Short Films, Long Talks;   New Criticism
Animations for Literary Criticism

When the Day BreaksNFB
                    (1999, 9 min 40 sec ) by Amanda Forbis, Wendy Tilby

Plot Summary:

After witnessing the accidental death of a stranger, Ruby seeks affirmation in the city  around her, and finds it in surprising places. With deft humor and finely rendered detail,  When the Day Breaks illuminates the links which connect our urban lives, while evoking the promise and fragility of a new day. Co-directors Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis use  pencil and paint on photocopies to achieve a textured look suggestive of a lithograph or a  flickering newsreel. In When the Day Breaks, the ordinary--a lemon, a toaster, a chance collision on a street corner--is endowed with a visceral power. (Awards: Cannes; Annecy; Halifax; Chicago; Vancouver; Genie, Toronto; Oscar nomination, Hollywood.)

住在都市裡的母豬Ruby可不像澳洲農莊長大的Babe (《我不笨我有話要說》)那樣單純、幸運。在目睹了一個陌生人的車禍事件後﹐Ruby 衝回家﹐關閉門扉﹐開始對周遭有一種莫名的恐懼。但是﹐黎明破曉﹐Ruby想到了都市中種種將我們生活聯繫在一起的東西(電話、天線等)﹐終於又打開窗戶﹐迎接外在的世界。動畫家用鉛筆和油彩在影印紙上作畫﹐再加上快速的剪接﹐對都市生活中做了細膩的呈現。

Leading Questions:
  1. Why do the animation use animal as characters?   How do you characterize Ruby?
  2. What are the major images in this animation?  Which of them are symbolic?
  3. What are the points of view used in this animation?  Does it ask us to identify with Ruby--all through the film or at some points in the film?
  4. What do you think is the major theme of this film?  What are the techiniques used to embody the theme?  For instance, what does the title mean?  What are the effects of the presentation of constant movements on the film?  How about the music?

主題:偶遇chance encounter or collision,巧合coincidence,生命的存在和連結 existence and connections of lives

重要意象(Images):lemon, toaster,milk, as well as other daily objects.  electric cords, antena,

角色(Characters): Ruby--agile, merry,

觀點(Point of view):

音樂:Old-fashioned radio music.  What style?


"After more than a year of experimentation, Tilby and . . . Amanda Forbis developed an innovative new multimedia approach for When the Day Breaks.  Shot entirely on Hi-8 with actors, Tilby fed the footage (影片) through a video printer.  The artists pulled selected frames off the printer and proceeded to Xerox and manipulate the characters beyond recognition.  [人變成豬、雞等!]  Because they used photocopies of actual film footage, the background moved in a weird pixilated way." (Mazurkewich 194)

引申:女性與日常生活:可以和"Another Great Day!" Jo onney/Ruth Peyser做比較;生命與死亡:"Charles and Francois