Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Yves Geleyn "Dandelions" & Jackie Liao "Dandelion"

Dandelions spread their seed liberally and beautifully through the summer season but form ugly weeds on a lawn I try not to bespoil by weedkiller. Two shorts today on the subject. First the shorter Dandelions by Yves Geleyn in which, to an accompaniment of bird song followed closely by Marc Webster's pastoral soundtrack, a single dandelion seed walks through woodland in winter to be joined by millions of his fellows converging together to encompass a fine set of discarded antlers (attached to a dead stag) before spreading their tree-like structures everywhere and, presumably, the spirit of the deer. Live action on which is superimposed delicately animated seeds from the Paris based graphics and motion artist. A visit to his website is recommended. My second featured director is Jackie Liao once of Taiwan where he obtained his first degree, then to obtain a second qualification in 3D animation at School of Visual Arts in New York City where he now works in the business. Dandelion (2006) is a mystical tale revealing the means by which a young girl deals with the loss of her grandfather, who appears to her as a visionary fashioning at one point the child from a lump of blinding light. I confess I did not entirely comprehend what is fantasy, imagination, past and present but it is an affecting story, well packaged with some visually appealing scenes, lovely modeling of the little girl in particular, effective voices from Cathleen Tseng and William Stout and, again, splendid music this time from Wei-San Hsu. I am reminded of David Carradine's spiritual mentor in the Kung Fu series of the 1970s though, I promise, Jackie's version is so so so much better. I do like the line in the movie: 'Life is just like dandelions. When the wind comes, they leave, but they won't disappear. They are just going to a new place to start a new life...' Carradine never received advice like that.

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