Saturday, 5 July 2008

Tim Holt "The Wolfman"

An astronomer come scientist is gazing into the stars and most particularly the moon. It beckons and induces madness. First of course there's a little bit of werewolf business to be done and the little girl in the forest should have read up more about wolves before venturing out. It can be no fun transforming into a werewolf (though this guy revels in it) and there's a lot of shouting to go though as the movie progresses its irresistible way. Tim Holt's The Wolfman is not what one might expect for a high tech animation director of Passion Pictures responsible for some brilliant contemporary work including videos for Coldplay. It manages to be cutting edge modern by using old technology. Some of the cut-outs for the Red Riding Hood character or the wolf itself are decidedly obvious; yet they work magnificently. The rotating set of the house with its giant telescope thrusting out from the roof with a huge moon behind it, the sweep of the camera as we race inwards to the window for our first glimpse of the white coated, mild man who is to turn wild before our eyes and straddle a rocket that bursts into space. Magic. Then one starts to revel in the cacophony and manic rant that is the soundtrack. When this wolf metamorphoses he really blows, ripping though planets and tearing apart suns. It is such an exciting animation showing that a self taught genius - because there is a touch of that as it progresses - can outdo the most sophisticated software. It is so utterly infectious. Believe me, the sheer abashed madness of it all is contagious. An abridged version of the movie was used as a commercial for the Sony PlayStation and it can be viewed at the studio website. It certainly discloses the deterioration in quality caused by the compression used by YouTube, the images being much clearer in the studio version. Made in 1999 for the UK's Channel 4, and his first movie, one can see why Tim was signed on by one of the UK's premier studios.

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