Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Selina Cobley "Takuskanskan"

I reviewed Selina Cobley's A Knotty Escapade and Crow Moon earlier this year. It is the latter movie that links up with today's Takuskanskan. Both are referenced to American Indian myth. Takuskanskan explores the life cycle of a cloud through the actions of three creatures - raven, seal and deer - though they are not exactly that, more life forces or spirits of nature representing, I guess, air, water and earth. Commencing in the depths of a blue sea we revel in the glorious movement of a seal, though when it climbs onto land it acquires human characteristics as it chases a cloud. Once it has captured the cloud and taken it to the sea a second creature arrives, this time a bird, again walking upright though its world is the air where it soars with its precious cargo of cloud, now dripping rain, part of the creation myth of the Dakotan North American Indian mythology. I am a huge fan of Selina (now Selina Wagner) and her graduation movie demonstrates why. Artfully and imaginatively drawn throughout in pastel colours, for large part in watery greys and light blue, there are some more vividly coloured passages such as the movement of the deer through the woodlands (all shades of brown, orange and red) or the planting of the red fruits in the water from which trees emerge. The folksy guitar soundtrack by Dirk Markham and Ross Taylor suits the piece to perfection, adding a wistful feel. Indeed the entire film is a wonderfully engaging animation made at Edinburgh College of Art in 2003.

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