Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Paper Binge (at the Fringe)

This is very late, i kept meaning to post it and not getting round to it. Oh well, here it is anyway.

Paper Binge is billed as an evening of “yummy films to inspire and delight,” and it certainly did that and more. The evening started with a beautiful set from the devastatingly attractive and talented boys from “The Morning Orchestra,” setting exactly the right tone of relaxed, sunny happiness before the films began. To see for yourself, catch them at Fletch at St. Andrews at 1pm on 24 May.
The films themselves, a collection of animations almost all under 10 minutes long, were very diverse, switching between the comic, the tragic, and the downright ridiculous. Stand-out films for me included “My First Crush” by Julia Potts, a beautiful line drawing and collage animation, taking recordings of real people talking about their first crush and animating them into birds, polar bears and dogs. The absolutely hilarious “KJFG No5” by Alexei Alexeev, starring a band made up of a bear playing a tree, a bunny drumming on a stump and a wolf wailing, who have to hide from a hunter, was so simple, and very short, but had the whole audience in tears. Also present was the Oscar winning animated short “La Maison en Petit Cubes,” a tragic tale in pastel and water-colour of an old man surviving a flood by building house on top of house, who scuba-dives down into his past through the rooms he’s been forced to leave.
Separating the two halves of the show was a question and answer session with two of the directors, both of whom work for Passion Pictures, animators made famous worldwide for their work with “Gorillaz” and the amazing “Sony Bravia” adverts. Their pick for favourite film of the evening was “Revenge is Cold,” the absurd but charming story of a professional bird assassin, who happens to be a cactus named Antus, and his run in with Woody Burns, the matchbox who dreams of turning into Steven Bernard, a lighter. Antus leads Woody to the North Pole and leaves him there with nothing to burn while he goes off to see his internet girlfriend, an igloo. Woody gets his revenge by melting the igloo and turning into a Zippo, the king of lighters. If it sounds strange, just wait till you see it. It was written by a 12 year old during a workshop with underprivileged children in the Camden area, and then animated without changing the script or story in any way, and the result is something you have honestly never seen before.

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