Armageddon

Short film
15 minutes
Animator, characters, sets, props - Dawn Tuffery
Director, camera, lighting, editing - Keith Hill
Sound: Glenn Bullen, Chris Burt of The Inside Track
Adapted from an original story of Keith Hill

What would happen if humanity had to start all over again, in a bombed-out Garden of Eden, with a new Adam and Eve? An animation that uses the story of Adam and Eve to humorously comment on the Middle East’s political situation, and on humanity's current spiritual dilemma.

The film was shot over a period of 22 days, on 16mm and a Bolex wind-up camera - it literally is a "handmade" film.

View the animated short film.

Part One:



Part Two:


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KEITH HILL ON THE STORY

The origin for Armageddon Redux lies in a one-act play I wrote in the 1990s. This drew on three styles of theatrical story-telling: the Theatre of the Absurd, the gestural theatre of Beckett, and contemporary physical theatre, theatre Peter Brook also calls ‘rough’ theatre.

Why puppets rather than people? The tradition of puppet theatre is possibly as old as human theatre, where masks and costumes have always been used to make the actors more, or other, than human. Writers such as Alfred Jarry drew on this tradition in his Ubu plays, in which actors wear masks and perform very much like puppets. And animators such as Jan Svankmejer have also drawn on the same tradition, in films such as Faust and Alice.

What Dawn and I sought to develop in this film was a style of ‘rough’ animation that drew on the traditions of ‘rough’ theatre – gestural, absurdist, comic – but also reflected the ‘roughness’ of a ‘re-born’ humanity if oil wars had wiped most of us out, and the survivors were starting a new society all over again.

Accordingly, the film is set among the detritus of a smashed society, with Adam and Eve themselves, as human-machine hybrids, pieced together from that detritus, and left obeying the left-over ‘commands’ of the previous age.

Underpinning the animation are therefore two levels of narrative – an existential view which looks at our dependence on external and higher forces for our spiritual equilibrium, and a political view of Middle Eastern politics in which nations external to the Middle East are currently seeking to influence, even control, social events. Both narratives overlap, and are equally treated from the tradition of comic/absurdist story-telling.