Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Let's get the ball rolling! First is a Brakhage that I am ashamed to admit I saw for the first time today. The film is Mothlight (1963), and was created by sandwiching moth wings, blades of grass and other garden detritus between two layers of film stock, then projecting the film as it is. Through capturing and magnifying these small, delicate fragments of nature, Brakhage gives voice to a beauty we may previously have ignored. Sadly, the YouTube video above doesn't do it justice (I'll probably copy-paste that statement into every post), but hopefully it'll catch your attention.
Caroline Leaf is an animator who has used various materials throughout her long and illustrious career. In The Owl Who Married A Goose (1974), a special little fable created for the National Film Board of Canada, Leaf works with sand animation to narrate an unconventional love story based on an Inuit folktale. The soundtrack occasionally grates, but overall it's charming and skilfully executed.
Last but certainly not least is this wonderfully weird short from the emergent 'talkie' era. Tomato Is Another Day (1930) tells a mundane story in a deliberately mundane manner, poking fun at the inane vestiges of silent films that directors worked into the first sound films. The lead actors enunciate lines slowly and sparsely, conveying no emotion in the tone of their voice. The film was decried at its première, but we can appreciate it much more in a modern context. Brings to mind David Lynch's static melodrama Rabbits (2002).