:: Sunday, August 21, 2005 ::

Dave Mckean

Dave Mckean, originally uploaded by alister.

Dave McKean's film Mirrormask had its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Friday, having previously shown at Sundance. Dave introduced the film and did a Q&A afterwards.

The film is based on the graphic novel illustrated by McKean and written by Sandman author Neil Gaiman. Dave had previously provided covers for all of the Sandman comics.

(From the website) "MIRRORMASK tells the story of Helena, a fifteen-year-old girl who works for her family circus, juggling, selling popcorn, and cleaning up muck. While most kids long to run away and join the circus, Helena dreams of running away to the real world.

Until the day she wakes up to find herself in a strange new place populated by mysterious creatures -- a dreamworld where she is about to embark on a most amazing journey. "

It's not the first film he has made, having previously directed a handful of short films. Dave explained that it was his ambition to make some short films in his barn for no money.

The film is a mixture of animation and live acting. McKean himself provided the surface textures which gives the film his trademark look and feel. A team of talented young animators were then given a great deal of creative scope to work on their sections, with only rough sketches from McKean to work from.

Plot-wise the film is nothing new. A young girl escapes into a fantasy world and comes to terms with the trials of growing up. It has clear parralels with the likes of The Wizard of Oz, as Dave pointed out.

Visually Mirrormask is lush and imaginative. The audience are given the chance to explore a magical city whose bizarre architecture includes forests of cast-iron spiral staircases and bulbous floating giants. The acting is good although I wasn't quite convinced by the posh middle class accents of the dirt-poor circus performers.

There is something for everyone to enjoy in the film, but you will probably enjoy it most if you are a 14 year old goth girl.

The film is owned by Sony and will have a limited US cinema release in September. Dave McKeans next project is another collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Signal to Noise, and will be largely digital and hugely expanded from the original graphic novel. A DVD of his short films is also slated for release.

:: Alister | 2:12 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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