Friday, 27 June 2008

David Gilbert "Battery"

21 year old David Gilbert has just graduated in Graphic Design and Animation from Bristol's University of the West of England. His graduation film, Battery, is today’s post. It is a very strange movie and a macabre subject. A man watches in mounting horror as his two dinner guests gorge themselves to the point of death amidst decrepit surroundings and crawling visitors, what I take to be a horde of cockroaches or whatever the collective noun is for the beasties. In a sense it is an exercise in revulsion and David clearly eschews anything remotely pleasant, excepting, arguably, the incongruous party hats worn by the three. The man's guests are presented as greedy birds devouring everything they can peck at, including said insects. Eventually the whole thing degenerates into a nasty parable about the dangers of gluttony, as food is forced down gullets. Then one ponders the title and the whole sorry mess is rendered intelligible: “Battery”. At a time when shareholders in UK supermarket giant Tesco are being asked to vote on the rights and wrongs of eating cheaply reared, battery farmed chicken his placement of his graduation movie on YouTube is well timed indeed. The ticking clock signifies the incredibly short time the birds have to live before ending up on the table. Interesting and appropriate ending too. David's artistic ability and animation technique is exceptional. His pen never spares anything of the ugliness of the scene, events and distorted features of the creatures. We zoom in to get a closer look at things we would rather not see, and his unalloyed use of a cold blue and grey shade adds to the overall harrowing effect. Cheerful piece this. The movie will do well on the festival circuit though not to sell turkeys for Christmas. David's website is impressive though still in its infancy with some most interesting and accomplished work and, I guess, a desire to market his work as is shown in the image below for the DVD cover. I've added the label "Graduation Movie" as I have a few to post in the category in the next few weeks.

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