By Cory Doctorow at 10:51 am Sun, Nov 22, 2009
Going West is a beautiful short film illustrating the worlds in a book, incorporating papercraft to make something dreamlike and wonderful. It was animated by Andersen M Studio.
NZ Book Council - Going West
Quite astounding and so beautiful. I’m glad stop-animation seems to be returning to favor.
Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that the book is effectively vandalized to make a point?
I have no significant respect for physical books. The nail in the coffin was Steve Leveen’s Little Guide to your Well Read Life (http://www.amazon.com/Little-Guide-Your-Well-Read-Life/dp/1929154178) which suggests that one should smell, taste and fondle a book prior to reading it in order to get the full effect of the reading experience.
In order to be able to understand a book (reading is very hard after all), one should read, first, the last word of every chapter, then the last sentence of every chapter, then the last paragraph, and so forth. Reading the book backwards allows you to understand the plot.
And fear not, this strategy is the most effective one for reading both Tolstoy AND Growing your own fruit and veg for dummies, by Geoff Stebbings (http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Your-Own-Fruit-Dummies/dp/0470699604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258923293&sr=1-1)
As a filmmaker, I can say it’s highly unlikely any actual books were harmed for the making of this movie. The paper appears to have been laser cut. I suspect a number of prop books were created, at various sizes, in order to pull off the amazing animation of this thing.
With all the echoing and noise I could hardly understand a word he said, but it was gorgeous.
Sorry, but I really, really hate that metaphor. As an avid reader, visualisation of what I read is a non-issue for me and for years I thought that it’s only something children do. I don’t have anything against movies, but the assumption that a book is some kind of mind-movie is somehow offensive to me.
@Chantzilla Probably not, but I don’t really care. One can destroy a physical book, one can even destroy a great many physical books, but these days it’s nearly impossible to suppress the content (yay), so only the act of explicit book-burning (as opposed to just using an obsolete book as kindling) makes me feel queasy.
Puts me in mind of the gorgeous “animated book” sequences from Greenaway’s “Prospero’s Books.”
Aw man, I would love to share this with people but the vocal effects totally ruin it.
I wish I could have heard what he was saying. The animation was beautiful.
peterbruelles: are you saying you don’t visualize what you are reading?
@Anonymous Yes, I’m saying that. While I *can* visualize just fine when I want, I don’t do so automatically. I do keep track of the described facts (placement, time, hair color, gender), but â€“ excuse the lame metaphor – more in an abstract prolog-ish way. Only as a kid I read something and it invoked pictures of what it might have looked like by itself, but I think that was only for Karl May’s Wild West stories and Astrid Lindgren stuff.
@2: No, because it was used for a reason, rather than censorship or casual vandalism.
#2 – Destroying a random, machine bound commercial book? Whatever. That thing’s already eating itself anyway. A nice old handbound book, that’s something else entirely.
Another really beautiful papercraft animation.
It’s not that I feel pity for the book, I just think that the message of the video can be read as “To understand a book, destroy it”.
The intro with the pages folding over shows the same page twice in a row, containing the text “That’s can’t be right.” Draw your own conclusions from that.
dunno what you were looking at
I highly recommend the author Maurice Gee. He’s one of NZ’s best known writers (and for good reason).
re “destroying” the book:
There is an art movement known as ‘book arts’… much of which involved ‘altered books.’ If you were offended by this animation, I don’t recommend looking into them. But if you liked this, you might be interested.
I’ve seen a whole lot of amazing stuff on Boing Boing over the past three or four years, and this one is among the gems. Wow.
What a bunch of moaners!
The video was cool, go New Zealand!!
Odd, the narrator seems to me to have an Australian accent, not a kiwi accent.
kicks nook’s ass.
This video is really cool. But the book “Going West”, in my opinion, is incredible.
Beautifully realized stop-frame dreaming excised from print-page pulp with an x-acto sensibility! Norman McLaren would have been made proud!
This took 3 or 4 2010 Clio awards by the way… thought you’d like to know if you didn’t already.
would like to download this film for art class. could you advise how?
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