PERSISTENCE OF VISION (Kevin Schreck). See listings. Rating: NNN
Once upon a time in England, Canadian animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) set out to make a feature that would change how people thought about the format forever. It never happened.
Instead, the project was taken away from him and completed by others, to be released in various versions around the world as Arabian Knight, The Thief And The Cobbler and The Princess And The Cobbler. You do not want to see any of them.
Kevin Schreck's Persistence Of Vision serves as an oral history of the doomed project. The director interviews a number of Williams's collaborators and uses archival footage of Williams (who refused to participate in the doc) to sketch out the cartoon film's slow, excruciating death.
Animation buffs can feast on the fascinating behind-the-scenes footage and the stories of an inspired artist trying to push the boundaries of his chosen art form.
But as the documentary goes on, it also becomes clear that Williams was so focused on creating bravura sequences that he never considered how they might fit together.
And thanks to the doc's structure, we figure that out well before Williams's collaborators are seen to do, making an 83-minute movie feel a bit longer than it might have otherwise.
Opens Friday (January 10) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.