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I’ve heard countless times -- mostly from former New Yorkers and Chicagoans -- that Miami and its Beach are cultural deserts, black holes for new expression. In fact, MIA can feel like that some weekends when the best theater option is something the East Coast saw years ago and the most independent film showing is one put out by a mega studio.

Sunday was the closing night of the inaugural edition of the South Beach International Animation Film Festival. There were about ten people at the Miami Beach Cinematheque where organizers showed a provoking selection of disturbing, sexual and amusing shorts from a Canadian fest. Animation like Milk Teeth, which explored a child’s peek into his mother’s dark side with visuals that looked like a fluttering series of Rembrandt paintings.

Another chronicled the descents of a dancing gumdrop featured in an old-school movie concession commercial and a loon that served as a breakfast cereal icon. All in all, pretty damn entertaining. But with only two handfuls of people to watch, such pushes to add another layer of artistic expression to Miami and the Beach will wither and die. And those who don’t support them will largely be to blame for the stale culture that results.

--Janine Zeitlin

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.