Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Borge Ring "Oh My Darling"

In contrast to yesterday, today's offering is perhaps lighter fare. A quite delightful movie, Borge Ring's 1978 Oh My Darling covers the changing relationship between a child and her parents as she grows up and flies the nest. I would describe Borge as a mainstream animator though one can only admire the masterly fashion in which the complexities and dynamics of the modern family are revealed. His featured movie is smoothly rendered, very accessible and never less than good natured in its story of the girl, the very apple of father's eye. We see the baby evolve as a chuckling creation in the womb, a source of delight for her parents, father in particular, through adolescence and eventual meeting with the man who will shortly become son-in-law and parent of the new grandchild. Such is life and Borge skips merrily through the years, love and rivalries. The metaphor of the stork is used throughout the movie. From straight-forward storks on the roof the action becomes increasingly fanciful until the couple themselves perch on their own roof, gazing down at the nest-building of their once so little girl, calling for the fledgling to return; mother sniffs the air, again on the roof, for the scent of her daughter's cooking, finds it wanting and adds extra seasoning; daughter and mate soar, enraptured, into the sky. The father is suspicious of the rival for his beloved daughter's affections though enticed by impending grandfatherhood. Only mother needs to be won over and poor old dad, torn between the two households, is quite lost in Borge's increasing phantasmagoria. Born in Denmark in 1921, Borge moved to the Netherlands in the 1950s making a career for himself in television commercials, artist, draughtsman, and from 1968 as animator on the Asterix series. Working with Steven Spielberg he won an Oscar with his animation film Anna en Bella in 1986. Borge is as near as we have in Europe to Disney animators, a great compliment from an admirer. Oh My Darling was Oscar nominated. It is strange because in the movers and shakers of world animation Borge Ring is not mentioned quite so much as his talent warrants, Oscar not withstanding. If you doubt this try to find a copy of the DVD. It was all I could do to discover a copy of Borge's Oscar winner. However the man and work is loved by fans – judge this exchange on Patrick Mate’s blog. It was whilst searching for the DVD that I happened on the recent post and obtained the wonderful drawing below and a beautifully written and illustrated blog. Another hugely informative blog I happened upon by a most experienced animator is that of Mark Mayerson . I've meant for some time to attach a favourites list of blogs and websites. I'll simply have to get round to it!

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