Optical Historical

 
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2010 — ROCKCHARMER

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Feature 3

Suspendisse nec congue purus. Vivamus a ante congue, porta nunc nec, hendrerit turpis.

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2009 —- Lost world & EAST

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2008 —- Nightflyer

which sees our hero crossing the night in a mysterious train, in search of the lost flying girl.

2007 —- King Pest

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It’s the combination of paper and cinema (and the total lack of words) that makes this such an unusual theatrical experience. The paper part is the puppets: for Rawling’s Punchdrunk-inspired ‘King Pest’ they include painstakingly hand-drawn pen-and-ink pirates, rats, steeply tottering village streets and the moon. And yes, even the street scenes come on a stick – the black felt-tipped kind of lolly stick that everyone who has had or been a small child is familiar with. ‘We photocopy my pictures from the book,’ explains Rawling, patting a large leather-bound sketch-book whose pages are teeming with ink-blot grotesques, ‘then cut them out and stick them on the back of cornflake packets.’ It’s an appealing, homemade aesthetic which might just verge on twee if it weren’t for the cinema part – a live video feed which is not exactly high-tech but requires a lot of dexterity and a bit of daring to achieve its delicate, dreamy effect.

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Founded in 2004 by Nicholas Rawling with Imogen Charleston and Christopher Reed, The Paper Cinema creates unique, magical performances that combine the languages of animation, music, film and theatre. Accompanied by a live soundtrack, intricate pen and ink illustrations are skilfully manipulated in real-time in front of a video camera and projected onto the big screen. Sitting in full view of the audience, the puppeteers and musicians work to a precise choreography that is as engrossing to watch as the story being played out above them. With a readily transferrable DIY aesthetic, the company has performed in a diverse range of venues from village halls and arts centres to major film festivals and museums.