Friday, September 07, 2012

Free Friday Flick: Denmark: Throwing off the Balance of Nature

This week's free flick is the 2010 short film "Denmark", a joint project of Daniel Fickle of Two Penguins Productions and the Portland Cello Project.  The film has won a number of awards on the film festival circuit.

The film uses a lovely combination of puppetry and rich cello music to tell the touching story of Pily, a resourceful crustacean who crafts a space ship to escape pollution poisoning his home in the Willamette River outside Portland, Oregon.

In an interview about the project (and in a comment on the video page) director Fickle talks about being inspired by the recording of "Denmark" to develop the film's story. The song was composed by cellist Gideon Freudmann, who wrote it to honor his wife after she died of cancer. Fickle expands the themes of sorrow and loss to changes in the environment.  As he explains it:
Since I used a more environmental vehicle to express the story, the ending could also be interoperated to be about displacement of species. Because of human pollution, it's causing various species to attempt to move to a better place. Sometimes it works, but usually it throws off the balance of nature.
And while that message is indeed specifically relevant to the long-polluted Willamette River, I think it can be interpreted more broadly, especially in light of ongoing climate change that threatens to displace species around the globe. Pretty heavy for a story featuring a puppet, right?

But it's not all serious. You can find out what happened to Pily after the movie in this interview where he talks about his upcoming projects:

Catching Up With Pily from Two Penguins on Vimeo.

Watch "Denmark" at Vimeo or YouTube.

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