Still Shakespeare was a series of new experimental animation commissions, inspired by original research by Sally Barnden and produced in partnership with the London Shakespeare Centre at King's College London and animation companies Film Club at Th1ng and Sherbet. The film ideas were developed during workshops supported by the Cultural Institute at King's College London.
About the Films
Film: Neck and Neck
Animator: Shaun Clark
In the marital bed the surreal sensuality enveloping Othello and Desdemona is disturbed by a dangling telephone. As the phone pours poison into Othello's mind he transforms into a different entity with detrimental consequences for Desdemona.
The film is inspired by Shakespeare's Othello and is a dark surreal take on the relationship between the deceived Othello, the innocent Desdemona and the mendacious Iago. The film focuses on the neck of the characters, a common theme throughout the play which acts as a symbol of love, fragility and death.
Neck and Neck is a digitally drawn animation with juxtaposed shots of live action to represent the character Iago. The drawn characters are animated onto the darkness inside the marital bed where time is joyfully forgotten until the outside world interrupts the lovers.
The film went on to screen at film festivals worldwide, including Toronto International Film Festival, FrightFest, London Short Film Festival and many more, and has received a number of accolades including the Méliès d’Argent Award for Best Short Film at Imagine Film Festival, Netherlands, and Best Use of Sound at the British Animation Awards. See a full list of awards and screenings on the Neck and Neck website.
Film: Love in Idleness
Animator: Kim Noce
Inspiration: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Love in Idleness is a short animated film exploring the fleeting delusional love relationship between Titania and Bottom. The film focuses on the transformation and transfiguration of the two characters in the act of a frantic lovemaking. Scratchy animated lines, morphed body parts, fragments of flesh intersect and crash together into the crude rhythmical act performed by the deluded donkey and the tricked woman. There is no story, no time and no roles: only raw emotions and sensations.
The film is made with charcoal on paper; the images are a series of drawings constantly erased and retraced.
Love in Idleness screened at international festivals including Animafest, Zagreb; Encounters, Bristol; London Short Film Festival and MIAF, Melbourne. See a full list of screenings on the Love in Idleness website.
Film: Ophelia 2.0
Animator: Sharon Liu
Ophelia 2.0 is an animated short inspired by the John Everett Millais painting. Ophelia is transported to the future of 2016; the viewer experiences what she sees and touches in the last moments of her life. Sharon, a graduate from the RCA works in 2d animation in a colourful, ink and wash style.
Film: The Waking Dream
Animator: Ben Sayer
Director: Farouq Suleiman
The Waking Dream is a short animation that explores the images of Lady Macbeth. As the title suggests, it unveils these images through Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking state. The film explores the themes of guilt and responsibility. It particularly plays with the 'bloody hand' motif and the Lady's inability to 'out damned spot'. The conjured images are re-creations and re-interpretations of popular images of Lady Macbeth that can be found in theatre, film, posters and the broader media.
Film: let me not be mad
Animator: Meghana Bisineer
Inspiration: King Lear
O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!
I would not be mad
Keep me in temper. I would not be mad.
(Act 1 scene 5)
Lead by his corrupt emotions and blindness to truth, King Lear is driven to face the beast of his darkness. He sows the seed to his own destruction, his madness projected onto the bleak and stormy landscape of the moors... where he stands holding his beloved and dead Cordelia.
Still Shakespeare is one of a number of new Film London projects developed as part of Shakespeare400, a year-long series of projects and events which form part of the celebrations marking 400 years of Shakespeare.
Film London is part of the Shakespeare400 consortium celebrating Shakespeare's quatercentenary year. Shakespeare400 is coordinated by King's College London.