The Observer 21st February 1965 featuring some of the 'Circus Drawings'
Dave Nethery reports on a very interesting development -Dick's finished his latest short film & it has actually premiered at a silent film festival. More details on Harvey Deneroff's site
The result is an extraordinary adventure in time. The artist encounters his young, adventuring self. The circus artists of more than half a century ago – where can they be now? – are brought back to life, athletic or absurd, luminous.
The film begins with a montage of the 1953 drawings, revealing that the quality of draughtmanship that distinguishes Williams from other animators was already intact from the beginning. A camera could not read these strangers’ eyes as the drawings do, as timeless and unpretentious as Old Masters.
Halfway, the film turns to colour, and now the older artist takes over, bringing decades’ seniority of experience, and the legacy of working with the Disney masters. These glimpses, the sketches animated – a bird taking flight, acrobats, athletes, and clowns, a rope-walker momentarily faltering, trousers falling, a baby embraced, a dress pulled over the shoulders – represent traditional, hand-crafted animation the like of which we may not see again. For those with an eye for poetry and magic, this is it.
On release, the film will be shown with sound, with Richard Rodney Bennett’s 1965 score. However, uniquely for this performance, Richard Williams wishes to screen the film as a “silent”, with live piano accompaniment by Maud Nelissen. – DAVID ROBINSON
Serata inaugurale/Opening Night Prima mondiale / World Premiere CIRCUS DRAWINGS (Richard Williams, GB 2010) Regia/dir., anim: Richard Williams; prod: Imogen Sutton; mont./ed: Don Fairservice; f./ph: Charles Pithers, Graham Orrin; anim. camera: John Leatherbarrow; mus: Richard Rodney Bennett, diretta da/conducted by John Carewe; 35mm, 796 ft., 8'51" (24 fps); fonte copia/print source: Richard Williams. Didascalie in inglese / English intertitles.
Searching for more info on the project I came across this well illustrated recent interview.