Jonathan Melville: Manipulate theatre to screen film

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I WOULDN’T normally recommend heading to the theatre to see some films, but as the sixth Manipulate Festival arrives at the Traverse I thought I’d make an exception.

A collaboration between Puppet Animation Scotland and the Traverse, Manipulate is a mash-up of puppetry and animation that brings us films and theatre from as far afield as Israel, Russia and the USA.

One of my most-anticipated productions is Papercut (next Thursday), which takes place in the studio of a Hollywood film producer and finds his secretary, Yael Rasooly, acting out her dreams of being a 1940’s movie star with the aid of paper cut-outs.

On February 9, four graduates from Edinburgh College of Art’s Animation Department will screen and discuss their award-winning short films. Among them is Edinburgh-based Will Anderson who has been nominated for a BAFTA with his Making of Longbird film.

If it’s feature films you’re after, there’s a chance to see 2005’s The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes from The Brothers Quay on Monday, a blend of live action filmmaking and stop-motion animation that tells of the abduction of a young woman and a perilous rescue attempt.

On Tuesday there’s Tomas Lunak’s award-winning Alois Nebel, based on the Czech graphic novels trilogy. Taking place in the 1980s, the stylish animation is about a signalman on the Czech-German border who becomes embroiled in a Polish murder and visited in his dreams by ghosts from the past.

Those are just some of the highlights of an impressive programme that should interest anyone who fancies something a bit different from their cinema-going.


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