i've just recently been introduced to the works of Suzie Templeton. she's a stop-motion filmmaker that fashions herself as an 'art film' type of director for the medium -- her stuff is miles away from anything Aardman does, or even Henry Selick. i'm not saying its better -- i'm just saying the tone is usually exceedingly somber. her puppets and situations are usually very dirty and ugly, but hyper-real.
she recently shot to fame for her adaptation of Peter & the Wolf when she won Best Animated Short Film Oscar nearly one year ago. here's her first foray into stop-motion animation, produced while at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design in 1999 in the U.K. the film oozes with style and hardship -- its not her best effort, but I think Templeton manages to put quite a bit of emotion and life (or lackthereof) into her puppets.
while Stanley was a festival favorite, it did not enjoy the immense success of her next short film -- "Dog". Dog, completed at the Royal College of Art, won the BAFTA award for Best Short Animation and the National Film Board of Canada's Grand Prize, not to mention a plethora of others.
the 2001 film, if its possible, is even more bleak than the aforementioned Stanley. for some, its gut-wrenching, for others, its maudlin -- i think it hits more emotional notes than it misses, though these kinds of stories usually aren't my cup of tea. its unrelentingly bleak.
her final film (as of yet) is much cleaner and less dark than her other films. that said, it is still definitely a Suzie Templeton film. here, she puts together the elements for a much more engaging film to my mind. i'm not entirely satisfied with the ending, and there certainly is a little fat to trim in regards to pacing, but its really a beautiful work full of engaging and lively characters, like this one:
considering it took five years to complete, its a stunning accomplishment on technique and determination alone. without further adieu, Peter & the Wolf:
(be sure to check out the other three portions of the film after this one, yep, its an epic)