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The Eagleman Stag (2011)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 244 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

If you repeat the word 'fly' for long enough it sounds like you are saying 'life'. This is of no help to Peter. His answers lie in the brain of the beetle.

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Title: The Eagleman Stag (2011)

The Eagleman Stag (2011) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
David Cann ...
Peter
Tony Guilfoyle ...
Philip
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Storyline

Voiced by the cult British actor David Cann, The Eagleman Stag is a dark, cerebral comedy about a man's obsession with his quickening perception of time and the extreme lengths he goes to in order to counter the effect. Each unfolding scene is a key moment in the life of Peter, another piece in the puzzle. Realised in monochrome stopmotion, the haunting and surreal settings create a sense of contemporary film noir. Written by Michael Please

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19 June 2011 (USA)  »

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Engaging delivery via narration and impressively cinematic stop-motion animation
18 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Peter's life begins in the womb like everyone else. At age four he is told he will not be allowed another birthday party for a quarter of his life. Years later he finds an insect in the backyard and is so taken by it that the next years are empty and dull in reflection. Time passes and he becomes obsessed by the idea of time passing and in particular speeding up with no hope of stepping back. His work as an entomologist brings a discovery that excites him with possibilities.

The Eagleman Stag is a film that really is hard to describe and being honest part of that is that ultimately I am not sure where the narrative leaves us at the end and it did rob a bit of the joy from me that I didn't have more of a satisfied feeling at the end. The upside of this is that I have another reason to watch it again – although to be frank, there are many of those anyway. Although the destination is not as strong as I would have liked, the journey and the telling of the tale is quite something. To focus on the story, the narration from Peter is wonderfully dense and engaging, helped a great deal by great voice work from David Cann. The flow and pace of dialogue and the clipped nature of his words is just great.

As a base for the whole film though, is some quite wonderful stop-motion animation and model work. It is hard to describe but everything flows so well and is filled with great cinematic touches. So we have small moments between a father and son which contain great animation but are also incredibly atmospheric with great lighting, but my personal favourite is a move through a building only for it to become apparent that it is model within the world of Peter (who himself is of course a model). It is stuff like this that impressed the most and makes the film beautiful to watch and compelling as a story but also as a work of sheer technical mastery.

Yes, it is a shame that for me the narrative shook me off at the end, however the telling of the tale and the delivery of it is really engaging and visually the film not only has great animation and model work, but also make impressive use of them with a real sense of the cinematic and the creative.


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