Friday, 18 September 2009

Joseph Mann "The Chimney Sweep" (2009)

The Chimney Sweep is a breath of fresh air in a cynical world. Seated on top of an Edinburgh rooftop, eating his lunch, a chimney sweep is joined by a young boy. The pair strike up a relationship that draws an obviously timid child out of his shell. Based on a story by William Goldsmith and benefiting from the music of Jonathon Smith, the action is understated with some immaculate, detailed sets and puppets. The stop motion film was Joseph Mann's graduation film from Glasgow School of Art. For "understated", read subtle, for the action is minimal but meaningful. The chimney sweep prepares to eat a soot smudged sandwich when he is disturbed by an errant red plane launched from the boy's bedroom. The boy shuffles nearer to the man, the unspoken communication developing gradually without histrionics, Joseph never forcing the action and allowing a stillness I found most affecting. The conclusion surrounding the sandwich is lovely. As I say, a fantastic set: a rooftop is such a great location to set a movie. A visit to Joseph's website will reveal photographs revealing the production process: the size of the construction with Joseph there to provide the scale, rostrum camera strapped to the set, chimney pots made from Fimo clay, roof tiles from roofing felt, various heads, the hinges and screws for the models. Not surprising, and a rare talent, Joseph has been snapped up by one of the top companies in the UK, Slinky Pictures, about which (and Joseph) more shortly.


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Maia Dobson said...

He is so cute despite the dirt all over him. He looks like one of the chimney cleaners that we hire but he surely did a good job at that.

Magda Moody said...

One time we hired a chimney sweep when our relatives decided to sell the old house of our parents. I can still remember on of the sweepers was still so young. He told me that he's doing it for a living.

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atul sharma said...

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