You'd never guess that Latvian born Signe Baumane was mentored in animation by Bill Plympton. Can you imagine Bill making a film about a dentist with both feet pressed up against the chin of the patient as he yanks the tooth out? Dentist (2005) is not for the squeamish. To the sound of a drill going off fully loaded, we enter the surgery of the dentist with the big glasses. He is reluctantly joined by the patient with the big abscess. The two are destined to do battle. My own dentist's love for sport mirrors mine though our opinions are not necessarily in harmony, differences tending to be one sided in their resolution. Signe's dentist wages an unequal struggle utilising all the technological aids of the day to get to the root of the problem. I confess a stick lodged between upper and lower canines is something unknown to me in my rural backwater though in the rarefied atmosphere of a famous film director's dental haunts such practices might pass muster. Anyway, there is something decidedly fishy about the whole business - ever since Lawrence Olivier in Marathon Man I've harboured suspicions about the profession. Signe's style is certainly Plymptonesque in that it is exaggerated, ruthless, and always with an eye for the absurd as she hones in on her subject. In fact a dentist is the perfect target for Signe whose other work has laid bare the business of sex, a subject she likes talking about. After studying for a degree in Philosophy in Moscow, Signe joined Riga's Animated Film Studio until, after making a number of films, she made her way to New York in 1995 where she obtained employment in Bill's studio and from there her career has snowballed. (Visit her website.) There are five very short additions to the Dentist series providing information on such essentials as the mole or anesthesia. A trawl of YouTube will reveal them; though as my birthday is coming up shortly I have tactfully requested that my wife purchase Signe's DVD Ten Animated Films for the princely sum of $30, including P&P.