Sunday, 16 December 2007

Run Wake "Rabbit"

Rabbit directed by Run Wake is a strange movie, its bizarre qualities distinquishing it from the crowd. An award winning movie, it is a moral tale of what transpires when greed takes over and corrupts two children. Using the stylistic device of old fashioned children's books designed to teach reading the eight minute film is beautifully illustrated by Geoffrey Higham in the style of, variously, Lucie Attwell, Janet and John or a 1930s Reading Primer . Labels are attached to all the nouns in the film. There are certainly spellings to be learnt (tulip, bee, rabbit) but the action becomes increasingly fantastic and the movie is definitely not recommended as a teaching aid for young children! The boy kills a rabbit. When it is hacked in two with a knife ("knife") an idol ("idol") is released who, in exchange for jam, gives the now murderous pair jewels ("jewels" - well, you've got the idea.) I am often rendered dumb by the wit and originality of the animators featured in my blog. Run is inspired here. Halving the rabbit is bad enough but the wholesale carnage inflicted by rosy cheeked children is overwhelming. I noted too the gradual change in their faces from innocence to the demonic. The red bus and the red van took me straight to the early days teaching my own children to read and I still can't believe the boy clobbered the horse ("horse") with a cricket bat. As a salutory homily on the subject of greed this movie has few peers. You can tell one is in the presence of a distinctive individual when alighting on Run's Biography. It is set out as a road map from the Chelsea School of Art where a click takes you to his earliest 1987 animation (see image) through The Royal College of Art where a 1990 Spinner Loop is chosen to represent his work there. Rabbit occurs towards the end of his travels in 2005. (The above is the second of two links to the movie, I hope both legitimate.) Run's website is unusually literate, very thorough with links to his superb commercials and other recent work, has one of the best shops around - buy your Christmas Cards there - and there's a link to a European Movies DVD which includes Rabbit. Oh, and the website reveals that Run married this year and moved from London to Kent.

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