Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Episode II



I had only heard little nuggets concerning Anomolisa but it had all been reletively positive. Animators at work had mentioned it and there were online rumblings of an adult based stop motion film on the horizon. There was also a Channel 4 interview conducted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, where directors and producers (of Anomolisa) Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson described as best they could the logistics behind such a production. I think Krishnan Guru-Murthy wanted to try a different angle, perhaps relating to tax breaks, but it resulted in a very awkward coversation over politics and their thoughts on Trump. It might have been considered a wasted opportunity to plug the film, but behold! A fairly sizeable clip was shown and it looked absolutely bloody marvellous.

And so did the rest of the film. A jolly ol' group of us let our hair down last Friday night to watch Anomolisa at Manchester's Home cinema complex (it's lovely and shiney there) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Although the narrative was rather creepy (main character Michael Stone suffers from fregoli syndrome, goes a little loopy and seduces a drunken dame unbeknownst to his bloomin' wife) the animation itself was truly mindblowing. It was intense, but mainly set in a hotel (ha... do you get it... eh?!). 

A favourite moment of mine was when main character Michael has a bit of a mental episode, loses his mind and tries to reconcile in front of the bathroom mirror. As he lifts his hands to his face, gripping his cheeks (as if trying to grip back reality), he begins to pull off his mouth piece. The replaceable mouth piece of the 'ball and socket' puppet that represents Michael. I mean, sheesh, what a way to show his disconnect to whatever universe he is in. Clever girl.


This was a super sculpey model I made for Lucy; Adventure Time toothbrush holder!

The interwebsphere went absolutely bananas last week over a trailer that depicted an upcoming animated film in a very pioneering (and extremely radical) light. Sausage Party, from the creators of Superbad and Pineapple Express (you know the crew), looks and sounds outrageous! *Ahem* and I mean that in a good outrageous way. Excuse me for a moment, but a slight tangent is in order; some words in the English vocabulary truly baffle me. The term 'outrageous' means, as a general term, very bad. But I use it all the time as a bloody positive. Am I wrong? Is vocabulary wrong? Who the hell cares?




The trailer really throws you off guard, simply because for the opening 30 seconds it really looks and feels like an animated film targeted for children. The characters are bubbly, cute and colourful. The music is happy-go-lucky. What could possibly go wrong? 

I have to admit, it does feel like a stroke of genius, but surely this type of thing has been done before? Perhaps not so decorated as a mainstream film would be, but Seth Rogan can't be the first to inject frantic swearing into cute little creatures. Big budget animated films are certainly the juggernauts of the cinematic world (mostly) and are very familiar in tone, narrative and character design. So when you watch a trailer like this, you automatically set your brain into Despicable Me, Ice Age or Wreck it Ralph mode and expect something heart warming and loveable. 

Well not with this bloody one!

Flip the bed does it jar you out of a fuzzy coma and slap you around the face with a hilarious bout of fuck yeahs! I'll be interested to see the marketing campaign and the reactions of parents because it certainly fooled me. Ha! Bloody brilliant.


 


I don't really have much to report in a model making retrospect, so this is a trailer heavy post I'm afraid. But what trailers! Disney have just released the second trailer for the upcoming live action take on Roald Dahl's BFG and oh boy does it deliver. I grew up with the Brian Cosgrove animated BFG from 1989, which was visually beautiful and had winning voice talents from David Jason and Amanda Root, so when Disney announced a remake for 2016 I was intrigued but not won over... until this second trailer made me feel like a child again. The voices, the tension, the big loafing strides of the BFG, his dream catcher trumpet, Giant Country; it was all there! I was wide eyed and lapping it all up. If they include snozzcumbers then it could potentially be one of my highly aniticipated films of this year. Because I'm a film critic now, you see.





Ah look! Something about props! Unfortunately I have no idea where this came from. It popped up on one of the many stop motion Facebook groups I follow, but it was in Spanish and with no links. Bah I thought, Bah! 

But my goodness look how small and cute and inventive this coffee pot is. I fully applaud anybody who can visualise in such a way, where a household item can be transformed into something completely different. It's a brilliant exercise of the mind. So if anybody knows of a website where this type of model making wisdom is shared, please let me know! It's all instinctive, of course, with small scale prop making, but it's always pretty great to see what the rest of the world is using. 

Anyway, that about wraps up this post. Here is the reason it took so long to write...


 

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