An Audience With Estonian Animator Priit Pärn

8th October 2008 Priit Pärn

A modest crowd assembled in the upstairs compartment of Cardiff’s Dempsey’s to view the work of the Estonian enigma on a Wednesday evening. It kicked off with an introduction showing the type of thing Priit gets up to in Estonia and in the field of work (animation and film). Setting the scene through tales of his background (spanning over 20 years in animation) and the fact that a small percentage of cigarette tax goes towards Culture in Estonia or something like that, by that point I wasn’t really listening.

The first visuals of the night were a mixed bag of all different types of animations lasting approximately 30 minutes of weird and wonderful pieces. Warped, technically wonderfully crafted and much fun due to the bittersweet element of comedy. Mostly warped though, as Pritt Pärn’s work is lies somewhere between pornography and poetry, ‘pornoetry’ if you will. Saying this, you instantly recognize this is more surreal than many other animations. It’s an infusion of the surreal that is uncontrollably clamped to dark humour. One of the shorter films included a couple continually bending over backwards for each other whilst reciting some kind of poetry.

The floor was opened up for any questions. Some standard questions are thrown around until the question “What inspires you ?’ being one of them. It’s only when Priit hot steps it through his ‘Nothing inspires me’ response that you fully grasp how out of the ordinary Priit Pärn is. This response left some of the audience confused. Priit seems to be in a ‘Priit Pärn box’ of his own thoughts and has the skills to show them. It’s more about his perceptions, than being inspired.

He refrains from putting messages into his work and focuses more on technical ability, using all human senses instead. Some audience member looked confused by the fact that there was no subtext behind his creations. Without messages, it leaves you with thoughts that are more about the inner workings of his persona, a release of energy for him and things that link to his life. A more therapeutic approach instead of making crass statements in his work he seems to step back and be the wise, experience professional. Knowing his role as just an animator and sticking to it.

Then we are shown his latest 44 minute work A Lifelong Bullet In The Back Of The Head which we see more feelings of the characters due to its sound editing skills. This allows you to get scope of the indescribable, surreal storyline. Then more Questions and Answers took place. “What is your favorite piece?” Priit replied “You have to love all of the work and characters equally so there are no real favorites”. Then, in a private conversation afterwards hinted “The work of ‘1895’ is my favorite”. An interesting man who lit up when being interviewed.

© BRWC 2010.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

  • Michael 4th May 2011

    Thanks for this post and the interview.
    I just want to mention that the latest 44 minute work he showed was called “‘Life Without Gabriella Ferri”. “A Lifelong Bullet In The Back Of The Head” is a much shorter piece.
    I also did a transcript of the interview.
    Send me an e-mail on info(at)michaelear(dot)com if you’re interested in posting it.

  • Sledge 5th May 2011



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