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Sunday, 13 June 2010

Josko Marusic "Fisheye" (Riblje oko 1980)

Evening. The fishermen prepare to go night fishing and their womenfolk wait at the shore. As they depart the fish watch, murder in their hearts for they are going peopling. Josko Marusic’s classic frightener Fisheye simply reverses the normal rules of hunting, that is, fish dine on humans. If one doubts that animation can horrify let me warn you that the whole experience is a chilling one. Josko’s whole design from sound by Tomica Simovic, colour scheme, images and violence is disquieting. Take the colour. Each variation on green or blue has a tinge that is unpleasant. No blue fish of this intimidating shade would be selected from the fishmonger’s slab. The beasts may waddle on land in ludicrous fashion but there is no laughter as they club old women to death or spear them with their forks. No mercy is shown by fish or fishermen; and note the absence of warmth amongst the humans, except perhaps for the small children who, let me emphasise, are not spared the net and thrown back for a later date. There are some remarkable scenes but perhaps nothing matches the net of humans being dragged to the sea by malevolent predators whose menace matches the nonchalance of the fishermen killing by torchlight unaware that their families are suffering a similar fate on land. Josco is one of the foremost of the Zagreb School animators about whom I have already written.

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