Stephen has agoraphobia and, in the flat he won't leave, meticulously labels and stores everything from nail clippings to urine. In long flashbacks we see a trip to the continent he took with his only friend Bunny, an outgoing, inveterate gambler. The European trip is a bit dull (Stephen wants to visit every museum imaginable) until one night in Poland they meet Eloisa, a Spanish waitress, and offer to drive her home for her city's fiesta. We can guess that the trip won't end well - because Stephen is now stuck in his flat with occasional visits from Bunny - but will anything in the reverie move Stephen to action?Written by
The cardboard backgrounds are a reference to the "Paddington Bear" (1976) animations. Director Paul King later directed the live action adaptation of Paddington (2014). See more »
(at around 1 min) When they go to the hotel and an old woman opens the door, she wears a jacket with one collar. There is a brooch on it, but when they have gone in, the woman's jacket has changed to another one with two collars. The brooch is on the upper collar and smaller. See more »
For some time now, Stephen Turnbull has been a man of routine. Every day he showers for twenty seven minutes, brushes for four, gargles for eight and flosses for seven. He then files the floss, stacks his urine and notes its PH. Next he washes everything that has so far touched his body, completes a 200-page book of bumper crosswords and watches eight episodes of Ray Mears' Extreme Survival on videotape. Then it's time for lunch.
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Alone Again Or
Performed by Love
Written by Bryan Maclean
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK LTD
Published by Campbell Connelly + Co. LTD See more »
Tremendous on so many levels
"Bunny and the Bull" is possibly the most visually inventive film I've seen in my life. It begins with a title credit sequence with the camera gracefully flowing from object to object in a small room, like in Jeunet-Caro's classic "Delicatessen". It stays in that same Delicatessenesque vein while we meet our hero, an agoraphobe who evidently hasn't left his apartment in 1 year, and then the real fun starts...
Our hero "Stephen" (Edward Hogg) stares at random objects in his meticulously cluttered apartment, and each object triggers a flashback. Each flashback is vividly adorned in scenery relating to the object that triggered it. For example, his first flashback comes from a box of fast food takeout. The flashback scene contains the actors and some real props but they are sitting inside an animated cardboard box. Occasionally cars will pass by the window outside, similarly animated cardboard cutouts.
I found this visual style to be both eye-catching and wonderfully creative. Animation is very old school, using tricks of stop motion photography, hand drawings, confetti for snow, and projection screens showing dreamlike landscapes behind the action. It reminded me of the work of Michel Gondry ("The Science of Sleep", "Eternal sunshine of the Spotless Mind") or Tim Burton's old school stuff ("Nightmare Before Christmas", "Edward Scissorhands", "Peewee's Big Adventure") but ramped up on steroids. Everything is very vivid and pleasing to the eye with cartoonish colors and simplicity surrounding what ultimately ends up being a very complex story.
The actors present a fabulous dynamic with "Stephen" being the obsessively uptight dweeb who courts a girl for 3 years before working up the nerve to say he likes her, while his best friend "Bunny" (Simon Farnaby) is the antithesis: a devil-may-care hedonist who can bed any girl in under 2 minutes it seems. The movie is a series of flashbacks unraveling a strange adventure that the two of them had together, mostly silly escapades culminating in a life-altering event that just might alter your life as well.
Something I found particularly funny was the way our hero is an animal lover, and a very outspoken one at that. He has a hilarious way of turning almost any situation awkward by expressing his views, almost like a "Debbie Downer" character. But if you're an animal lover you may find yourself cheering him on. For example, in one scene they are talking to a would-be matador who is relating the joy and elegance of bullfighting. He says something like "It is not a fight. It is a dance. A beautiful dance as only man and beast can do." And our hero Stephen fires back "Really? I thought it was all about stabbing a defenceless animal in the back of the neck until he dies." And the matador says, "It is a peculiar dance, I'll give you that." Great sarcastic & deadpan humor along with hilariously awkward situations pepper this film throughout, making it fun from beginning to end. And as I alluded earlier, there is ultimately some great depth and power to this seemingly whimsical flick.
If you're a fan of the directors I mentioned above, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Michel Gondry & Tim Burton... and I'll throw in Charlie Kaufman & Spike Jonze ("Being John Malkovich", "Synecdoche NY") and maybe Terry Gilliam ("Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas") then do not hesitate to see this wonderfully bizarre flick. In over 500 films, I've only given out about 20 perfect "10" ratings, but this film truly deserves the honor.
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