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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sorrelle Dooley, Sean Downey & Chandra Farnsworth "Film School University" (2009)











I get emails and solicitations all the time. An invitation to write about material that is possibly too adult for the blog is a tender green shoot to a slug. So to Film School University, a cartoon (series) about the machinations of a group of young adults making their films. The adult bit is throughout though it commences with an 82 year old woman screening her movie about her cat, or pussy, triggering ribald comments from the assembled characters, one guy in particular and obnoxious with it. Truth to tell, if the movie were all like that I would not have viewed all fifteen minutes of sections one and two. It opens with a view of the busy college building and a statue erected showing the three creators, Sorrelle Dooley, Sean Downey & Chandra Farnsworth. Thereafter the adult references mostly reveal the characters' inadequacies, an empty headed girl claiming to be a classically trained lesbian (aka thespian, so there could be a difference) and other malapropisms: "Alas poor urine I knew him swell." or the obnoxious guy again choosing the subject of his sand animation as "sand and titties". In general adult references woven naturally into a narrative succeed, material that is rather self consciously added has its limitations. Film School University succeeds best when the dialogue reveals character types that we all know and love, or possibly not: naive, gross, nerd, shy, show-off, flirt, pretentious .... And this is why I thoroughly enjoyed the short - it's bursting with life. I'm sure there are students on the campus of The Evergreen State College not a million miles distant from the inhabitants of Film School University. The look of the movie is digital cutout, the faces relentlessly forward facing. This could become a touch tiring save for the excellent voices of the cast, a generally witty script, live action footage of the old lady's puss (Roosevelt), some curvy sand animation and even a movie within a movie. Reading the various blogs of those involved via the Slug on a Rug Production Blog, I was conscious of the tremendous camaraderie that exists in the production team. The sheer fun in film-making is what makes this such a fun movie. That and the teamwork in which the work seems to have been shared in a slick fashion.


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