Thursday, 30 August 2007

Suzie Templeton "Dog"

Produced in 2001 when Suzie Templeton was a student at the Royal College of Art, "Dog" is an animated movie using puppets. It was her graduation film. The film is astonishingly mature in its depiction of how one copes with tragedy. A father and son are dealing with the recent and searing death of their wife and mother. Both are deeply traumatised though the father attempts to calm his son with soothing words. At the same time their elderly pet dog is suffering. This parallel moment in their lives and the pain it evinces, borne with few words but with agony etched on their faces, is almost too painful to view. I cannot recollect puppet design being any better than this. The father's lined and haunted look and the desperate boy with the shock of red hair are magically detailed, whilst the dog with its decaying teeth and fading eyes is similarly effective. The voices of Tony Fish, Josh O'Keefe and Bill Homewood are similarly exactly right whilst the set and lighting are extraordinary really. I have just ordered the DVD of Suzie's "Peter and the Wolf" and plan a short review of her earlier "Stanley". Meanwhile you can view "Dog" on Channel 4 .

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