Friday, 8 January 2010

Ellie Land "Die andere Seite" (2007)

Documentary is a form of film making I have not covered much on the Animation Blog. The Berlin Wall existed from 1961 to 1989, grey concrete, graffiti covered, dividing Germans: a monstrosity stained in blood. Had I the wit I should have published this blog on November 9th, the twentieth anniversary of the wall being breached. With lean simplicity Die andere Seite (The Other Side) delineates those heady days in the 1980s when the wall came down, though elation is to an extent tempered by time. Royal College of Art student Ellie Land records the memories of four Berliners from both sides of the divide. One man remembers being led towards the West by his mother just as it was going dark "and everything was really light, you know." The shops were lit up like a circus and you could eat so many things, even eat on the street. For a woman recalling her first impressions of East Berlin, it was just like she had imagined: "everything was really grey and really brown and all the colours were really dark because it was winter..." The children (now adults) explain their fantasies about the wall, their fears, their lack of comprehension of what lay behind. The narration is so succint it verges on the poetic. The transformation of East and West Berlin is likened by one observer to blood being transfused into the body. The visual images and animation are simply conveyed: the child looks out from a train at kilometre after kilometre of the Wall, guards stationed on the towers; a girl's perspective is via her television screen, plugged in to the wall itself. Colour is used sparingly. Nevertheless, as with the boy's first view of the West, it has impact. As a contrast, try Ellie's live action film about the Angel of the North, Far North, sponsored by Gatehead Council in the North East of the UK.



3d animation courses said...

This series is created by Adam Reed and the crew from 7030 Studios, now known as Floyd County Studios, who previously gave us Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo on [Fox Lite], I mean [Adult Swim]. Can't wait for this. After [AS] canceled Frisky Dingo, lots of fans of Dingo's keen pop culture references, inside jokes and running gags, were furious. Especially, since the series ended on a cliffhanger. Now the whole crew is back to give us something new. Let's thank FX for having the insight to pick up this show. It will be a hit, and all of us Dingo fans will again have something to keep us warm at night. [AS] will probably wind up syndicating it anyways. Idiots.

Ian Lumsden said...

I think this comment (and information is intended for my post on "Archer". So I'll also add it there.