844. Dreams and Desires: Family Ties – Joanna Quinn

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SUMMARY: Beryl is asked to record her friend Mandy’s wedding with her new video camera but is thwarted by her own grandiose visions.

WHY IT’S HERE: Joanna Quinn’s most famous character Beryl has appeared in several of the animator’s films, the best of which is 2006’s ‘Dreams and Desires: Family Ties’. A composite of several real life influences including Quinn’s mother and a lady who used to work in her college refectory, Beryl is a terrifically uncouth, boisterous, determined and hilarious character. Having hooted her way through the performance of a male stripper in ‘Girl’s Night Out’ and taken on the factory bully in ‘Body Beautiful’, Beryl is now tasked with filming her friend Mandy’s wedding. The results are predictably disastrous but Quinn introduces a brilliant plot wrinkle in which Beryl’s new camera has inspired a fascination with film theory. Having read up on various masters of the medium, Beryl tries to introduce a hint of Eisenstein to the proceedings, memorably skittling the congregation in her attempt at an ambitious tracking shot. Viewed entirely through the lens of Beryl’s wavering camera (apart from a couple of dream sequences), ‘Dreams and Desires: Family Ties’ builds on the world Quinn established in the previous Beryl films, with an entire cast of convincingly obnoxious, flawed but basically sympathetic characters disgracing themselves publically.

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