Tuesday, 11 December 2007

John Halas & Joy Batchelor "Automania 2000" (Visions of Future Past 1)

My compilation, Visions of Future Past, kicks off with this classic Halas and Batchelor movie. Produced in 1963 as a joint Anglo-American production the John Halas directed Automania 2000 was the first British animation to be nominated for an Oscar and a British Academy Award. In fact it is a documentary satirising the development of the automobile from the days when it was a pleasure to drive on empty roads to a nightmarish vision of cities choked to bursting point by ever bigger and more plentiful cars. Harold Whittaker did the animation and he is best known in my household for his animations of Jan Pieńkowski and Helen Nicoll's Meg and Mog and by me for his Autobahn. There are different styles of animation here, from the relatively simple to the arty and symbolic; some great lines too from Joy Batchelor's script: "With universal immobility war is unthinkable, peaceful co-existence exists." We see the image of Big Ben above mirrored by that of the Kremlin. This compilation DVD would make a nice Christmas present!

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