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Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Nora Twomey "From Darkness"




From Darkness by the Irish film-maker Nora Twomey is a very moving film with one of the finest opening sequences I have seen. An Inuit fisherman is fishing in the cold ocean when he spots something in the water. It is the corpse of a maiden long since thrown into the sea by an angry father. The lonely young man develops an unlikely friendship. Nora has embraced the ancient Inuit story of "The Skeleton Woman" and created a powerful drama. I'm told the Inuit have many names for the different shades of white; well, Nora creates all sorts of shades of greys and white in the outside scenes. The remoteness of the location is vividly captured as is the blue of the ocean. Certain of the scenes are spell-binding, such as the first appearance of the girl and her eventual metamorphosis. To complement a gripping ending and satisfying development, the film ends in an emotional tour de force. From Darkness was made in 2002 using funding from the The Irish Film Board, The Arts Council & RTÉ. Nora has given an interview for the estimable AnimWatch in which she provides details of the production techniques and background. This is one of my favourite movies. Nora is one the founding partners in the Kilkenny based The Cartoon Saloon. They have produced several movies of which Nora's Cuilin Dualach has received much praise. Another facet of their work is television commercials and their website has examples. I particularly liked those for the Environment Agency with a great seaside scene, a delicate one for Positive Options signalling help for those women having unplanned pregnancies, and a jolly Christmas blitz for Cadbury's chocolates. Nora has a background and higher education both in fine art and traditional animation. She also has huge talent. From Darkness works in the classroom and students are captivated. A trailer for the movie is available on the company's website though one can view it in full at that great outlet for independent film-makers, Zed.

1 comment:

Ian Lumsden said...

The film has been added to Norah's site and is now available:

http://nora-twomey.com/2008/12/10/from-darkness/