STOP MOTION FESTIVAL, RECIFE, BRAZIL

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STOP MOTION FESTIVAL, RECIFE, BRAZIL

Postby Barry » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:33 am

25.11.2013
Just coming too after the long trip but am rewarded with dazzling sunshine and colourful flowers and a vivid blue sky. The promise of a beach this morning will clear away the journey, and then many films. Glancing quickly through the programmes are many shorts I have not been able to see yet and many new to me so that will be exciting. Watch this space.
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Re: STOP MOTION FESTIVAL, RECIFE, BRAZIL

Postby Barry » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:58 pm

26.11.2013 - somewhere near the equator.
And I still can't equate how a moderate skill let's me enjoy days like yesterday. Here goes with a totally random list of moments in a jam packed day.
Meeting the lovely bunch of female organisers, all giddy and beautiful. with some other film makers from Italy and brazil we trouped off in a minibus, two hours from recife. The city's own spectacular beach is unfit for swimming as building works have changed the co system and driven sharks close to the city. Two hours, and after miles of beautiful palm lined coast and dazzling colourful small towns and villages (and the hardships of such were not glossed over) we arrive and at an amazing beach. budgies are indeed being smuggled and thongs are slicing like cheesewire. The water bluer than blue, and warm, and sands moving under you feet. All of us were straight in, enjoying the waves. I was serenaded by a gent of years I could not count (ouch a nut of some sort has just decended on me from a great height - I'm sat in the courtyard under an unusual tree), singing that my eysmatched the blue of the sea - he had six fingers. A sudden dramatic rain downpour didn't really stop us, but we headed for lunch. Again the colours would thwart a pantone chart. Everywhere are carved figures of huge chickens with breasts. Lunch, well I was very happy eating more pineapple than was probably good for me. More driving to a city outside Recife called Olinda - the old city high up on a hill with views of the whole bay. nuns singing vespers in an open church,markets everywhere. Masks for carnival and strange wooden sculptors of doctors with their arms up a patient's bottom! Or a carving of a woman giving birth as her family look on, apparently screaming. But also lots of half men half animal creations. We watched the sunset, all of us having bonded somewhat today, then had supper in a restaurant high on the hill, that we reached by descending through the trees on a painfully slow elevator - but who is in a rush. I confess I was starting to droop by now, but various colourful fruit juices kept me going. Driving back home Marco and I decided to risk the sharks sometime this week. What a day. Oh not much talk of animation yet. that starts tomorrow. But what an amazing start to the week. So generous. Ana and her team of ladies are amazing.
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Re: STOP MOTION FESTIVAL, RECIFE, BRAZIL

Postby Barry » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:02 pm

Days 2 and 3
Ah well these days rather ran away with me and again will be just a series of images. A beautiful lunch - well a buffest where you are given a plate and simply everything piles up at the same time. A disconcerting array of delicious colours and flavours. Still I am diminishing their supply of pineapple. The city is edged with a try spectacular beach but sadly a dead one, due to the city messing up the eco system resulting in sharks near the beach, and too many high rise hotels casting shadows on the sand for most of the day. A beautiful but dead beach. Yesterday was pretty crazy and I gave in after fourteen ours of non stop high volume talking. My workshop went down very well. I don't think I was my usual giddy self but I think some pearls of wisdom were dropped and some passion swapped. Certainly the films that had been screened n the cinema the night before had gone down well with Rigoletto getting the biggest applause, even before it had properly finished - who would have thought. I found it hard to watch the films for so many reasons. I really want to restore them and go back to what film prints I do have. Next to today's digital sharp imagery they look terrible. But they seem to work. They do look terribly simple next to some of the films that were screened at the competition last night. Well not simple, but straight forward and pure. A puppet, a pool of light and an emotion. And that's it. The films last night were full of texture, and violence, and rawness, and roughness and digital trickery supplementing the stop motion. and they worked for all his but some were very hard to watch, an certainly any idea of narrative plotting went out the window. But it is great that there are still short stop motion films being made, and Recife is full of effigies and statues and wooden chickens and tall puppets. The theatre we are screening films in is a glorious feast of architecture with the rampant staned glass flowers lighting up before the films. Gloriously vulgar in a lovely way. The heat is still aazig and any vanity thrown out of the window as the hair just sticks up!
A good few days. I still can't believe I am here. I fear the chances of seeing a toucan are slim though.
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Re: STOP MOTION FESTIVAL, RECIFE, BRAZIL

Postby Barry » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:19 pm

Day 4
and I have had some amazing feedback from my workshop, truly amazing. So many people have asked me to draw in their programmes, each the hotel staff - I feel they must be disappointed with the eventual drawings. Drawing is not my skill.
But a most enjoyable day today, with lunch with Maria in a very chic restaurant, though we were distracted by the couple next to us - ready to kill each other one instant, then playing tonsil hockey the next. One of them had clearly been up to no good. Then a trip round the truly beautiful Teatro Santa Isabella had been arranged, and that was simply glorious and was another theatre to add to my collection. It made me so want to come back and direct a piece here. Will I ever get to direct on a big stage? I was taken under the stage and happened to remark to the crew how clean and tidy the theatre was - suddenly I suspect I will be in the newspaper tomorrow with a picture of me and the cleaners. They were giddy that I had spoken to them and congratulated them on the theatre. it was a beautiful place and I was sad ot to see a performance. Maria and I were a little weary and an hour and a half on a catamaran going down the river was a fine way to simply relaxed. A gorgeous epic river, with little traffic, but hundreds of cranes and herons, and some truly amazing views of the old and new town. I got the story of how a rather impressive and impressively phallic monument caused outrage with a female dignitary and sparked all manner of public outrage. Well it looked like no-one I know. The sun set as we docked and I really did not want to leave the boat. I was calm to say the least. An evening of films and there were some truly astonishing ones here, and some truly uncomfortable ones, but how good to have such variety. I think the decisions we of the jury have to make will not be hard.
And then a late night cree and much giddiness as the minibus took us through the streets of Recife, moving at some speed for the first time all week. They really do have a serious traffic problem here. During the day, it simply does not move.
Last day tomorrow and I suspect it is going to get emotional!
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Re: STOP MOTION FESTIVAL, RECIFE, BRAZIL

Postby Barry » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:16 pm

Day 5 and 6
It’s hard, as I sit in the airport facing the epic journey home, to make sense of this last week. It has been truly special, and I’m hoping that my contributions to the festival have been worth while. My workshop was three hours long and I crammed so many thoughts and ideas into it, but I’m still overflowing with more. I talked about why we tell stories, what stories are, what puppets are, enjoying the artifice, but I didn’t talk much about the exact technique or such, or precisely how the films got made. But I didn’t pause for breath. I feel a little guilty that I spent much of the time in beautiful restaurants and on a boat or watching films. Ah well I was on the jury and we did work hard to make the right decisions – and I believe we did make the right decisions. Some truly great and innovative films. And the film we chose as the best, Boles, may not change the world but it simply worked in every department and was beautiful and hugely satisfying. But it was the people I will take away with me, such warmth, and I think they all expected a rather stand-offish gent they wouldn’t be able to talk to. I don’t think they expected anyone who would just muck in and be happy chatting away. I laugh that I took a suit and tie – what was I thinking. Vanity foregone certainly. Hair just sticks out and shirts just get crumpled in the heat. That’s it. Stop motion has much to do with the friendliness of everyone, but I can’t recall being hugged so often nor so many photographs being taken nor so many autographs, and beautiful letters written to me and sneaked into my hand as I left. And yes there were tears. This is hard to reconcile with the indifference of my more real life but there we go. It has been an exceptional week, and I thank Ana Farache and her lovely team for getting me there. I hope I gave enough to justify their efforts. Back home to the cold - time to put the shorts away and get on with things. What a crazy month.
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