VIFF review: The NFB's "Bad Seeds/Mauvaises Herbes" shows the nasty side of plants and humans

Claude Cloutier's rapid-fire drawings depict never-ending duels in nature

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      The beginning of Claude Cloutier's animated short, "Bad Seeds/Mauvaises Herbes", is a little deceptive.

      Jaunty banjo music suggests that blooming plants in a field are here to benefit the planet.

      But soon enough, two of these stalks turn carnivorous, morphing into a multitude of shapes in a seemingly never-ending duel.

      They take the form of a bird, frog, alligator, hippo, lion, and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a series of rapid-fire drawings.

      The violence is truly astonishing, reflecting what takes place not only in the animal kingdom, but also within the human race.

      Two of the 20th-century's most despicable world leaders pop up in "Bad Seeds/Mauvaises Herbs".

      Cloutier is an experienced animator with many credits with the National Film Board.

      "Bad Seeds/Mauvaises Herbes" shows the artist at the height of his powers.

      It's a dazzling and, at times, dizzying NFB production, well worth the small seven-minute investment of time to watch it.

      Watch a promo clip from "Bad Seeds/Mauvaises Herbes".