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Saturday, 16 August 2008

Tim Marchant "Tidy Monster "









I have in my possession two DVDs showreeling the work of the University of Hertfordshire's end of year animations from their School of Film Music and Media annual event, Animation Expose 2008. Tempted as I am to jump straight in to the most current animations I can't omit one or two from last year. Today it's Tidy Monster by Tim Marchant. The movie has had plenty of exposure on the web and was awarded the university's Grand Prix award in 2007 for all-round best animation. It is a monologue delivered by an unseen presence whose world is a claustrophobic, scantily furnished room that he can tidy up, because he is the Tidy Monster of the title. Having viewed at least in part a stack of terrific videos from the students I can testify to the technical ability of them all to use the CGI technology to move characters around, to create wondrous landscapes and lighting effects. What distinguishes the real talent is the artistry to tell a good, original story. Tim sought help on this one. The dialogue is written by Pete Marchant and it has a tension to it, rhythms and bursts of paranoid venom that allows the professional voice of Ben Williams to spit the words out, to a menacing audio background from Tom Player that echoes and reverberates. It is not a story in the linear sense, more stream of egotistical consciousness. Many novelists attempt to get inside the mind of a killer; Tim's narrator twists and tortures his room with a rabid viciousness that rends walls. And Tim's film does not have the spectacular scenery of his fellows. Indeed he eschews it. The action is restricted to this solitary and sorry little room where, through forced teeth, our guide turns a chair on its side and implodes the room as his mind disintegrates. Why? Because he can. Technically adroit, the whole thing is chilling, compelling drama, first rate. And very mature!.

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