The things you discover while looking for something else.

Whilst staggering under the weight of the research for my dissertation (stop motion VS CGI) I came across this strange little gem, maybe a little unpolished, but none the less charming for it.
It reminded me of a mix of ‘Mary and Max’, ‘Courage the cowardly dog’ and Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’ rolled into one backwards little short, all pyjamas, long faces and silence.
I loved how it transported me back to my childhood days of ‘Are you afraid of the dark?’, and the dark tones with beautiful creepy realistic eyes made it all too interesting not to look into further- I was comforted a little too much by the fact that his chubby hands were made from what seemed to be bandages- my own little stop motion puppet was made with bandages for hands- it was the best I could find for him under the circumstances- but he is for another time..


I secretly love that the wallpaper is ”The Shining

I’d not heard of this animator before, or seen anything he’d done- Bruno Collet works on a number of French films, and has done some wonderful things- unfortunately, I couldn’t find all that much on him, but did find the film below, a wonderful portrayal of war, done all in grey, sticky looking clay.
If war was a material I think that Collet found the right one. Soldiers in the trenches sometimes made art from the clay of the walls of the dug-outs, sometimes to beautiful effect.
alexander carrick, trench art.
The mud they lived in, the mud they fought in and sometimes, tragically returned to, was reflected so poignantly in this animation, the maggots in the food they left behind, a reminder of the places they have gone to, and where they will never return from.
Although depressing and dark, it was actually quite touching, and very honest- so well built and beautifully shot.

It reminded me of a short film that won awards at the Bradford Animation festival the year just gone.. I never got to see all of it, but would very much like to some day, again, French but made by the animator Anna Budanova- like the last short, made all from one medium, but this time brown paper- the sepia tones making it look like the letters and photos sent from home at the time, the same ones that heal the physical wounds of the paper soldiers, the same way they healed the mental ones of the real soldiers at the front.

After spending these last couple of hours trying to avoid my dissertation writing, my latest post ended up just like my trawling essay- long and strangely leading onto different random things, in an everlasting lane of linking animations and wonderful ideas.
I think I need to sleep on it all.



Feral by name..

After a long time spent admiring the teaser trailer, teased I was- and although my usual preference is the pursuit of stop motion and all its time consuming magic, I was all too happy to make an exception here, for an obviously equally time consuming and magical venture.

‘Feral’, the 2012 short film by Daniel Sousa, is the silent tale of a phenomenon known as ‘Mowgli Syndrome’, cases that involve a child, usually of a very young age, for whatever reason (typically neglect) being adopted by animals and raised as wild, or ‘Feral’.
The little boy in this story is taken from the group of wolves who raised him by a well meaning hunter, and reintroduced to society, under who’s scornful ¬†eyes, he struggles to thrive, eventually breaking free and returning to the safety of his familiar woods.
It could be seen as a comment on the cruelty of children or the misplaced charity of those who mean well, but was a short that left enough to the imagination for me to think on it, over and over for the next few days, watching and re-watching whenever I could.
Having read about a case of a little girl found in the woods near a village, I remembered that her captors were never quite able to take the wild from her, despite taking her from the wild, and she died at a young age, after only a few years in the company of people, and having learnt very few words and some sign language.
The shifting images at the end of ‘Feral’ and the destruction of the symbolic windmill, lead me to wonder whether this little boy did actually escape, or whether he too perished in the grip of society, as is typical for wild children to do once captured.

Although ”wild children/ men” are not a very common occurrence today, there are some famous cases recorded in history. The traits these children pick up under the parentage of animals are bizarre, but equally amazing- it could be said that humans, in the company of other humans, are devolving..
Food for thought.
‘Feral’ was wonderful to watch and wonder at, trying to discern what the ending meant, I would urge others to watch it too, if time allows!

The naive and devastating world of Mary and Max

Just a short Blog post this time! After it being recommended for quite some time, I finally got around to watching ‘Mary and Max’ yesterday.
Not only was it a deliciously depressing blend of colour and humour (all dark, of course!) It outlined the more beautiful aspects of the people we share the Earth with, reminding us that even those we deem unapproachable or strange, still have deep and complex feelings within that make them individual and lovable, that we can learn from our shared reality with them, and the world does not revolve around our own mere selves, as so many think.
It poignantly displays the way that care and friendship can pull us from the darkest of holes, even ones at the bottom of ourselves- I wished more than anything, that I had watched it sooner, but upon viewing it yesterday in a pit of my own, it pulled me from myself too, and I will be forever grateful to the makers, for that very beautiful and difficult thing!