Translate

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Luis Cook "The Pearce Sisters"












The 2008 BAFTA Short Animation winner, The Pearce Sisters, though supremely stylish is not a movie for the squeamish. Two sisters, Lol and Edna, eke out a cruel living for themselves catching Atlantic herring and preserving them in the smoke kiln. This part of the film is notable for the gritty realism of fish being netted, killed, beheaded, gutted, all with consummate skill. Other moments reveal a bygone Britain, one from the sepia photographs purchased at coastal resorts depicting fishing communities of perhaps 50 years ago - kerosene poured to start the fire, the museum piece of a box of Brygrey matches, one of which is struck to light the fire of driftwood, the hauling in of bulging nets by hand, fish innards thrown to the screaming gulls, the kettle on the hob. But it is difficult to avoid the sisters themselves, two gargoyles of women, one small the other huge, with muscles to match. When they pull in a drowning man, pound oxygen into his lungs, it seems somewhat lacking in gratitude that he charges off into the cold Scottish waters rather than face them. Luis Cook is from Aardman Animation, a much loved British institution but one associated forever in our minds with stop motion, a dog, a sheep and ingenious inventions. Luis' film breaks with traditions, demonstrating the versatility of the studio. Atom Films, to which the link is made, grade the movie as suiting a mature audience and they are correct. The gruesome fate of seafaring men is enacted in gory detail. The movie is based on one of the stories in the Mick Jackson anthology, Ten Sorry Tales. Luis' style of working and techniques used deserve some explanation. Commencing with first with clay, 3d CGI models were generated, printed out, 2D images created and worked on for detail and then scanned back into 3D models, Photoshop providing the textures. "Confused? So were we, but blundered our way in ..." (Luis) The gore tends to take over in the imagination and without giving anything away, it has to be said the horror element is well to the fore. That said, there's something remarkably human, even sad, about the two ugly sisters. The tea party at the close of the movie has excited interest for, as you will see, obvious reasons, but there is an attempt by the women to establish some kind of a society in a bleak world. This bleakness is well established by the rather depressed yellows, turquoises and greens, not to mention the incessant driving rain of the Scottish island. These women are ugly, alone and in order to survive have to be brutal to survive a harsh environment. When one of the sisters releases a trapped fly into the air or allows the crab to eat the slimy viscera, there is some humanity at work. And if the ladies wish to invite guests to their dinner table it's difficult to see how this could otherwise have been achieved. Full length BAFTA movies and would-be Oscars celebrities tend to attract the headlines but I doubt you will see a better movie this year. Lol and Edna are most decidely not Keira Knightley but there is sufficient depth in their depiction here not to paint them as entirely monstrous. For all that I should decline the girls' invitation to dine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi there!!! do you know when luis cook was born??? this would be really helpful to know!!!������