712. Bingo – Chris Landreth

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SUMMARY: A man is psychologically battered into believing that he is a clown named Bingo, despite knowing full-well that he is not.

WHY IT’S HERE: Made to demonstrate the capabilities of then-new animation software Maya, Chris Landreth’s ‘Bingo’ is an animated version of experimental theatre group The Neo Futurists play ‘Disregard This Play’. A metaphor for the way in which the world around us shapes our identities, often against our will, ‘Bingo’ uses computer animation to achieve things that would be very difficult to stage in a live-action performance. The opening sequence, in which an initially friendly clown gets angrier and physically larger each time the protagonist denies that he is Bingo the Clown, is terrifying and brutally effective. While Landreth’s extremely realistic human characters help demonstrate the capabilities of Maya, ‘Bingo’ goes even further in demonstrating the growth of Landreth as a director. His staging of this short piece is superb and feels like a step up from his Oscar-nominated debut ‘The End’. Unsurprisingly, Landreth was on the cusp of directing an Oscar winning masterpiece with his very next film.

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