Saturday, January 19, 2008

speaking of household rodentia....

That last post made me remember a film I saw last fall. Christiane Cegavske supposedly put thirteen years of her life into Blood Tea and Red String, a feature-length stop-motion film. Nods to modern animators such as Jan Svankmajer are apparent, but it's pretty original, and I enjoyed seeing the clever and creative solutions she employed (cellophane for water, for example). When I saw it in the theater, the print looked really dark, and my hope is that once transferred to DVD that problem has been taken care of.

The soundtrack is cute, the pennywhistle-styled music seems appropriate for the forest-dwelling characters, and the "what-era-is-this-from" sound of it seems right in line with the anachronistic, low-tech look of the animation, so like works from other animators in the last 25 years (Brothers Quay, etc.), it's not immediately obvious what year this was even made.

Most impressive is the sheer construction of everything - for being the vision of one artist, the puppets are extremely detailed, the clothing, the props, the sets, it's all well thought out and cohesive. It's not perfect, but it's quite well done, and I'm impressed with her overall vision and follow-through.

I'm pretty sure you can rent it on Netflix, so if you have room in your queue, it's definitely worth your 1.5 hours.

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