883. Varmints – Marc Craste

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SUMMARY: The life of a small creature is shaken up when his green paradise is invaded by industrialisation.

WHY IT’S HERE: Marc Craste’s ‘Varmints’ shares a similarly poetic approach to storytelling with his BAFTA-winning short ‘Jojo in the Stars’. Far less enigmatic than that film, ‘Varmints’ instead opts to tell an oft-told story about the destruction of green and pleasant lands through growing industrialisation. In this respect, it called to mind Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Lorax’, although ‘Varmints’ has a more elegiac tone and deliberately slow-paced approach which allows viewers to experience the atmosphere of its beautiful and imposing settings. A good many reviewers took against ‘Varmints’ due to what they saw as its clichéd, unoriginal subject matter but Craste has managed to breathe life into a potentially hackneyed story through the use of dialogue-free, symbolic imagery and a cast of intriguing, expressive but unidentifiable creatures. More complex than its detractors have suggested, ‘Varmints’ is a beautiful piece of work which leaves much more open for discussion than a simple nature-good, industrialisation-bad narrative would.

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