Stanley Pickle (2010)

“Stanley Pickle” (2010)

CINANIMA 2010

IMDb

animated reflexivity

Stop motion is a great technique. It’s a compromise between continuous motion, 24fps or even lower, and the stillness of a single image. I think this balance between both ways to represent can make a difference in what regards narrative. It lowers your ability to focus only on what the images “tell” and instead are forced to learn what the images “are”.

The interesting thing about this film is a certain reinvention of how usually this kind of stop motion is used: all the elements are real elements, from our real world, not clay models, not built out of scale sets. Usually in this kind of animation, the objects of that real world are animated on their own. bottles move alone, tables dance with chairs on their own will, and so on. Humans may be in the picture, but they will not interfere, only interact with the environment. Svankmajer has a number of incredible experiences based on this notion.

But here, we have a mixture. We have an animated world, that fully belongs to the otherworldliness of animated objects, but we also have the animator on screen. Stanley Pickle creates and mantains all the objects that surround him in his daily life, from his parents (who are objects here) to his games. Later in the film we see his laboratory, on the downside of his bed.

This falls apart when he performs his magic to a girl from outside of his confined animated world. It doesn’t work, he can only fake the life of her bird, not resume it. So, that kills the animation, to Pickle himself.

The girl has quite an interesting face, and i appreciated the self-referentiality and how it blends into the final product and the narrative. I just didn’t the film visually interesting.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb

 

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