Visual Arts » Film

Bugs Funny

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Where to begin with The Cameraman’s Revenge, a stop-motion animation movie short made by Ladislaw Starewicz in 1912? For starters, the movie is a fully-told comedy brought to life by a cast of bugs. Lots of ‘em. An aggressive grasshopper (who can both hop AND ride a bike), a petite, demure dragonfly, a clunky, boorish beetle (and his two-timing beetle wife), plus a cast of others with bit parts. And the lot of ‘em enact a classic story of infidelity and a secret tryst at a no-tell hotel (the Hotel d’Amour). But Starewicz, a photographer and entomologist by trade (and apparently with time to kill) employed a fanatical level of meticulousness to make the dead bugs dance. And ride or drive cars. And carry that sweet little dragonfly like the tender thing she was.

If you’ve ever experimented with stop-motion animation (remember the stick-figure pole-vaulter you drew on the edge of the pages in your 7th grade math books? Dude could fly!), you’ll undoubtedly be blown away with The Cameraman’s Revenge and the human-like movement and gestures the dear little bugs make. You’ll also have a new perspective on modern day stop motion vehicles including Fantastic Mr. Fox, clay-mation and any number of nutty TV shows (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Davey and Goliath…it’s a long list from a long time ago).



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