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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Elianna Morningstar Hansen & Stine Nymand Svensson "The Fox Sisters" (2010)


The Fox Sisters are credited with having created the Spiritualism Movement in the New York of the C19th. Elianna Morningstar Hansen and Stine Nymand Svensson based their film, The Fox Sisters, on the three women, taking as the starting point the departure of the eldest sister who leaves her inadequate siblings to cope without her, something they signally failed to do. There is nothing of lightness here as one retraces the journey from childish nightmares to professional duplicity, the girls surrounded by shadowy figures in séance mode or petrified by the imminent loss of Leah, threatening to inform the press of their deception – yes, it was all a hoax, something the Spiritualist movement has shrugged off I guess. The sound and music is shrill as the outlined figures are set against a background with the look of damp wallpaper. There is a decidedly arty look to it all, coins as backdrop to signify greed, stained and spilt liquor, the younger girls' alcoholism, and a symbolic sequence as the Maggie and Katie are swept out on a bottle to a red wine sea. The character voices are all excellent, including Patricia Ryan who provides a cold Leah, the sister who thought up the deception, retaining her money whilst her weaker kin squandered theirs. The directors were awarded their much deserved Bachelor of Arts from The Animation School in Viborg though the movie owes something to an internship in Canada where Elianna, originally born in Toronto, worked at Chuck Gammage Animation Inc.

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