1001. Manoman – Simon Cartwright

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SUMMARY: Shy Glen inadvertently unleashes a long repressed side of himself during a primal scream session.

WHY IT’S HERE: Simon Cartwright’s BAFTA-nominated ‘Manoman’ is a superb, haunting, crude, hilarious and unique piece of work in which a shy man called Glen finds himself accompanying a miniature, naked version of himself on a citywide rampage of destruction when his primal scream therapy suddenly begins working a little too well. Tackling serious themes of repressed masculinity but with an ever-present anarchic sense of humour, ‘Manoman’ has a unique style which employs patently artificial rod marionette puppets (which Cartwright himself described as heavy and hard to get a performance out of) and enhances them with small animation techniques to create an unforgettable experience. Although the puppets begin by seeming distractingly unreal, it is immediately clear that Cartwright has made the decision to play this up, making the rods controlling their limbs as prominent as possible and even using them as the crux of a visual gag at one point. The ending sees the various strands of the story come together in a bewilderingly rousing but crudely undercut finale which perfectly encapsulates the film’s peculiar charms.

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