SUMMARY: A blackbird envies a bird of Paradise and tries to mimic its beauty. But it quickly learns that beauty is no substitute for freedom.
WHY IT’S HERE: Ishu Patel’s National Film Board of Canada short ‘Paradise’ is a gorgeous art film filled with beautiful use of colour and imagery, using a range of animation techniques such as cut-out, back-lit plasticine, sand, and painted glass. Patel conjures up a bejewelled world of vivid beauty, offset by the frosty grandeur of a palace in which a lone monarch imprisons things of visual interest. The storyline and its simple but effective moral are somewhat inevitable from the start but Patel’s animation of the envious blackbird who wishes to mimic the other birds’ grandeur displays his skill as a character animator as well as a creator of astonishing visual delectations. The scene in which the blackbird cavorts clumsily, brilliantly and subtly reflected in the music, is one of ‘Paradise’s highlights.