Friday, September 24, 2021

CLAYDREAM plays The Port Jefferson Doc series Monday

CLAYDREAM is a great film. A portrait of the late great animator Will Vinton from his birth through his battle with the founder of Nike over his studio on to his death. It is a glorious celebration of the man and his work.

I am a huge Will Vinton fan. His version of the THE LITTLE PRINCE is one of my favorite films of all time. His CLOSED MONDAYS changed how I see animation. His feature films were unlike anything out there. When I saw that this film was playing Tribeca I instantly reached out to get a copy of the film. Having seen it I want to go back through all of Vinton’s films.

While the film is very much a celebration of the man the film doesn’t shy away from some the missteps that he made. Getting hooked up with Nike, a move that would ultimate result in his being thrown out of his own studio being chief among them. While the mistakes are softened by the words of friends and family we see that Vinton sometimes reached too far.

There is much to love in this film. I suspect that the abundance of clips will make this a film that is a revelation for even long time Vinton fans. I kept seeing bits and realizing that there are still a good number of films I know nothing about. I also love the way that director Marq Evans weaves together new and old interviews in such a way that I completely forgot that Vinton had past. This is a film that put all of Vinton’s films firmly in the present.

In all honesty I was so sure that Vinton was alive  that the films final image, that of the aviator carrying a sleeping Prince crushed me with in the context of Vinton’s life. It  hit me so unexpectedly that I had to back up the film and watch it a second time, only to have it reduce me to a sobbing mess with the perfection of the image and context.

I love this film a great deal

It, along with the earlier The GLAMOUR AND THE SQUALOR makes director Marq Evans one to put on your must follow list. Evans has a unique vision that is unlike anyone else and I am hoping he makes films for many decades to come.

CLAYDREAM is playing at Tribeca and should be high on your must see list

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