Leamington Underground Cinema Festival 2013 – Part Six
Wild Life // Dir. Kevin Maynard, UK, 2012, 6 mins
A bittersweet look into the life of a lonely soul.
[dropcap size=dropcap]W[/dropcap]ild Life is bizarre short about a lonely man who plays host to a series of cardboard animals, which had the whole audience laughing out loud when it screened at Leamington Underground Cinema’s 2013 festival.
The film begins as Robert Hamilton’s character stares gloomily into space. But when a cat made from crayon scribbles and cardboard appears, Hamilton becomes elated. What follows is a tour-de-force of crudely drawn creatures, including a zebra, two dogs, some fish, and a mouse called ‘Cheesebox’. Much of the film’s story is told through its edit, in which perfectly timed close ups of the animals say more about the mental state of the man talking to them, than the creatures themselves. Hamilton’s bombastic performance comes like that of a demure Brian Blessed, pulling knockout comic blows through his refined accent and clear annunciation during one sided conversations with the animals. James Gray’s score of gypsy piano and fiddle captures the electric whimsy of the whole situation, before shifting gears into sombre tones as tragedy befalls some of the cardboard animals.
What makes Wild Life so refreshing is its treatment of the surreal. In some way, the creatures are real and autonomous – they appear out of nowhere, and change their expressions in response to Hamilton. But at the same time, we get the distinct feeling that they are the fake creations of a lonely and bored man – we never see them move, but rather, they are rearranged when we are not looking. In this way, the true magic of Wild Life is its ability to suggest, but not commit, to a number of different interpretations. Unlike anything you will have seen before, writer and director Kevin Maynard steals the show with Wild Life.
Part 1: Leamington Underground Cinema Festival 2013
Part 2: ROMAN // Michiel Knops & Koen de Winne
Part 3: CHATROULETTE // Alexander Thomas
Part 4: DECAPODA SHOCK // Javier Chillion
Part 5: THE FIFTH // James Lloyd
Part 6: WILD LIFE // Kevin Maynard
Part 7: 82 // Calum MacDiamird
Part 8: WIRE AND FLASHING LIGHTS // Victor Haegelin