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UK, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Steven Morrison

A creepy, noxious fantasy that combines elements of classic fairytales (of he Grimms Brothers variety) with horror and even a subversive ecological message. While innocently strolling in a dark wood, The Girl stumbles across an ornate shell-shaped music box containing a pair of human eyeballs. The Girl stashes her find, unaware that they are prized possessions belonging to a nocturnal tribe of frog-like beings.

When her guardian, The Reverend's, own eyes are mysteriously removed— using macabre, archaic medical instruments that barely rouse him from sleep— they are replaced by complex clockwork substitutes. Granbag's eyes, and then The Girl's, are also stolen and swapped for the mechanical variety. Rivalry and insanity takes hold as the family violently bicker about the single key with which to wind the spring of these strange, ticking orbs. Horrifying prosthetics, finely detailed and crafted sets and magnificent costumes go into this simple yet striking yarn. A deliciously wicked treat with a strong moral and a very dark sense of humour.

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