Sunday, 28 September 2008

Paul Driessen "3 Misses"

Sunday Classic
Paul Driessen

3 Misses directed by Paul Driessen was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000. Three interlocking narratives feature three damsels in distress and nine hapless would-be heroes attempting to save them. First off is the girl falling from the skyscraper, hollering loud enough to give the cavalry time to charge down from the horizon on rescue mission. For cavalry read guy locked inside his own apartment and unable at first to exit. Meanwhile down at the railway track another hollering gal is a hollering for her man as the train bears down on her little body lashed to the line. And then there's the other seven height challenged rescuers of their mistress Snow White - though one quickly falls by the wayside, splattered by the first of many figures from myth or fairy tale who stumble into the movie; another meets a sad end at the hands of Red Riding Hood. The cartoon is funny in a manner Tex Avery or Chuck Jones would have related to. It has wit in abundance. I won't spoil the fun but the use of the sunglasses is a recurrent gag and cleverly tied in as the second of the near rescues reaches its end. Do watch the credits at the close because a solution sweet is revealed. Like Tex and Chuck's output, 3 Misses is adult orientated in the sense that adults know the references underpinning the non-stop action. He replicates the pair in the gag count too, though Paul's drawing style is decidedly not that of his American predecessors being altogether looser. This is in keeping with the stream of consciousness that drives the narrative as pen and wit flow naturally often or, more accurately, always going into unexpected areas. In this film, for example, the characters appear at times in a central isolated frame for reasons I do not know but which works. Paul explained his manner of working and the sheer unpredictability of his approach: “It’s easy to go for a cliché. I use a lot of fairy tales, legends and Biblical stories because people know them. You don’t have to explain them, they’re archetypes, and you can give them a little twist. You think you know where I’m going because you know the story, but then I show you another side to it.” The link to the movie is courtesy of YouTube though may I recommend treating yourself, as I have just done, to the fourteen film DVD, Paul Driessen - The Animated World .

Biography: Paul was born in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1940. His father was the Dutch ambassador to Russia. After graduating in the early 1960s from the Academy of Arts, Utrecht, he made his first animated film in 1968, The Story of Little John Bailey and has worked periodically in his own studio in the Netherlands, as well as extensively for the acclaimed the National Film Board of Canada and the United Kingdom. He was effectively the first animator to emerge, internationally at least, from the Netherlands. He first struck it big when animating for George Dunning's Yellow Submarine (the link is to When I'm 64 where Ringo and Paul's hair grows in a manner that is very much Paul's animating style.) His influence has been considerable not only in his many films and commercial work for television and commercials. but also in his role as professor at University of Kassel in Germany. Two of his students's films won Academy Awards ("Balance" by Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein, and "Quest" by Tyron Montgomery and Thomas Stellmach.) Give the image below a click for the sheer hell of it all.

No comments: