Friday, September 16, 2011

Stanley Pickle

Stanley Pickle
Victoria Mather
2010, about 15 minutes

The embedded video is a trailer for Stanley Pickle, the full short is unavailable online.
I have an issue with Stanley Pickle. Its an issue that I think a lot of films share with Stanley Pickle. I find that Stanley Pickle does not recognize how insane its own characters are. The film treats what is arguably criminal insane as some sort of twee charm.
The main character in this film has taken all of the people in his life who have died (we can only hope that they died of natural causes), emptied out their organs and reanimated them as clockwork automatons to do imitations of what they did in life. if a real person was caught doing this, they would immediately be carted off to an asylum.
On some level, the filmmaker understands this, and Stanley does take on a certain evil tone at points. But all of these are clearly intended to be sight gags more than acknowledgement of how insane the entire proceeding is.
Over the course of the film, Stanley becomes obsessed with a strange girl but refused to contact her. Then he reanimates her dead pet and it attacks her. Then he decides to leave the little world of insanity he's built for himself. And this is all portrayed as a simple coming of age story.
It's a shame that this film has this problem, since their are several strong points in the film. The style of filming, which the director describes as animation, is a kind of live-action stop-motion. It is extremely cool and fits the world of the short well. But the entire thing is ruined by its refusal to make its tone match the insanity of its protagonist.


haley schattner said...

From what I can tell from the trailer, I think I would find this film hard to watch because of the jumpy animation of the characters--from your post, I know understand that they are like wound-up toys. Just their movement would keep me unsettled. The film does look interesting though and I am curious enough to watch it.

Anonymous said...

you can see this shortfilm in

Is the best spanish site about short films - Simply the best!