Monday, 23 March 2009

Erik Rosenlund "Spegelbarn" (Looking Glass)

Today’s animation is a scary one all right. Made throughout in white on very black, the 2007 movie Spegelbarn (Looking Glass) by Swedish director Erik Rosenlund preys on one’s most basic childhood fears of dark, being alone, footsteps, noises off, faces at the window (or in the mirror.) A young girl watches a cartoon on television when the bunnies appear to be taking rather greater notice of their viewer than is normal. A storm rattles the windows in the dark house - thunder and lightning is another basic fear! A tour takes her to the wardrobe mirror where the reflection gazes back at her. Rather like the mirror game I have used in Drama lessons, the reflection does not quite follow the pattern set by its owner. Soon the reflection in the window and drinking glass is following the increasingly terrified girl around the home. But is it trying to tell her something? Greyscale suits the horror genre. Looking for all the world like some dark etched print, with a stylised 3D look to the girl's head, the use of shadow here is impressive. In the animator's hands the fan, window or interior possess a threat that Erik and fellow animator Susanne Sturesson use to great effect. Erik completed the sound himself, an impressive backdrop that raises the hairs on the back of the neck in conjunction with the action on screen. Erik attended Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Eksjö, Sweden. Spegelbarn is his fourth film, co-produced by Swedish television SVT and Finnish television YLE.

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