Saturday, 26 June 2010

Malcolm Sutherland "La Fete" (2010)

The artist takes his sketch pad to Montreal’s "La Fete Nationale", or Bastille Day as I know it. It is truly a lovely day and the crowd is relaxed. Every character sketched on the pad tells a story: the guy squeezing ketchup onto his hot dog, lady in the wheelchair, boys eyeing girls, parents with children. The behaviour is nothing worthy of a soap opera, no dramas, just folk enjoying life, beautifully observed by someone who nails each and every person. Take the sketchpad home, feature the characters in focus against a backdrop of more embryonic sketches, introduce colour and movement to reveal the comings and goings, add a soundtrack of music (including some atmospheric accordion) courtesy Kevin Kardasz and the constant, somehow soothing background hum of happy voices. Take all these and one discovers the delightful La Fete from the very remarkable and talented Malcolm Sutherland who is one of the top artists in animation. One enjoys animated films for a compendium of reasons; Malcolm’s film gets beneath the skin, presenting life’s idiosyncrasies or sheer normality with a warmth to reflect a special day. That spirit is communicated in the movie making this reviewer feel good indeed on a hot day here in the UK. It is good too to see work of this quality being sponsored, in this case by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. There’s a fitting conclusion as folk are moved to dance by the sheer loveliness of it all.


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Distorteddogma said...

I love the simplicity of the animation. It's very hard to do. Knowing what is just enough and not allowing yourself the indulgence of making it more complex that it has to be to tell the tale.
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