Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Lucy Lee "The Gates of Heaven"

If the stresses and strains of life are beginning to weigh you down enjoy The Gates of Heaven. Based on a traditional story by Nichiren Diashonin written in 1279 no less and Marianne Williamson's 1996 A Return To Love, Lucy Lee's short film explains how fish become dragons if they can leap up the 100 feet drop of a waterfall, the Dragon's Gate. Lucy's fish are wondrous beasts, majestic koi carp of orange and gold. Leaping over the falls is a metaphor for success I guess, though there is a nice line at the end of this well condensed script that suggests other difficulties in becoming a dragon. Beautifully narrated by Margaret Robertson in a kind of earnest whisper there is a mystical quality to the whole movie, aided and abetted by Sam Sutton's suitably atmospheric music. I have written before about Lucy's Bird Becomes Bird. She has a fine, assured touch in her artwork that underpins her essentially hand drawn frames, worked over in After Effects. It took six weeks' work and was made in 2004. Lucy has, I would imagine, little time left at the moment having just become a mum. When she did have the time Lucy contributed a very comprehensive "Discussion, comments & director's intentions" on her website. I was so impressed by her work that I purchased a DVD of her animations - now I can't afford to that for all my featured work.
Postscript: Lucy sent me the following extra information that I'll share. "The jumping fish story is an ancient Chinese proverb type story that is commonly used to describe the difficulty of trying to achieve your dreams (jumping fish motifs on china and so on), and an interesting contextual thing is that at the time Nicherin used the story to teach, Japan was at war with China so he was very ahead of his time to use a Chinese story (the Japanese authorities didn’t take too kindly to this at the time)." Thanks, Lucy.
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1 comment:

mella said...

I've just watched the video. Awesome!