‘The Foundling’ by Leo Crane

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The second film to be released as part of the Untold Tales series.

J— dreams of a family where wild birds are his brothers and sisters and he can escape the urban chaos of London. He lives with his adopted dads in a loving home, but can’t forget his past and the violent emotions he feels towards the young mother who abandoned him. In times of anger and sadness, he turns to the piano and the music that allows his dreams to flourish.

https://vimeo.com/296881122

https://www.instagram.com/leocrane77

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‘Hold Tight’ by Jessica Ashman

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The first of the six Untold Tales films.

Hold Tight explores the importance of Carnival across the UK and how its celebrations provide an important lifeline to heritage and identity for younger generations of the Black Caribbean diaspora in Britain. It is a journey into the feeling of belonging, through the rituals of Carnival attendance and the power of bass.

https://www.instagram.com/jessiola

You can watch the film here:

Hold Tight – https://vimeo.com/297039237

 

‘The Pirate of Love vol 1’ by Sara Gunnarsdottir

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Cal Arts student Sara Gunnarsdottier explores the music of outsider artist Daniel C. a legend in Iceland, who was a mystery due to the lack of information about him.

Apparently Daniel C contacted the director and she is set to be making the Pirate of Love Part 2. If anyone has any further info on the progress of Volume 2, please do let us know!

https://vimeo.com/67457641

‘I Met the Walrus’ by Josh Raskin

I Met the Walrus’ is the animated extension of an extraordinary interview that took place in 1969. A fourteen-year-old Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape machine, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto. The ‘Beatle’ rewarded the teenager’s pluckiness with an interview that contains the distillation of the musician’s message of peaceful protest. Thirty-eight years later Levitan adopted the role of producer on this short animated documentary, providing his original recording as the source material. The teenager’s naïve interview style, along with the kind authority with which Lennon imparts his wisdom, constructs a wonderful sub-narrative; the dynamic of master and student.

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The director and animator, Josh Raskin, expands on Lennon’s words with a stream of images that complement the verbal content. The camera manoeuvres around a constantly developing two-dimensional graphic field, new images sprouting out from the previous area of focus. Much of the imagery correlates directly to phrases they depict, but on occasion this deviates from literal representation. For instance, when discussing how one could combat the establishment of a nation suppressing its people, Lennon states: “…the only thing they [the establishment] don’t know about is non-violence and humour.” The moment the last word of this sentence is uttered an illustration of a humerus bone bounds on to the screen. The pun behind this visual/verbal collision is instantly absorbed while echoing the point that comedy can be powerful and elegant.

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This animation is littered with carefully thought out imagery that strikes a balance between augmenting Lennon’s words without distracting from them. The pace at which pictorial components are introduced is strangely rhythmic. Such a mesmeric stream of audio-visual information allows little room for the viewer’s mind to drift.

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James Braithwaite provides the distinctive plethora of pen illustrations. Influence from William Heath Robinson’s eccentric machines can be detected in Braithwaite’s retro style. The turn of the century artist drafted impractically complex and counter intuitive industrial activities. A comparable wit and tension is notable throughout ‘I Met the Walrus’.

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Alex Kurina is credited as a computer illustrator. This new media artist is likely to be responsible for the modern edge that acts as a counterpoint to Braithwaite’s traditional pen drawings.

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Although the division of labour between Raskin, Braithwaite and Kurina is not entirely clear, what can be said for certain is that the team have created a rich visual language that balances past and present. Traditional forms of illustration help conjure nostalgia for the era. These are subtly contrasted with modern pink graphic components, along with snappy swivelling camera motions. For five minutes this film evokes the excitement felt by a teenage boy as his hero indulged his enthusiasm. ‘I Met the Walrus’ has won all manner of international animation awards, received over two and a half million views on YouTube and was Oscar nominated for best animated short film in 2008.