Translate

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Stelios Polychronakis "The Village" (2010)

Greek director Stelios Polychronakis's puppet film, The Village, needs to be viewed in two instalments, the film itself, then the making of video. First the film. A doctor is mysteriously called from his home with the enigmatic, "Doctor, come quickly. The village needs you." A laborious journey on foot through the snow leads him to a village devoid of human life. Thus begins a patient attempt at rebuilding of the village. Stop motion puppets move differently to, say, CG animation, and one has to be drawn into their world. Once won over, and this film kept my attention for all its fourteen minutes in length, there is a sheer joy in the different sets, quite exquisitely made by Stelios together with the puppet itself (there's only one!) from the UK's Mackinnon & Saunders. As for the mystery, all will be revealed at the end. Now to the production, already touched upon. Storyboarding, research, drawing the sets out on flat card and manufacturing it into scale models, human actor for modelling and guidance and camera. For those of us who have never attempted anything as grand as a stop motion piece with real, if cardboard, sets that one has to paint, the whole process comes alive. It does enhance the film. As does the music of Giannis Psaroudakis, the sound of Stelios Koupetoris and the cinematography of Dimitris Horianopoulos. There's something about seeing a giant human hand manipulating a tiny puppet.

No comments: