Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dreams of Toyland (1908, UK)

This is quite a creative little film, but it doesn't really go anywhere, At eight minutes long it has just four scenes; the first shows a small boy and his mother entering a toyshop where an attentive shopkeeper shows the excited boy a variety of toys. This scene seems to go on forever, and is unfortunately marred by the fact that the boy stares directly at the screen as if the director is issuing an instruction to him. Then, when mother and son leave the shop, people can be seen peeping from neighbouring shop doorways. The following scene shows the boy being put to bed and we are immediately shown the dream he has about all the toys his mother has bought for him. It has to be said that this kid seems to have some kind of anger management issues judging by the things the residents of Toyland get up to in his dream. Golliwogs and bears wrestle on the floor, dolls are run over by buses, other dolls are sat on by a horse while one unfortunate chap is pecked by a goose in the most painful area imaginable .
This is a pretty good example of a filmmaker mastering a process (stop-motion) and then putting it to use into a film without giving any real thought as to how to make the best use of the process.

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