Israeli filmmaker and animator Eran Hilleli has an interesting animation style which seems inspired by various other artists, but never imitates them. Much of Hilleli’s early work can be found online, but below are some of the best.
Knowledge of the Cone is a student project that was directly inspired by a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting of the same name.
We Used to Call People Late at Night is another student project that Hilleli admits to having been inspired by the film Persepolis when creating; however, it reminded me of another animator which I greatly admire, Dustin Grella, who works in a similar styled medium and uses telephonic voice recordings as the basis for some of his work.
Close to Home is a short film / music video for Ori Avni. Avni’s music is a sort of perfect blend of ethnic and shoegaze, and fits the shooting style of Hilleli well. Incidentally, Avni’s music appears in many of Hilleli’s works. The one-take shooting style of this piece is uniquely paced and the movement of the camera is just superb, it almost has this elastic quality about it which I’ve never seen on a dolly or tracking shot executed so well in an indie production.
Here’s another video for Avni in which Hilleli created an installation piece which appears to be a compendium to the above short.
Inside_Out feels like it should be a Radiohead video, as it has all the right qualities to be such. This short shows a heightened sense of style in the progression of Hilleli’s animated work.
Three and a Half Seconds About Life is a short animation which, while maybe not intentionally on the part of Hilleli, seems directly inspired by the Alan Clarke short Elephant from 1989 (which then directly inspired filmmaker Gus Van Sant to “remake” it – in very much his own way, mind you – in 2003).
Finally, there’s Between Bears, Hilleli’s film which won Best Animation at Vimeo’s first film festival. Polygonal art and the whole bear theme just makes me think of the band Grizzly Bear and their LP Veckatimest, but other than that, I think this short again shows the impressive and ever-evolving style of Hilleli’s work. I look forward to what’s next from this filmmaker.
As an added bonus, do yourself a favor and check out the videos Hilleli’s shot for singer Daniela Spector. (I’ve embedded my personal fave below). There’s a subtle dreamy quality to Hilleli’s live performance video shoots, and even though the whole back-and-forth soft focus style is used by many a handheld HD video filmmaker these days, Spector’s songwriting and music is incredibly enchanting. You can download her album here if you dig it as much as I do.