"The zenith of Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair's legendary Front Lawn collaborations, this iconic Kiwi short follows two men and one woman on a rainy night at a deserted bar. Pivoting on amnesia and woven together by music, two timeframes are seamlessly combined and a darkly humorous plot unfolds. The film had a wide international release (Ireland to Norway, Germany to the USA) and was a finalist in the inaugural American Film Festival."
(NZ On Screen)
Fig.1 The Lounge Bar (1988), Don McGlashan, Harry Sinclair, Aotearoa New Zealand, 35mm 12 minutes.
"Hilarious and frequently surreal, the stop–motion extravaganza A Town Called Panic has endless charms and raucous laughs for children from eight to eighty. Based on the Belgian animated cult TV series (which was released by Wallace & Gromits Aardman Studios), Panic stars three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse who share a rambling house in a rural town that never fails to attract the weirdest events.
Cowboy and Indians plan to gift Horse with a homemade barbeque backfires when they accidentally buy 50 million bricks. Whoops! This sets off a perilously wacky chain of events as the trio travel to the center of the earth, trek across frozen tundra and discover a parallel underwater universe of pointy–headed (and dishonest!) creatures. Each speedy character is voiced – and animated – as if they are filled with laughing gas. With panic a permanent feature of life in this papier–mâché burg, will Horse and his equine paramour – flame–tressed music teacher Madame Longray (Jeanne Balibar) – ever find a quiet moment alone? A sort of Gallic Monty Python crossed with Art Clokey on acid, A Town Called Panic is zany, brainy and altogether insane–y!."
"Wow, here's something I'd never seen before: Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam discussing his animation techniques on Bob Godfrey's Do–It–Yourself Animation Show in 1974. Godfrey's show, which made animation accessible to the masses by taking the mystery out of the production process, was vastly influential and inspired an entire generation of kids in England, including Nick Park, who created Wallace & Gromit, Jan Pinkava, who directed the Pixar short Geri's Game, and Richard Bazley, an animator on Pocahontas, Hercules, and The Iron Giant.
In a day and age when more kids are interested in animating than ever before, it's a shame that TV shows (or Web series) that are fun and informative like this don't exist. The DIY advice that Gilliam gives in this episode is not only brilliant, but still as relevant today as back then: 'The whole point of animation to me is to tell a story, make a joke, express an idea. The technique itself doesn't really matter. Whatever works is the thing to use.'"
(Amid, 4 August 2011)