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Madame Tutli-Putli

Madame Tutli-Putli

The indie animation blog Hydrocephalic Bunny informs about a very interesting looking new stop motion short out of the National Film Board of Canada called Madame Tutli-Putli. It debuts at International Critics’ Week in Cannes later this month, and will screen at Annecy next month. The official NFB site has more details about the 17-minute film, as well as video interviews with the filmmakers and a trailer. The clips from the film are dripping with a tense menacing atmosphere and the art direction appears to be superb. It’s hard to tell if the storytelling holds up to the level of the visuals, but this is a film that I’m definitely excited about checking out.

Madame Tutli-Putli is directed by Montreal-based filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, who are principals in the graphic arts studio Clyde Henry. Amazingly enough, this is the first professional film from the duo, who wrote, animated and directed the film entirely by themselves. If it’s any indication of things to come, these guys promise to be a real force to reckon with in the animation world.

  • It certainly looks very beautiful. I wonder if it will show in the USA any time soon? It will probably be in Ottawa this fall?

  • Wow! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this as well.

  • I’m sure those are real actor eyes being composited.

  • Chuck R.

    The lighting and camera angles are great. I’m going to hold back any other opinions until I see more of the film.

    I have a strange feeling this is about a train ride to the uncanny valley.

  • Esn

    Wow! Those eyes, especially, are amazing. In response to t.w.o.n.t., they don’t look like composited eyes to me.

    I’m very glad to see something stop motion-related on CartoonBrew. It’s pretty rare that you guys mention anything about stop motion.

    I watched all of those videos, and it looks like these guys have made a titanic effort… you can see it in their faces, even, that they’ve spent three years working in a dark room. A little scary.

  • “I have a strange feeling this is about a train ride to the uncanny valley.”

    Uh…the character is very obviously stylized. Uncanny valley applies to characters that are supposed to be photorealistic.

    Anywho, looks very interesting. Unique if nothing else.

  • In an industry so inundated with computer animation it is so nice to see some beautiful stop motion artistry going on. The textures in the trailer are so beautiful and intricate, it’s almost as if you can reach out and touch them.

  • Chuck R.

    Hey, I’m a fan of all things stop-motion from Starewicz and Obie to Henry Selick and Nick Park, but I stand by my earlier comment, and I believe that t.w.o.n.t. is correct as well.

    If you look at the 2nd and 3rd interview videos, they are animating puppets with blank spaces where eyes should be. With the exception of a coarse texture on the puppets, these figures are hyper-realistic, particularly in extreme closeups. No-ones’s seen the final film yet, and it all may work wonderfully. But I wouldn’t call Madame Tutli-Putli “stylized” by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Esn

    An article just came out in the Globe and Mail about the film today.

    And yes, it looks like they did use composited eyes. Although not on all of the puppets – in one of those two videos (2 or 3) you can see a puppet of a man which has eyes.

    It seems like the NFB has big plans for this film; they’re bringing it to most of the major film festivals and seem to be hoping to repeat the success of “Ryan” at the Oscars (according to the article, at least).

  • Yes! the eyes were composited!! Check out more on how the eyes were created here! or or

    Oh, and by the way……………yes!, the movie is very experimental, but at the same time……’s a really great movie!!!!!!!

  • Chuck R.

    Jason: Thanks for posting. Your site is well worth a visit —the oil paintings are incredible (and this is from a guy who doesn’t usually gravitate toward photorealism.) You have patience that I can only marvel at.

    Looking forward to seeing the film!

  • Eric Davis

    I am friends with the Clyde-Henry guys and have seen lots of this short as well as witnessed them making parts of it. The amount of work and talent put into this film was amazing and the finished product is nothing short of mesmerizing. It sent chills up my spine . Good luck guys, you deserve all the praise you are getting .

  • Hi guys, and I’ve written a lot more about this movie on my website, but in essence this has raised the bar beyond anything. Yes the eyes are amazing, and the animation beautiful, but above all it works as a splendidly melancholy unsettling film. I can’t praise it high enough. Truly inspiring. Well done to all concerned.

  • bonnie lavis

    It is a great film So excited that it is nominated for an oscar