JULY 2014

JULY 2014

Postby Barry » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:44 pm

July 6th 2014

A dull week in which I have sallied forth into my sixtieth year, my thirty sixth year of being involved with animation. I guess that is some sort of achievement. I still love it. That is definitely some sort of achievement. A dull week, especially for a birthday week, but I am wondering if Otello has suddenly entered my life.

I am off to Moscow next week, clutching the Tchaikovsky puppet, for the last time. He is being donated, somewhat reluctantly, to the Tchaikovsky museum in Klin. If he had to go somewhere, Tchaikovsky's last house is a fine resting place.

Still beavering away on many projects.
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Re: JULY 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:31 pm

19th July 2014

Oh crikey what a couple of weeks since I last wrote......and this will have to be brief, but I am sat here n a saturday night quite exhausted, but let's race through what's been going on.

The big event was going to Moscow - a surprisingly easy trip thanks to a direct flight from Manchester with Easy Jet. I had a tremendous driver Jennedy drive me everywhere in a very impressive Jaguar, who were sponsoring me. And so last Thursday I arrived at the Holiday Inn - in a pretty non-descript area but comfortable. On Friday morning I was whisked to the British embassy, and once through the security, I did a round table for some legendary animators. This was fun and I had to chat to the great and the good, and then I was whisked away with Irina to the Jauguar/Land Rover showroom to do an interview and to lounge over various vehicles......Hallo magazine were doing a spread. Very happy to drape and chat over fine vehicles. then whisked away again to Soyuzmusfilm to look round their amazing studios. The work itself is up there with Laika, and full of gorgeous lively animation, but oh crikey the studio is a maze of corridors and cupboards in which people seem to work. The simple technology belies the quality of the work. And then one final talk for the day in the art gallery I had been to before. this was packed and I was on a roll, but got home quite exhausted. This was a great audience, and they were amazed by the work and that I showed other people's work. There were a few tears among the audience too. That was all enough for one day.
Day two saw breakfast with Irina and Gorshka, and then a rather slow journey up to Klin to Tchaikovsky's house - we were late and I was suddenly thrown into a meeting to celebrate Tchaikovsky's name day. There was a blood relative donating a porcelain statue, and then there was a blood relative of an original dancer donating some photos, and I was there donating our Tchaikovsky puppet. There was much admiration, and suddenly he was gone and that's the end of us. I was taken round the house and marvelled at all the artefacts and his bed and his piano, and then without a break I was in the concert hall for a marvellous concert - the first half was rather jolly Glinka, and then the second half, conducted by the simply marvellous Alexie, was Tchaikovsky. We started with the waltz and arias from Eugene Onegin, and then Alexie stopped to dedicate the next two numbers, the Waltz of the Flowers and the rose adagio, to me. Oh dear, what an honour, and what a joy, and what tears, and this being a naval cadet and, the sound was as if I had not heard the pieces before. That really is the greatest honour I have had. A reception afterwards with everyone and then a meal on the roof of a building and shortly we were back in Moscow, and then on the plane and back to Manchester, with me feeling very confused.

Work was a bit of a shock....had I actually been away, but after work I raced down to Stoke for a dinner at staffs University and had great chats. The next day after work I was auditioning for Oh what a Lovely war, then there was a huge Mackinnon and Saunders barbecue in the garden, with my much appreciated turret being a quiet zone. We were blessed with the weather. and Friday came and I did an awards do at a rather low key do at Edge Hill University, and my best chum staying in the evening, with so much to catch up. We slept on the roof until about four when spectacular lightning storms drenched us. But utter bliss, and joy.

Work has been busy and we've had a few significant visitors, and I have been trying to write, but I have to say I am worried about the situation in Israel where I am meant to be going shortly.

Am exhausted......
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Re: JULY 2014

Postby Barry » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:32 pm

july 25th 2015

What a difficult week. I'm still recovering and unpacking from Moscow, and missing Tchaikovsky, and then seeing the terrible news of the plane shot down, I was grateful I was not in Moscow this week. I suspect the security and the atmosphere would have been so tense. My trip was so easy, but this will have changed everything.
But overshadowing everything this week is my upcoming visit to a festival in Tel-Aviv in which I am due to do three talks. As each day has unfolded, my anxiety rose and got more complicated. Yes it is dangerous, with missiles landing near the airport, or being shot down as they got near, and with Jerusalem having such devastation. But I don't think, when there are such atrocitities going on, that I can justify my presence. How can I talk in depth about the significant difference between a single frame and a double frame when there are people being killed. Animation can do all manner of things, in the spirit of ENSA and such, and I'm sure I could bring some, some.....I'm struggling for words here, but I don't really think I could feel relevant there. My family and work were very concerned about me going, and I'm afraid I have cancelled. I feel absolutely terrible, and a bit of a coward, but I feel that anything I could do would be so trivial and uncomfortable. Of course there is the argument of takng arts and such to war torn places, but for once animation seems so trivial. Have I done the right thing? I'm wracked with guilt, and if I felt that I could actually have made a tiny, tiny difference I would go, but then I turn on the news, and my jaw drops. Such atrocities. It is hard to watch without crying. Many characters suffer in my films, for things they believe in, but even saying that is so trivial.
At the other end of the spectrum, Liverpool has one puppet crazy this week. They have been blessed with a third visit by the giant puppets from france. This time a new character, a 30 foot high grandmother, has been sleeping in a church and has woken up and is telling stories about world war one, as she strides about the streets. It would have been fantastic to have been one of the many puppeteers, but there was a lot of commitment I could not have managed. But I wish I had been able to have included the characters in my book. They illustrate what I rabbit on about......we love seeing the technique, and here the mechanics are not hidden but joyously celebrated, but also it is the fact that the norm has been crossed. Puppets are usually small and here they are towering over the crowds, in all their artificial glory, and yet they are conveying some performance and emotion. We are obsessed with things that are bigger than natural or smaller than natural, and yet look credible.....yep the norm has been crossed. Oh the joy of puppets.
Other than that work has been hard in this heat.
But it has been a week of questioning, big questions.
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Re: JULY 2014

Postby Barry » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:34 pm

and here is a rather odd clip about the puppets.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VOQQMa6-x8
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