781. Harvie Krumpet – Adam Elliot

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SUMMARY: The life story of Harvie Krumpet, a terminally unlucky Polish migrant with Tourette’s Syndrome and a penchant for nudism.

WHY IT’S HERE: Adam Elliot’s mini-masterpiece ‘Harvie Krumpet’ crams an amazing life story into 22 minutes. Using the wonderful clay animation that he had used so brilliantly in his early trilogy of films (‘Uncle’, ‘Cousin’ and ‘Brother’), Elliot relates the tale of Harvie Krumpet, a terminally unlucky Polish migrant. I won’t spoil any more of the many, many details that make this one of my favourite animated films of all time, except to say that Geoffrey Rush was the perfect choice to narrate. He manages to give a warm but appropriately detached performance which lets us work out when we should be laughing and when we should be sad, a crucial distinction in this blackly comic but often tragic short. Eliot went on to direct the exceptional animated feature ‘Mary and Max’, which dealt in the same distinctive vein of black humour and featured an equally brilliant narrator in Barry Humphries. Both of these films inject the downbeat humanism of Elliot’s earlier work with an optimistic attitude towards a life that can sometimes be extremely cruel.

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