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The Little Island

UK, 1958 (MIFF 1960, Experiment in Animation)

Director: Richard Williams

Three men land on a tiny, deserted island. One believes in Trught, one in Goodness and one in Beauty. For several days they are content to sit in the sun and get brown. Then each indulges in a long private vision, to the mystification of the other two. Truth's vision is the most abstract, a patterned medley of hints from many philosophies. Beauty favours flowers and flute solos, the manias of critics and snobberies of blabbering intellectuals. Goodness sees life as a crusade for the soul, with a sharp sword ready for anyone slow to respond to the attractions of Church and choirboys. Beauty taunts Goodness who prepares for war. Truth watches as the others fight, growing to unrecognisable monsters. He tots up the score on a vast, ticking bomb. It explodes. The three men leave the island in a panic.

The theme of this original animated film is the impossibility of communication between people of fixed ideas. The design of the film is a technical triumph but the statement is less direct as the director skims at moments into obscurity. But when the images are concrete the film has a compulsion which is quite new in the cartoon field.

See also...

Lecture on Man

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A Christmas Carol

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Divertissement Rococo

A film in the new genre which uses electronic and other artificial devices to produce abstract patterns of form and motion, with an accompaniment of eighteenth century "rococo music". ... More »

The Christmas Visitor

A cartoon film which belongs wholly to the spirit of a child's Christmas. Having entered in traditional fashion by the chimney and filled the children's stockings, Father Christmas rests his weary ... More »

Nine Centuries of Coal

The film tells the history of coal mining from the eleventh century until the present day. As digging developed and the original excavations became deep and extensive galleries, the hazards of flood ... More »

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