong Kong. The parallel strips are often travelling in different directions and the camera tilts make it feel as though the buildings are looming in closer or slowly falling backward. A disorientating experience that is firmly oriented in Hong Kong with a strong sense of time and place." Amy Baker, Skwigly Online Animation Magazine, 2019

"High rises on speed. Buildings move, up and up and up and then down again, only to move up once more. Fascinating, invigorating, pulsating and fascinatingly meditative." OFF - Odense International Film Festival, 2020

"Hong Kong’s residential skyscrapers serve as the visual material for this mesmerizing architectural animation. Comparable to single frames from a film, the different skyscrapers’ housing pods are individually arranged, some of them in parallel strips. Because of their similarities, the composition creates either static or an elegant flow and, because of their differences, a vibrant life of its own." Vienna Shorts, 2020

"With hypnotic images, Max Hattler captures the endlessly fascinating patterns of the many gigantic residential towers of Hong Kong." Lantaren Venster, 2020

"Another exhilarating rollercoaster ride that feels like a (pleasant) attack to your senses. Like jumping off a cliff but instead of free-falling, you’re flying high above the skyscrapers in Hong Kong. Dizzying, alienating and intense—I mean this as a good thing. 8/10 stars." Alejandro Meroi, Art House Street, 2020

"Paralelos em Série (Serial Parallels), de Max Hattler, leva-nos até à paisagem urbana de Hong Kong pela perspectiva conceptual da película cinematográfica. A curta-metragem, muito ritmada, usa a arquitectura em movimento como o motor da narrativa e da região." Ines Moreira Santos, Hoje Vi(Vi) Um Filme, 2020

"Paralelos em Série pode ser encaixada na categoria experimental, dada a sua falta de narrativa no sentido mais comum do termo. Usando imagens fotográficas de edifícios de Hong Kong e usando técnicas de animação, é aplicado um movimento ótico no sentido vertical ao longo de todo o filme. É uma curta-metragem hipnótica, que não deixa ao espectador muitas opções que não sejam a de se deixar levar pela experiência quase meditativa. Nota: 4/5." Luis Ferreira, Cinema Serima Arte, 2020

"...un cortometraje que ha pasado por innumerables festivales y que muestra, utilizando técnicas de animación aplicadas a la fotografía, una visión fascinante, conceptual, de las edificaciones de la ciudad de Hong-Kong, con una técnica audiovisual que resulta casi hipnótica." En Primera Fila, 2020

"Sem uma história ou narração, com uma acelerada edição abstrata marcada por sons urbanos, o artista alemão Max Hattler constrói um filme todo formado por fotografias de edifícios que se sobrepõem geometricamente em um ritmo hipnótico, como uma espécie de cartema animado. Os prédios retratados são de Hong Kong, mas o curta é universal ao problematizar a claustrofóbica vida nas grandes cidades verticalizadas onde não é possível enxergar a linha do horizonte." Julio Cavani, Cinema Escrito, 2020


"Hochhäuser einer Stadt ähneln in ihrer Form dem analogen Filmstreifen. Eine experimentelle Reise durch Hongkong, gespickt mit Parallelen zwischen dem urbanen Leben und der Mechanik der filmischen Welt." Filmingo, 2020

CREDITS
English title: Serial Parallels
Chinese title: 序列平行
Director: Max Hattler
Production: Relentless Melt
Animation: Zhang Riwen, Iresa Cho
Photography: Iresa Cho, Zhang Riwen, Max Hattler
Editing: Max Hattler
Sound: David Kamp
Additional sound: Sky Kung
Sound research: James Banbury
Production management: Max Hattler, Iresa Cho
Supported by: Hong Kong Arts Development Council
Country: Hong Kong, Germany
Length: 9’00”
Year: 2019


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