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Saturday, 8 December 2007

Christopher Walsh "The Magic Projector"


The Magic Projector directed by Christopher Walsh is a most unusual film. Set in 1935 in a remote Canadian village it tells a rather eerie tale of young Quinn who is attracted to a fairground style big top to see a travelling movie. Sadly, despite the best offices of the man in charge only the boy and his sister arrive to see the movie. The tent is empty and the experience marred. However the fascination of the film is great and the boy returns alone to investigate this miraculous projector and the world it can create. The puppet based animation is in black and white and there are subtle differences between the projections, drawn in cartoon style, and the puppets themselves. It is expertly made. In the days before wall-to-wall coverage the appearance of a movie booth in a small town must have been a great spectacle and the projections something of magic. The 14 minute animation captures that magic in more ways than one. By the movie's end the projection booth is packed out. The movie was originally Christopher's thesis from York University's Graduate Film Program. He is currently the new Professor in the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Animation) Program at Sheridan College. A DVD copy of the 2006 animation may be obtained from the director's website. Tomorrow I shall be posting another movie about the early days of cinema though somewhat lighter in tone. And nice to see Google AdSense pick up the references to hand puppets by one of the advertisers - all proceeds to a cancer charity so do click away.

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