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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Michael Stevenson "Pigeon Pilfer" (2008)


























I’m a mug for the accordion and plasticine. Maybe not pigeons, though Michael Stevenson’s are cute if persistent. The problem is, like seagulls, if you feed one you feed them all. The stop motion Pigeon Pilfer is about one man's torment whilst eating lunch on what looks an idyllic seaside pier. Quintessential British seaside until I discover it was triggered by a real event in San Francisco. The film works because it is so well packaged. Cue accordion music, sky blue backdrop, a simple title font that works, curvy green bench, and our man eating what I understand to be a corn dog. He gently masticates with a rubbery jaw as in a sense it is. The slabs of brown clay etched out to resemble seasoned wood for the pier's flooring have a texture that is tangible, as are the pigeons, lining up to sample the culinary delights on offer: one can just imagine rolling them up in the hand, cutting the yellow pointed beaks, tiny feet. It's all very tactile and lovely. A student of San Francisco State University, Michael has photographed stages in the four month production process on his website. The movie has that persistent, warm humour that is such a pick-me-up. And I thought only Aardman could do this sort of thing.












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