Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: the Brazilian puppet-show edition

Felipe sez,

I'm a Brazilian graphic/motion designer and I made this video for college in 2005 with friend: a short movie about 1984 with sock puppets. I took some time to translate and making the subtitles it but finally is done. At the last months on a Media class in college, Felipe Kaizer and I, like the other students, were asked to do a small video. When we were discussing the subject, I was at that time enthusiastic about puppets, suggested, as a joke, a puppet film based on George Orwell's 1984. Kaizer took the idea very seriously, because somehow the mean to show that history sounded appropriate; as puppets were associated to children's play they could turn into a disguised and powerful way to present terror, becoming a 'bait' for those who thought they were just going to laugh and have fun. Puppets may remind us about that immemorial time when inanimated objects became sacred and alive, as gods in ancient cultures, inspiring us terror as they reveal a distorted human behavior (a caricature, owner of a magic and almost inhuman voice), or remind us someone who refuses to die. Curiously some televisions ads at that time were also using puppets to sell a variety of products.

We wrote the script, the storyboard, and prepared the puppets. All scenes were shot at my home and at my parents (the number of one of them was 101), and we were sure that was the right choice. The production should seem amateur, like a home-video made by kids who tried very hard to do it right. The first impression should provoke disdain and scorn, and then discomfort as the video goes on; the soundtrack included some amazing Aphex Twin tracks. We also thought home objects, such as the gloves and socks we already had, would contribute to the richness of the video, considering that we didn't design those objects, so as they were found on the 'crime scene'. We let the environment decide a lot of things for us — the telescreen images were shots from the television's screen, for example –, and we edited the storyboard during the shots, adapting speech lines and shooting angles. Me and Kaizer did all the characters and shootings by ourselves, except one time when we needed a fifth hand and our friend Aline Jobim did one of the prison guards. In December (I think) the video was presented among others. The effect was precisely what we expected: people immediately laugh, and then slowly ceased until they were absolutely quiet and still, watching the puppets' action. As you remember, it doesn't have a happy end.

O Grande Irmão Sempre Observa – The Big Brother Always Watches

(Thanks, Felipe!)