949. The Making of Longbird – Will Anderson

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SUMMARY: Animation enthusiast Will Anderson presents a documentary of his progress as he tries to remake ‘Longbird’, a classic lost piece of animation history by forgotten animator Vladislav Aleksandravich Feltov .

WHY IT’S HERE: Will Anderson’s BAFTA-winning ‘The Making of Longbird’ is an ingenious mockumentary in which Will Anderson presents a short but convincing introduction to Vladislav Aleksandravich Feltov, a fictional animator of whom Anderson claims to be a disciple. His supposed lost masterpiece is a short film entitled ‘Longbird’, which stars an elongated bird, and Anderson sets about trying to recreate the film from the fragments of information available. But alongside his own self-doubt, Anderson encounters doubts from Longbird himself, who constantly heckles him from the drawing board in a Russian accent. As the creative process becomes more frustrating, Longbird becomes more annoying and Anderson’s solutions to the setbacks become more hackneyed and uninspired. Will ‘Longbird’ ever be remade. Although animators have been making films in which artists clash with their creations since animation’s infancy, Anderson puts a new and brilliant spin on it by filtering it through a convincingly written history of one of the medium’s pioneers and the sort of self-focused vanity project that regularly appears on the internet only to end in frustration and untrumpeted abandonment. A very funny film tinged with melancholy, ‘The Making of Longbird’ puts a new spin on an old concept and emerges with something fresh and brilliant.

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