Wednesday, September 22, 2010...9:37 pm

Altar Boy

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I wrote a while back that I was looking forward to seeing Gustavo Arteaga’s animation based on the track Altar Boy by Ricky Lee Jones.

Gustavo was behind the award-winning Rapunzel’s Flight stop-motion film, which topped the British Panorama section of the 2009 London International  Animation Festival. His work is eerie, surreal and disturbing – but very moving and intriguing. In short, he pulls off the trick of being both experimental and accessible. I particularly enjoy his use of puppets in an outside environment, including shooting in sunlight and making use of natural features such as moving water and shadows.

At last – Gustavo has kindly let me know that Altar Boy is now finished and online.  The film is in the same mould as Rapunzel’s Flight, but I reckon he’s managed to work even more cleverly with his real-world settings. There are some very nice effects, including some tricky-looking tracking shots, and a very nice use of natural variations in light levels, that make it seem as if he’s animating the sunlight at the same time as his puppet.

I’m not sure if this film will be on the festival circuit, but check out his Vimeo video channel for this and other films, including a nice, raw clay abstract film that reminds me a bit of the Brothers Quay – but with nicer music!

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