406. Syrinx – Ryan Larkin

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SUMMARY: A satyr serenades a water nymph.

WHY IT’S HERE: Ryan Larkin’s first film, overseen by Norman McLaren, immediately shows the promise of this tragically wasted talent who in the early 70s succumbed to cocaine, alcohol and homelessness for decades. In its short 3 minutes, ‘Syrinx’ tells the mythical story of Pan creating his pipes. There’s not much in the way of event here but Larkin’s eye-popping charcoal animations create a ravishing visual experience. Larkin would continue to make deceptively simple premises into captivatingly beautiful animations for his brief career, which ended up dwarfing ‘Syrinx’ in terms of both quality and importance. Ultimately though, this is a very impressive starting point.

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