Sunday, 7 June 2009

Clive McFarland "The Waltz" (Gentry Morris 2009)

"You don't believe all the things you are seeing tonight" sings Gentry Morris in The Waltz, a gently understated music video of muted colours, set against a neutral background of cream coloured, horizontal wooden strips, as he strums his guitar. Northern Ireland animator Clive McFarland uses cutouts to illustrate the song, based on a book that comes alive in time honoured animation fashion. A photograph of the singer extricates himself from the constraints of the flat paper, retiring through the consequent hole in the page, his guitar retrieved by cute bunny and teddy, again through the human outline space made available to them. There follows a series of animated interventions mostly involving images from storybook childhood, as the cutout singer is winched aloft on a crescent moon or the bunny/teddy combination fish for the guitar in a layered sea. Dangers lurk under and over water though as sea monster and red dragon pursue their prey, the last beast taking poor bunny to the heavens. We are assured in print of a happy ending however and paper Gentry fades at the close, hand in hand with his friends. 24 year old Clive has been animating since he was 8 and his conspicuously hand crafted piece is testament to the charms of stop motion. 26 year old Gentry is from south Georgia, developing his music in Nashville, Tennessee though now resides in Northern Ireland. Lovely work from both animator and singer.

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