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Thursday, 20 March 2008

David Montgomery "Pollenating" (Annecy Festival 2008)

















In the third of my trawl through Aniboom's featured movies chosen for Annecy ‘08, David Montgomery's Pollenating makes an interesting contrast with yesterday's piece. Both animations deal with regeneration and fertility: Marissa Delbressine glories in the fecundity of Spring, personified as a young nymph simply bursting with life; David's film celebrates the pollination of plants. They are very different in form, yesterday's movie drawn in sand, today's stop-motion film crafted from close-up photographs revealing the delicate and decidely torrid, secret life of a plant. Luckily they are not in competition with each other as Pollenating is featured in Annecy's Short Films category. In his description of the movie the director describes it as a "less painterly ode to Georgia O'Keeffe" which accounts for my inclusion above of the lush and sensuous image, Black Iris, set alongside two screenshots from David's work. (O'Keeffe is a particular passion of mine given still life classes in my youth when I tried to emulate her with a conspicuous lack of success.) What David has done is to combine natural images from nature and produce a stunning visual feast. The colours change endlessly: pink, carnation, solferino, red - often set against the most delicate white or blue shades with just a suggestion of liquid, ice or crystal. The movie torments the senses. Hide your family aspidistra behind the blind whilst viewing. This is tropical greenhouse stuff, particularly given the frankly exciting Nelson Frederick original score that builds up the passion to a burst of intensity. The consummation is a blaze of pink. David has triumphed here I think. Breathtaking. Just for the symmetry and beauty of it all I'll end again with a snatch of Shakespeare and more O'Keeffe:
"When daises pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he."

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