Sunday, 6 April 2008

Daniel Greaves "Manipulation"

The 1992 Academy Award winner Manipulation by Daniel Greaves is a true classic and if you have never seen it, you are missing a gem. Daniel takes his role as animator/ creator/ God to extremes. First he draws the figure on blank paper before discarding it, only for the sketch to take on a life of his own. However, this is no Frankenstein but a rather stubborn 2D creation who refuses to be subdued as the artist rubs him, stubs him, crushes him, reassembles him ... you have the idea. Daniel weaves humour and inventiveness into the narrative. The red fill drains from the figure's body but is squeezed like putty into a ball, juggled with and played with before being bounced ferociously across the screen prior to smashing into the "camera". On a whim the manipulator attaches puppet strings to the poor fellow who is stretched and contorted without dignity. You can't keep a good creation down though. Scrunched up and disposed of in the bin, the intrepid little fellow emerges in glorious 3D. A very clever movie and if I might once again recommend a stalwart of my DVD collection, British Animation Classics Vol. 2 .

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