Saturday, 2 August 2008

Nick Hilligoss "L'Animateur"

L'Animateur directed by Melbourne animator Nick Hilligoss was triggered by a Haiku challenge to use the words "Tree, Apple, and Fall". You don't need to be called Hercule to deduce that his story is of the fall of mankind. Now I've never subscribed to the view of creation as being triggered by an interplanetary visitor, nor, in its literal sense, to Adam and Eve. Nick uses both versions in his L'Animateur, adding the title to signify the power all animators have over their subject. His stop motion animation commences with an itinerant, hobgoblin who jets in from afar, sets up his stage and acts out the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from paradise. His serpent is a crafty devil and whilst Adam does what every self-respecting man would do with apples - juggles - his Eve is tripped up by the snake, gets a mouthful of the forbidden fruit and naturally enough offers what is left to her man. Instant embarrassment and a very literal Fall indeed. Nick's figures come magically to life, being imbued with a vitality that the finest stop motion can muster. This form of animation is often dependent on the models and the set and here the ingredients have been expertly constructed, the nodding and mischievous head of L'Animateur having a malevolence his jester's garb belies, whilst the concept of having Eden set out in a fairground-style booth works well. The music composed by John Garden and performed by Earthly Delights adds to the mix. Do visit StopMoShorts, a site dedicated to the art of stop motion if only to download a high resolution copy though a cursory visit would ignore the treats of the assembled films. Finally, Nick has created a marvellous collection of tutorials and examples of sets for his stop motion work - go to PictureTrail.

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