After sixteen years, Joanna Quinn and Les Mills are back again to tell another tale of Beryl’s (Menna Trussler) life, along with their particular brand of art and sense of humour. Following on from Dreams and Desires: Family Ties, Affairs of The Art gives audiences another piece of unique British animation from the makers of Girls Night Out and Famous Fred.
This time Beryl is wondering what happened to her life when she looks back on her childhood and her love of art that faded just like her body.
Beryl tells the audience all about her family life with her morbid sister Beverly (Joanna Quinn) and her vengeful and inventive son, Colin and it makes for a rather darkly comic affair which only Joanna Quinn and Les Mills could do quite as well. Of course, this isn’t exactly a story for children either, but for the adults who may have either grown up delighting in Quinn’s sense of humour or been reminded of her beginnings over thirty years ago.
Along with the audience, it seems that Beryl is at that age where the best years of her life are behind her, but she’s still carrying on.
Those who are new to Quinn and Mills’ work may be taken in by the beautiful pencil drawn animations, only to realise that this is no family animation like The Snowman. However, adults who are unaware of Beryl may still smile and enjoy the jokes and the drawings and may want to find their previous work.
The unusual stories of Beryl’s family life are as bizarre as they are comical and although the sense of humour may not be for everyone, Beryl and her family may be something to which many of the audience could relate. Whether it’s a mischievous little brother who takes things a bit too far, or a sister whose life ends up in a way you may never have imagined.
Affairs of The Art is a short which still shows how wickedly sharp and talented these filmmakers are and their spark for observation and something uniquely British is still there.
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