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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mark Baker "The Village" (1993)

My very early blog on Peppa Pig, that adorable morning programme for families, still gets hits after five years. Adults get the humour, children love the characters and stories. Mark Baker is co-director of the series with Astley Baker. Today's Oscar nominated movie from Baker is a beauty, The Village, was made for the UK's Channel 4 when they produced something other than egos or reality tat. So if you have not seen the fifteen minute film prepare for a treat. This is genuinely one of my favourite animated shorts. Set in a walled village of busy bodies, thieves, drunkards and narrow minds, it tells the story of the one decent man whose very decency means that he is ostracised by his fellow villagers. Drawn in an elegant, deceptively simple, almost naive style, it is surprising how quickly one becomes absorbed in the narrative, particularly the fortunes of the two would be lovers. But it is the sheer hypocrisy of the inhabitants that is most palpable. The seemingly pious priest who spits on the prison cell's inmate or the snoop whose neck seems in imminent danger of twisting off, so intent is she on tracking her neighbours' activities. The use of the ants is quite marvellous, at once a Greek chorus to counterpoint the action and theme, as well as a novel means of tying plot together, tidying up the evidence. I've stuck the label classic on this one, for it is. In my book, Baker joins Nick Park as a national institution. And not just for his pink pigs either!

1 comment:

HELYA's blog said...

unforgettable characters!