Commentary 23 Aug 2009 07:59 am

Toe Tactic DVD

- Now in release on DVD is Emily Hubley‘s live action/animation feature, The Toe Tactic. Kino is releasing this film as of Sept. 1 and can be bought through Amazon here.

The movie follows Mona Peek (Lily Rabe) on an opening trip back to her suburban childhood home. She grieves her late father where nostalgia for their past overwhelms her. A number of other eccentric characters are interwoven with animated characters who comment on the action as Mona tries to come to terms with her reality.

In her review in the NYTimes, Jeannette Catsoulis wrote: “Mixing mischievous animation with quirky live action, the writer and director, Emily Hubley, transforms a conventional drama of loss and healing into an experimental jaunt through a surreal weekend in New York.”

The DVD includes a number of extras including scenes cut from the film, other shorts by Emily Hubley as well as storyboards from the film.
Co-stars include Eli Wallach, David Cross and Mary Kay Place (just about my favorite actress)
The music is by Yo Lo Tengo.

I enjoyed the film immensely when I saw it on the big screen at MOMA and then found myself equally and completely pulled in when I turned on the DVD, planning to watch only a few moments of the show, but caught pleasantly rewatching it all anew. It’s really enjoyably goofy, and you’ll get pleasure from it. Try renting it; once you have, you’ll want to buy a copy.

Some stills:

Lily Rabe

Voices of: David Cross, Andrea Martin,
Eli Wallach, Marian Seldes, Don Byron

Novella Nelson and Lily Rabe

Jane Lynch

Lily Rabe confronted by her animated alter ego.

Animation by Jeremiah Dickey and Emily Hubley

John Sayles

Lily Rabe and Mary Kay Place

Screen credit goes to the following people for the animation:

    Mario Camacho …. ink and paint artist
    Jeremiah Dickey …. animator & ink and paint artist
    Emily Hubley …. animation director, animator & ink and paint artist
    Tara Knight …. animation compositor
    Biljana Labovic …. ink and paint artist
    Lisa LaBracio …. ink and paint artist
    Joy Marie Smith …. animation intern
    Jeff Scher ….. animator – “Mirror Mona”

5 Responses to “Toe Tactic DVD”

  1. on 23 Aug 2009 at 10:41 am 1.tom said …

    what’s an ‘oepning trip’?

  2. on 23 Aug 2009 at 10:46 am 2.Michael said …

    Crorected, thanks.

  3. on 24 Aug 2009 at 1:25 am 3.Pete Emslie said …

    Having not seen the feature film itself, I will not pass judgment on that at all. However, from looking at the stills here showing the animation designs, I’m not impressed. I decided to check out Emily’s “Fish Girl” and “Big Brown Eyes” on YouTube to give her the benefit of the doubt, and I’m afraid that only confirmed my opinion of her art and animation. I think she may be trading in on the reputation of her parents.

    To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of John Hubley, although I like much of his more commercial work very much, like his Maypo ads and films through UPA. I find his more personal film work with Faith rather spotty, though, and I’m rather on the fence regarding much of their output. Sorry to be playing the grouch here, but I just don’t consider Emily’s primitive scrawls very clever, though she may perhaps be a good film director. Just one curmudgeon’s opinion, however…

  4. on 24 Aug 2009 at 8:03 am 4.Michael said …

    Obviously, I strongly disagree with you, Pete. I did see Emily’s film (three times) and think it’s excellent and entertaining. As for John and Faith’s films, I’ll leave you to your opinion. Different strokes for different folks.

  5. on 25 Aug 2009 at 12:17 am 5.Richard O'Connor said …

    The animation is the strong point of “Toe Tactic”.

    Emily’s animation has evolved into something marvelous.

    Pete Emslie may have had a valid criticism if she hadn’t moved past her first crude films. But she doesn’t need us to defend her -her catalogue stands on its own, just as we all stand on the shoulders of giants.

    For me, “Toe Tactic” is an interesting curiousity, and the manifestation of the better part of the artistic spirit -to forever push boundaries.

    And any screen appearance by John Sayles is worth seeing.

    Different strokes, indeed.

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