Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Improved Script | Improved Made After IOR

The Scrip Unit5 Impr

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Jiří Barta | November 26, 1948 – Present
Fig 1 | Jiří Barta

Jiří Barta is an animated director, artist and animator who became notorious personality of both the animated and Czech film industry. Barta uses the medium of wood, to create his characters and sets then by using stop motion to animate. His works has received great feedback winning grand prizes at prestigious film festivals such as ‘The Pied Piper’ and ‘The Extinct World Of Gloves’. In recent years he has focused his work on teaching and moreover for commercial reason such as, animated advertisements, MTV logo, illustrations on DVD and many more.  However the true testament to his talent for animating as well as creation came in the form of his award winning work the ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’
Fig 2 | The Pied Piper Of Hamelin - Arguing At The Market

 The film depicts the classic poem of how the Pied Piper saves the town of Hamelin from a rat infestation and in return gets undercut by the leaders and his employer when he comes for payment. In retaliation the Pied Piper morphs the villagers into rats and leads them to the edge of the cliff into the river where they drown.  In Barta’s interpretation he created...a fascinating metaphor for the decay of a society focused on material demands’ (Ivana Košuličová) in result ‘creates a striking contrast to the Disney conception of the Pied Piper legend as a children’s comedy. Barta’s adaption is a challenging and metaphoric morality that continues in the Czech tradition of Pied Piper adaptation begin by Viktor Dyk in literature’(Ivana Košuličová). Furthermore this was credited advantage to Barta works as he does not hesitate to probe the dark side of ‘The Pied Piper’ (Zipes, 2010; 213) . What was noticeable however was the original story had children which weren’t the same as Barta interpretation ‘Children do not appear in the harrowing adaptation, nor are they abducted. They are behind the scenes, so to speak. Barta is more concerned with revealing the materialism of the entire populace of a medieval town. Rich and poor alike are absorbed by making money’ (Zipes, 2010; 213). It is noticeable at this point that Barta seems to draw parallel with the political sickness and contamination of today’s society and the ruthless competition globally – undermining the basic ethical behaviour of people for materialistic game. Quite evidently showing that Barta uses his method of animation in a similar way, which is parallel to Jan Švankmajer who also used his work for political views and other issues in society.
Fig 3 | The Pied Piper Of Hamelin - Pied Piper

However his ending though supplies hopes as the fisherman enters the deserted town and finds a child in a cradle, then carries the baby from the town to safety which was Barta intended. Yet the prominent vision of the wooden puppets, gives a dark and creepy persona tearing away from this fact. Arguably, stating that although a successful piece, his work with carvings has limits to dark genres. However, with this ability he was able to spin the fable to suit circumstances of the current climate and moreover show personal opinions on the topics.

Fig 1  :
Fig 2 Barta, Jiří  (1986) ‘The Pied Piper Of Hamelin - Arguing In The Market
[Film Still] The Pied Piper Of Hamelin

Fig 3  Barta, Jiří (1986) ‘The Pied Piper Of Hamelin - Pied Piper
[Film Still] The Pied Piper Of Hamelin

Košuličová Ivana Barta, Jiri,

Jiří Barta. The Pied Piper

Richardson, Michael (2006) Surrealism and Cinema, 1st Floor, Angel Court, 81 St Clements Street, Oxford, OX4 1AW, UK : Berg Publisher
Wright, Jean Ann (2005) Animation Writing and Development: From Script Development To Pitch, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP,UK : Focal Press
Zipes, Jack(2010) The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films,270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY: Taylor & Francis

The Brothers Quay | June 17th, 1947 - Present
Fig 1 | The Brother Quay

Stephen and Timothy Quay or more commonly known as ‘The Brothers Quay’, whom have become a prolific pioneers of the animation industry. There works being at the fore-front of the 80’s period with the infamous 1986 short ‘Street Of Crocodiles’ which brought them to the attention of fans and critics.   The Brothers Quay are known for weird stop-motion animation which resides in a array of projects for music, film and theatre.  This not doubt down to being disciples of the Czech surrealist animator Jan Švankmajer and other early pioneers in the field.  The Brother Quay have become notorious for their mastery in creating a dreamscape of the unique and abstract style creating phantasmagoric fable. Most of their design having been put together with wire, springs, doll part and other oddities and homemade mechanisms.
There ground breaking works ‘Street of Crocodiles’ was prolific for it creative and uncanny feels with a dark ominous tone. The story follows the protagonist puppet whom (after being released by a man closing the lecture hall) warily explores his surroundings which come alive with screws twist out of objects and move about. A used and damage baby dolls toy with the protagonist and dress him as well as show him weird and wonderful things
Fig 2 | Street Of Crocodiles screenshot
Like Švankmajer the feel of the project leaves an uncomfortable feeling which the audience immediately connect with as they are gripped by the degrading look of the dolls and puppet. As a whole the environment feels dark and unnatural with some of the character feeling demonic looking with their eyes removed.  The gripping motion of the creature are uncanny in essence but also set a tone in which they (as Švankmajer did) try to convey a message. However in these term display a story of a young teenage wandering the streets at night and the influence and people he might face obviously pin pointing by the demonic become seen as villains. As Jon S. Kranser states absurd and incomprehensible images...exist in a chaotic, multilayered world where human characters live at the mercy of insidious machines’ (Kranser,2004;31). Moreover both Stephen and Timothy suggest there work to be as that from another universe of something we can’t explain much as an adult tries to understand the life of a teenage and the darkness it has with each passing generation. The go on to say ‘It is not so much a nightmare. We really believe that with animation one can create an alternate universe and what we want to achieve with our films is an ‘objective’ alternate universe, not a dream or a nightmare but an autonomous and self sufficient world, with it particular laws and lucidity; a little like when we observe the world of insects’ (Stephen and Timothy Quay, 2004, 31).
Fig 3 | Street Of Crocodiles - Re-dressing Puppet Screenshot

In conclusion there isn’t a complete alteration from what there predecessor have done to what they create as the where influence by East Europe surrealism. This is arguable however as there technique of using degraded objects gives a darker tone and really pushes their idea of a new world and isolation.  In term of ‘Street of Crocodiles’ the brothers suggest the protagonist as a teenager or any whom wander the streets at night and try to depict the unique world of the teenage-hood. In a sum up ‘The Brothers Quay’s contribution to the animation industry work ‘in the waking nightmares, symbolist art and literature of the fantastic’ (Rosenbaum, 2009;208) . No more than suggesting that they use the horror of real life to create nightmarish world in which they create an isolate universe to point out these issue in society. 


Fig 2 Quay, The Brothers (1986) ‘Street Of Crocodiles’ Screenshot
[Film Still] Street Of Crocodiles

Fig 3  Quay, The Brothers(1986) ‘Street Of Crocodiles - Re-dressing puppet’ Screenshot
[Film Still] Street Of Crocodiles
Faber, Liz (2004) Animation Unlimited: Innovation Short Films Since 1940, 71 Great Russell Street, London WC1B  3BP, United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing 
Kranser, Jon S. (2004) Motion Graphic Design & Fine Art Animation, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK: Gulf Professional Publishing 
Rosenbaum, Jonathan (2009) Action!: Interviews with Directors from Classical Hollywood To Contemporary Iran, 75-76 Blackfriars Road, London SE 1 8HA , UK : Anthem Press

Jan Švankmajer | 4th September 1934 – Present
Fig 1 | Jan Švankmajer


Jan Švankmajer is one of the most renowned animators of the 20th century with his work similarly to McLaren spanning several mediums as well as giving a great influence and active innovation to the practice moreover. Moreover his projects have influenced some of the greats such as Tim Burton, the Brothers Quay and Shane Acker to mention but a few. Švankmajer is mostly known for his surrealist works which give an insight to a creative mind and his opinions. His collection ‘Dimension’s of Dialogue’ is evident of this showing most notable show his beliefs on issues through his artwork. Be it love, politics or even war. More noticeable is that different opinion can be brought to the attention for a viewer from different backgrounds. I conclusion his work appearing more generic and in turn ‘Švankmajer distances himself from much of the ‘surrealising’ trends we may discern in Czech cinema: ‘I am not people who are “influenced by surrealism”. For them, surrealism on the whole signifies aesthetics...surrealism is everything else philosophy, ideology, psychology, magic’ (in Hames, 1995:104)’ (Richardson, 2006; 202) from this it noticeable that the work of Jan Švankmajer is important to him as an artwork to educate his opinion’s of quite important philosophical topics yet still having them be on generic level that will ultimately connect with different ethnicities as well as cultural, and social backgrounds.
Fig 2 | Factual Conversation Screenshot

  ‘The Dimensions Of Dialogue’ has three acts which are made from numerous materials and can be conceived under 3 different topics of ‘Exhaustive Discussion’Passionate Discourse’ and ‘Factual Conversation’ with each depict a reaction between two or more personas.  Exhaustive Discussion depicts quite clearly the difference between 3 people which can be also extended to different cultures or social background and even religion. More noticeable the implied connations of a struggle can simple state differences in society and ultimately countries. It arguable therefore that you can have name of this animation and quite easily extend it to ‘War and Evolution’ as ideologies war is not more that a physical metaphor of an exhaustive discussion in which one may conquer another ideology and damage the structure but in attempt merges ideologies at a time in suit with the final conclusion of being under the same policy and beliefs.  However showing the discussion or war as a horrid mess as the metals, food and paper messy in to some awful substance. This is simple as it instigates the fact the ‘Švankmajer has observed, this serves to disturbs ‘the utilitarian habits of the audience, to unsettle them, [sometimes] for subversive purposes’ (Wells, 2002; 7).  More noticeably, using disgusting images to hook and drive his point and values home to the viewers. This again is noticeable in the next instalment ‘Passionate Discourse’ which shows what seems to be a discussion on whether to take a relationship to the next step as the affection bond the two characters however after this seems them fight and claw each other into a muddle of clay. Moreover this can again be conceived as Švankmajer opinion on sexual interaction and possible the downside teenage pregnancy and how the affects act on each side show the opposite sex. In these term it’s arguable that the left over clay piece which tries to gain affection can be nothing more than a baby or a metaphorical baby which tries to win over the parents from an abortion or even care. However the result of this sees them spiral in to destruction and break down in the relationship as the end clip conveys.  ‘Factual Conversation’ shows similar potential of hidden connotation as both figure have similar look and more over a similar facial construction to Winston Churchill or a stereotype of a man of power. In turn the game - seems to be a contest between matching up objects as that in politics and trying to think of the best solution and yet through differences in opinion cause their ideas to break therefore in English term conceiving the two characters as conservative, labour or even liberal.
Fig 3 | Passionate Discourse
Fig 4 | Exhaustive Discussion

 In conclusion, Jan Švankmajer work was a new artistic form in which like many painting and 2D design had underlying political meaning. His success however was how he animated these messages in such a way that would be generic to all cultures and even ethnicities. In turn Švankmajer introduce surrealism in a political persuasion.  Moreover, ‘Animation of the commonplace achieved the Surrealist aim of awarding meaning to the incongruous, and the skill of the animators created an intensity of suggestion’ (Graeme, 2007; 179)

Fig 2 Švankmajer Jan (1982) ‘Factual Conversation’ Screenshot
[Film Still] Dimension Of Dialougue

Fig 3  Švankmajer Jan(1982) ‘Passion Discurse’ Screenshot
[Film Still] Dimension Of Dialougue
Fig 4 Švankmajer Jan(1982) ‘Exhaustive Discussion’ Screenshot
[Film Still] Dimension Of Dialougue
Richardson, Michael (2006) Surrealism and Cinema, 1st Floor, Angel Court, 81 St Clements Street, Oxford, OX4 1AW, UK : Berg Publisher
Harper, Graeme (2007) The Unsilvered Screen: Surrealism On Film, 4th Floor, 26 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EZ : Wallflower
Wells, Paul (2002) Animation and American,22 George Square, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press