651. Soho Square – Mario Cavalli

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SUMMARY: A depiction of a summer’s day in Soho Square.

WHY IT’S HERE: Mario Cavalli’s ‘Soho Square’ is a beautifully immersive glimpse at a day in London’s Soho Square and the people who pass through. The vivid, painterly colours are so evocative of summer that the viewer can’t help but be transported to a lazy, sunny day even when watching the film in the dead of winter, as I have just done myself. Cavalli’s techniques in making this film were fascinating original. First he filmed footage of real people in Soho Square. He then hired actors, exaggerated their features with prosthetics and asked them to perform stylised interpretations of the activities captured on the original footage. Cavalli then recoloured the footage and manipulated it to create the film we see on screen. Some have contested the idea that ‘Soho Square’ is animation at all, since what we are seeing is actually altered live-action footage, but the recolouring and manipulation of the film makes it something similar, if more appealing than, the technique of rotoscoping, which has been an animation staple since the early days of the medium.

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