Monday, 15 November 2010

secret of kells

This film bubbles over with its zany freedom to paint people as their spirits are, here extravagantly layered with a million gems, humorous human observations, little gargoyle character one-liners carved in corners of this a cathedral of animation – all playful as the sheep tender's beard and other joys. And all in this seemingly effortless sketchy flourish, one has the feel of dancing through pages of manuscript, swirling through a world of geometries where nature reveals her strange but legible, fractal symmetries and centres and ordered, alternated, empatterned glory. I will go on, this film is exceedingly beautiful, scenes set sumptuously in watercolour splashes, the form of nature brought to wonder-full excellence in an act of splendid dominion, all as if seen sketched through the eyes of the heart of the dreaming mind of this emerging young illuminator who receives with such a simple but compelling curiosity all those gifts which nature gifts.

Is this a film about God, or even about faith? A 'God'-less exploration of God? Panentheistically maybe, with such appeals to that longing to know and be known unto our environment, it is paganism at its most attractive, or, thanking J, “Avatar with a heart”. Yet there is such a wealth of goodness to affirm, goodness hanging on the fine line of the tweaking of a definition, where does nature end and God begin?

Is this film about religion? To parallel it with Jesus of Montreal in our accidentally apt double bill, both feature centrally the creation of religious art, both feature a tired establishment using the abstracted and supposed vulnerable masses as an excuse to fortify the status quo at the eventually regretted expense of the liveliness of art, here expelling illuminated manuscripts, there quashing a passion play. What say we of these bricks versus books, power versus play, security or delight, of chaos, order, fight, flight, and faithful folly, this is a film by its medium and message, urgently able to speak to a generation who has forgotten the why and how of ornament. Where are our suffering illuminators today, where our walls, who our vikings?
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