Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Dog Tulip

Showing at the Toronto International Film Festival: My Dog Tulip, directed by Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger

Synopsis from the TIFF website:

My Dog Tulip
is a profound and beautiful love story that just happens to involve a man and his dog. The film is based on the celebrated 1956 novel by J.R. Ackerley, whose other book about the relationship between a dog and its owner, We Think the World of You, was adapted into the 1988 film starring Alan Bates and Gary Oldman. My Dog Tulip is a vivid animated feature that never fails to stimulate the senses with its artistry.

Middle-aged Ackerley (Christopher Plummer) has failed in his search for the “ideal friend” with whom to share his life. Though he never considered himself a dog lover, he comes to adopt an eighteen-month-old German shepherd named Tulip. What follows are the adventures of a devoted yet bumbling dog parent and the animal that becomes the love of his life, that ideal companion he thought he would never find, as they navigate their fourteen-year relationship. Through Tulip's cycles we confront the facts of life, sometimes in vivid and startling detail; Ackerley minces no words, even as he weaves a touching memoir.

Animated by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, this dog story captures the particular feelings of pet owners without being overly mawkish. At once a portrait of the dog lover and a provocative meditation on the wonders of nature, My Dog Tulip is a playful and moving ode to man's best friend.

With their whimsical and visionary style of animation, the Fierlingers convey this sensitive subject with humour and a strange sweetness. They are pioneers in the use of animation for documentary purposes, having created many projects for PBS, including segments for Sesame Street, and autobiographical works such as Drawn from Memory and Still Life with Animated Dogs. My Dog Tulip is the first animated feature to be entirely hand drawn and painted using paperless computer technology. Featuring the voices of Plummer, Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini, this is a delightful animated tale that evokes lasting images about a man and his relationship with a biter, barker and defecator.

The movie's website is here.

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