Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Short Film: The Pearce Sisters (Great Britain, 2008)

The Pearce Sisters is a bleak oddity produced by Aardman Animations, a filmmaking studio better known for its whimsically entertaining stop-motion Wallace & Gromit or Shawn the Sheep series than unsettlingly funny animations like this one. The short is based on a tale by Mick Jackson that the director Luis Cook found in Jackson's book of short stories entitled Ten Sorry Tales.
Animated using a mixture of computer drawn 3-D and hand drawn 2-D animation, the film looks anything but high tech—as Luis Cook himself has said, "The film itself [looks as if it] could've been washed up by the sea." Cook has been at Aardman since 1992 doing commercials and promos and stuff, but this is his first short film. An eye-opening and disquieting blast of visual creativity, it is hardly surprising that The Pearce Sisters was chosen as the Best Short Animation at the 2008 BAFTA Awards or that it has won a yitload of other awards at festivals around the world.
The beautiful but disturbingly ugly short—a masterful, violent rumination upon love and loneliness liberally peppered with innards, dead fish, gore and nudity—may definitely not be everybody's cup of tea, but here at A Wasted Life we see it as perfectly brewed and served. Virtually circular in its narration, the short narrates a day in the life of Lol and Edna Pearce, two ugly old sisters that live a lonely and miserably hard life on a remote, windy and rain-raked coastal beach where they survive by catching and smoking fish.

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