Monday, September 7, 2009...12:58 pm

Puppet animation wins best of British at LIAF

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Lots to come from the London International Animation Festival, which this year I managed to see quite a bit of. 

OK, so I was dog tired last week thanks to relentless work, which meant, I have to confess, I found it a tiny bit difficult to stay awake during Saturday’s documentary about Stanislas Starewitch (it was something about the soothing Slavic accents and trying to concentrate on subtitles at the same time as watching the confusing narrative). 

But all in all there was a lot of interest at the festival – and I’ll try to give a round-up in other posts.

First off, though, it was great to see a puppet film – Rapunzel’s Flight – winning the top slot in the British Panorama section. 

It’s an odd little film – though in a good way. And it’s not surprising to see that, although it was made in the UK, it was made by a foreigner – Gustavo Arteaga. The aesthetics are much darker and more surreal than you’d expect from a Brit, frankly. 

I really liked the way the film used location filming in a real woodland landscape – complete with natural light flickering – and pixellation of human characters. The lead puppet was interesting too. It had been made in such a way that the armature was visible and formed part of the character design, Terminator style.

I’ve seen better actual animation (in fact that was a theme running through the festival generally, and it’s one I’ll return to).

But for for its sheer energy and artistic vision, this one’s a worthy winner.


  • A friend of mine just recently pointed out your blog to me.

    I am the maker of “Rapunzel’s Flight”. A little short you wrote about back in the summer.

    I read your review and added it to my web page. I have just gone online last week so still some teething problems. I am no web designer so you can imagine… Not the best page. Still, it is functional and for the first time it lets me have a say on the stuff I make. Since you like stop-frame I thought you may enjoy the little clips.

    Regardless of different views on the subject, I can only celebrate your continual effort on promoting the largely unknown world of stop-frame animation. I sincerely thank you for this and with your permission would like to add you to the links I am putting together. If this is an issue just let me know. No big deal. The links won’t be up and running for a week or so yet.

    Best wishes from the other side of the Severn estuary.

  • A Ladislaw Starewich documentary? if so what was it called? I’ve been looking for one for a looong time.. starting to assume there just isn’t one.

  • It was called “The Bug Trainer” and made in 2008 –

    A very interesting film…